Following Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final against Brighton & Hove Albion, the Mariners return to Sky Bet League Two action tonight with a trip to Mansfield Town.
The history-making Cup run ended with a 5-0 defeat to the Premier League high-flyers but the result didn’t dampen the spirits of a vocal and passionate travelling support.
That support will be needed once again as Paul Hurst and his team travel to Nottinghamshire to take on a team pushing for the Play-Offs.
Hurst confirmed to the media yesterday that tonight’s match comes just too soon for Owen Gallacher. The left-sided player has been recovering from a calf issue he picked up shortly after his Town debut away to Northampton but the manager revealed that he isn’t quite ready for selection.
He also said that no new injury issues were picked up on Sunday at Brighton.
Loanees George Lloyd and Mikey O’Neill as well as midfielder Stephen Wearne come back into contention after being cup-tied for Sunday’s match.
Tonight’s hosts, at the time of writing, sit one place outside the Play-Off positions in eighth and come into this fixture in somewhat patchy form.
Mansfield’s last five matches has seen the team pick up two wins, two defeats and a draw. Their last two outings have been against teams in the upper echelons of the table, drawing 1-1 away to fifth-placed Stockport following a 1-0 defeat to a Northampton Town side sitting in the last automatic promotion spot.
Nigel Clough has been in charge of the Stags since November 2020 and is looking to steer the side to the Play-Offs for the second consecutive campaign.
He will have a couple of late selection decisions to make with forward Rhys Oates and captain Ollie Clarke due to be assessed ahead of the match after picking up knocks at Stockport.
Full-back Stephen McLaughlin is in a similar boat after being taken off late on in the Northampton defeat while John-Joe O’Toole, Will Swan and Anthony Hartigan all due to miss the rest of the season.
The two teams faced each other in September in the Papa John’s Trophy with the Mariners winning 2-0 at Blundell Park thanks to goals from Otis Khan and Danilo Orsi. You can watch the highlights of that match HERE.
There have been 51 matches between the two sides in the past with Town victorious in 17 of those and Mansfield picking up maximum points in 21.
Tom Reeves is tonight’s referee and this will be the first time he has officiated a Mariners match.
His assistants will be Paul Newhouse and Gareth Viccars.
Tonight’s match is available on Mariners TV for UK and overseas supporters. Match passes are available for £10 HERE.