The Emirates FA Cup First Round Commences As Stags Host Wrexham In An All-League Two Affair
As one cup run ends another one commences as Mansfield Town face Wrexham in an all-League Two tie in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Nigel Clough’s Stags need to re-focus on a new cup competition as just a couple of days after their Carabao Cup exit, they take on the challenge of the oldest football competition in the world, the Emirates FA Cup.
Progression into the next round is never certain even with a lower-league opposition, however, Mansfield Town face fellow League Two side Wrexham with the Dragons travelling to the One Call Stadium.
Wrexham, who do not have to go through the qualifying rounds for the first time in 15 seasons, have the chance of impressing on TV once again as the clash against the Stags is set to be televised.
With a place in the Second Round at stake and extra money for the winning club, the all-League Two affair is set to be a tie to look out for.
Stags’ Unbeaten Run Comes To An End
Following three consecutive league victories, Mansfield Town went into their Carabao Cup Round of 16 clash against Port Vale full of confidence.
Their only negative heading into the clash against the Valiants was that influential forward Lucas Akins would miss out and required an operation on an eye fracture sustained in the clash against Walsall.
From the off, the Stags looked second best in all departments as they were overran in midfield and created very little in the attacking department as Andy Crosby’s Vale side penned the amber and blues in.
Oliver Arblaster had Port Vale’s best chance of the first half but the young midfielder’s close-range effort was denied by the post.
The Stags also went close as Louis Reed’s cross was met by Davis Keillor-Dunn with his sweetly struck volley forcing a good save from Vale goalkeeper Connor Ripley.
The winning goal came in the 50th minute as a solo run from Tottenham Hotspur loanee Alfie Devine saw the midfielder’s effort fly past Christy Pym and into the bottom corner.
A defeat may come as a negative but it is only positive for the Stags who have got to worry about one less cup competition as they chase after the elusive promotion to EFL League One.
Wrexham Fully Focussed On A Good FA Cup Run
With a fantastic FA Cup run last year, the Dragons do not have to worry about the qualifying rounds and enter into the First Round proper, looking to create another cup fairytale.
In the league, the Dragons are flying as they sit third in League Two, level on points with second-place Notts County and six points behind league leaders Stockport County.
It was the Magpies that Wrexham took on in their previous match as the two newly promoted sides went head-to-head at Meadow Lane.
The game opened up in the second half and it was Phil Parkinson’s side that took advantage of their attacking fluidity with two goals in three minutes.
Firstly, Elliot Lee broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute as the Dragons looked for back-to-back league wins with Ollie Palmer confirming all three points would be returning to Wales.
The win pushed Wrexham up to third as they continued to assert their dominance of the fourth tier in an action-packed season so far.
In cup competitions, form always goes out of the window as the Stags experienced in their midweek Carabao Cup exit as Port Vale’s poor run of form did not deter them from attacking the amber and blues and progressing through to the Quarter-Final for the first time in the Valiants’ history.
With that being said, up until that point, Mansfield Town went on a 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions this season, which included three consecutive league victories.
Four wins from their last five matches, 13 goals scored and six goals conceded has seen the Stags flying in League Two, conjure up a fantastic Carabao Cup run and start their EFL Trophy campaign with a victory.
Meanwhile, Wrexham have not lost any of their last eight matches with their last loss coming at the hands of Stockport on September 23rd as the Hatters cruised to a brilliant 5-0 win.
The Dragons have since then won eight and drawn three as Phil Parkinson’s side have put themselves as firm promotion favourites in their first season back in the EFL since 2007/08.
At the start of the season, Wrexham were conceding goals aplenty but have shored up their defence and have been firing on all cylinders in the attacking department.
Since the forming of League Two in 2004, the Stags hold the upper hand in the head-to-head with two wins compared to the Dragons’ one with four draws contested between the two sides, the latest coming last month as a 0-0 draw was played out at the One Call Stadium in the first league meeting between Mansfield Town and Wrexham since April 2008.
17 goals have been scored in the seven meetings between the two sides, an average of close to 2.5 goals per game, as the best defence in League Two takes on one of the best-attacking sides in League Two in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.