Mansfield Town Get Thier EFL Trophy Campaign Underway At Home To Doncaster Rovers
Attentions turn to the Papa John’s Trophy as a changed Stags side take on Doncaster Rovers in the first game of the group stages of the competition.
With an away trip to Notts County in League Two this weekend, the first Nottinghamshire Derby since 2019, Mansfield Town will be wary of the gigantic six-pointer at Meadow Lane and most of the key players will be rested ahead of the match in Nottingham on Saturday.
For Doncaster Rovers, they could move to the top of Group H with a win and continue their slow upward trajectory that has seen them pull away from the bottom two and begin to look up the league table rather than down.
Back-To-Back Goalless Draws For The Stags
Welcoming Hollywood stars Wrexham in midweek, the amber and blues failed to break down the Dragons’ defence as they hit the post on two occasions and came away with a point in a goalless draw.
Nigel Clough’s side stayed at home for last weekend’s clash as they welcomed second-placed AFC Wimbledon to the One Call Stadium.
Christy Pym was luckily in top form as he made numerous saves and most importantly saved James Tilley’s penalty just before the half-hour mark.
Mansfield Town never looked like they would threaten Alex Bass’ goal but George Maris squandered a fantastic opportunity near the end of the first-half.
The midfielder was played one-on-one with the goalkeeper but hit his shot straight at Bass as the scoreline remained unchanged.
Both sides failed to make any in-roads in the second-half as they had shots fail to hit the target and the points were shared between the teams.
The draw moved Mansfield Town up to fifth whilst AFC Wimbledon dropped out of the automatic promotion places and into fourth.
Rovers Climb Out Of The Relegation Zone After Tough Start
Doncaster Rovers experienced a very tough start to the League Two season as they managed to pick up only one point from their opening five matches, the points coming against the Stags in a 2-2 draw at the Eco-Power Stadium.
From their last five matches, the Yorkshire outfit have picked up three wins and have moved themselves clear of the drop zone as they have picked up some much-needed momentum.
After a fantastic 2-0 win in midweek against Crawley Town, Donny travelled to Stockport County in search of a fourth win in five League Two matches.
The first-half was very even as both sides failed to break the deadlock and take the lead in the match.
In the last 10 minutes, Isaac Olaofe made sure that the points were staying at Edgeley Park as he scored the winner in the 83rd minute to break Rovers hearts.
The loss kept Doncaster in 20th place in League Two, three points away from 19th-placed Newport County and nine points away from Wrexham in the final Play-Off place.
State Of Affairs In Group H Of The Papa John’s Trophy
Everton U-21s look to be out of the equation for qualification out of Group H with two losses on their record and a -4 goal difference with zero goals scored and four conceded.
Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers are sat on the same points tally and the same goal difference as both sides were able to beat Everton’s youngsters by the same scoreline.
Mansfield Town occupy third as they are yet to start their Papa John’s Trophy campaign but will hope a win could see them in the hunt for qualification into the knockout stages for the second year running.
With the Stags unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions, they have only managed one win and four draws from their last five matches.
The amber and blue unbeaten train has slowed down a little but Mansfield Town have still managed to pick up points and keep crucial clean sheets in the process.
On the other hand, Doncaster Rovers have picked up a little bit of form with three wins and two losses from their last five competitive matches.
Donny have also been able to keep clean sheets but have also been able to score goals, hitting the back of the net eight times in their last five matches.
In their only ever Football League Trophy encounter, the Stags were on the losing side as Doncaster Rovers ran out victors in August 2016 at the One Call Stadium.
However, in recent times, Mansfield Town have not lost to Donny in the last four games with three wins and one draw.
The FA Cup victory in December 2021 is the most memorable victory out of the three recent victories and the amber and blues will look to continue their strong form against the Rovers.