Marcus Braddock looks ahead to the Emirates FA Cup second round
It's time for the F.A. Cup again with Shrewsbury Town facing Mansfield at Montgomery Waters Meadow in round 2 tomorrow. The Stags are currently sitting in 15th position in League Two with 21 points from 19 games so far this season. Recent form has seen them struggle a little in the league but their last two cup games both ended in victory. One was their first-round game with Chorley, which ended 0-0, and the other was a 2-1 away victory at Burton in the Leasing.com Trophy. So they've beaten a higher league team away in a cup game and also have better form in away games generally this season which suggests to me that they could be a handful this weekend with a potential Premier League team in the third round at stake.
Top Scorers Danny Rose and Nicky Maynard have managed seven and six goals from the league campaign and have both scored a goal each in the cup competitions with Maynard scoring the goal that booked their place in round two. Andy Cook has three in the league and three in cup games so there are plenty of forward options for the stags.
Midfielder Otis Khan has the most assists so far Mansfield with three and CJ Hamilton is one behind with 2, as is Conor Shaughnessy. Mansfield also have nine players with a single assist so far which means there are plenty of threats throughout the team.
In League Two, Mansfield has managed five clean sheets with three from away games. They've also not conceded in the F.A. Cup this season although they've only played once.
Andy Haines from Tyne and Wear. Mr Haynes is an experienced official after a number of years officiating in the Football League. It's his first game in charge of Town this season but he was in charge last season When Scunthorpe beat us1-0 away and when Wycombe beat us 3-2 away. He's been in charge of Mansfield Town once this season when they beat Walsall 2-1 away. So far this season, Mr Haines has given 49 yellow and three red cards in 18 games.
Stags-Top scorer Danny Rose is likely to miss out because of a hamstring injury.
Town-Shaun Whalley and Sean Goss are still out of contention, as is Romaine Vincelot.
Sam Ricketts has highlighted the fight back against Bristol last weekend as a positive but also wants to see less “cheap goals” conceded.
The cup is a double-edged sword for teams like Town. The opportunity to take down a higher division team in the next round is what we want but we need to avoid the same happening to us to earn that chance. Mansfield are no mugs, they may be lower in their division than they want to be but they're in a transitional period with Stags manager, John Dempster still a relatively new appointment. A decent result against a team a division above them could really kick-start their season and Dempster is likely to be more than aware to that possibility.