Stags Still Pushing In Promotion Race

Only a handful of games remain this season, and, for Mansfield Town in EFL League Two, and their play-off aspirations, the remaining, four games, have never been more important.

Just three points separate Nigel Clough’s side, sitting in eighth place, on 69 points, and Dave Challinor’s Stockport County, who are fourth, on 72 points, however they, and Paul Simpson’s Carlisle United, in fifth, have a more superior goal difference than those around them.

Even Jon Brady’s Northampton Town, currently sitting in second, are just eight points ahead of the eighth place Stags, and, should the Nottinghamshire-based side win their game in hand, that will drop to five points, with three to play apiece.

It’s goal-scoring, despite some big wins already this year, which has hindered Clough’s side though, especially when you look at how their nearest rivals have been in front of goal; Will Swan leads the way for Mansfield with just nine this season, followed by Lucas Akins with eight, and, of the January signings, Davis Keillor-Dunn has chipped in with five in fifteen already, and defender, Alfie Kilgour, has four in seventeen.

Those statistics pale in comparison to their rivals however with Bradford City’s Andy Cook the pick of the hitmen with 27 thus far this season, whilst Northampton’s Sam Hoskins, and Carlisle’s Kristian Dennis, have bagged twenty apiece.

Other promotion chasers have spread there scoring exploits around somewhat, Stockport’s trio of Kyle Wootton (14), Will Collar (13) and Paddy Madden (11) are all in double figures, as are Stevenage Borough’s Luke Norris (14), Jamie Reid (12), and Jordan Roberts (11) – what the Stags would give for an out-and-out striker with some of those stats in the bag.

As for the leaders themselves, Leyton Orient have Paul Smyth top-scoring with 10, as George Moncur and Ruel Sotiriou have eight apiece, whilst Salford City has the triumvirate of Callum Hendry, Conor McAleny, and Matt Smith all on ten apiece – and yet Mansfield, they’re the divisions’ top scorers having netted 67 times.

Current standings, and information (form in last ten outings), ahead of Saturday 22 April matches….

FIRST Leyton Orient (84 pts) unbeaten in their last four matches (one loss in ten), Orient can with the title at Mansfield on 25 April and face three sides in the hunt for play-off positions in their remaining, four games – projected finish, CHAMPIONS


TO PLAY – Crewe Alexandra (h), Mansfield Town (a), Stockport County (h), Bradford City (a)

SECOND Northampton Town (77 pts) outsiders still for second place (Stevenage have a game in hand), they go into this weekend unbeaten in their last three, and only one loss in ten, can afford one slip-up, depending on results elsewhere – projected finish, RUNNERS-UP (goal-difference)


TO PLAY – Harrogate Town (h), Bradford City (h), Tranmere Rovers (a)

THIRD Stevenage (76 pts) favourites for runners-up, Borough hold the last, automatic promotion spot and have four games to play. Unbeaten in their last five, with two wins and three draw, they face Mansfield in their next outing – projected finish – THIRD PLACE (goal-difference)


TO PLAY – Mansfield Town (a), Swindon Town (a), Grimsby Town (h), Barrow (a)

FOURTH Stockport County (72 pts) with only three to play, County, and fifth place Carlisle, are in a precarious position in the play-off jostling, but they are currently unbeaten in their last ten outings (four wins, six draws) and have to travel to the Orient – projected finish SEVENTH PLACE


TO PLAY – Rochdale (h), Leyton Orient (a), Hartlepool United (h)

FIFITH Carlisle United (72 pts) the Cumbrians, like Stockport, have only three remaining and go into this weekend unbeaten in their last four (drawn their last three); the battle between Carlisle, and the side currently seventh, Salford City, will be pivotal – projected finish – SIXTH PLACE


TO PLAY – Barrow (a), Salford City (h), Sutton United (a)

SIXTH Bradford City (71 pts) the Bantams can still push for fourth place, which they’re likely to achieve when having four games remaining, proving they get back to winning ways immediately after defeat last time out. They do still have the current, top two sides, to play – projected finish, FOURTH PLACE


TO PLAY – Gillingham (h), Northampton Town (a), Crewe Alexandra (a), Leyton Orient (h)

SEVENTH Salford City (69 pts) could well be the side to miss out on the play-offs this season having only three games to play, their impending trip to Carlisle United, key to that; erratic form has seen them drop points every other game pretty much even though they’ve won half of their last ten outings – projected finish, EIGHTH PLACE


TO PLAY – Walsall (a), Carlisle United (h), Gillingham (h)

EIGHTH Mansfield Town (69 pts) the Stags have been hovering in-and-around the play-offs for some time now and draws, there’s been five in the last ten, could well prove costly (winning those would have seen them second). Unbeaten in their last eight, and one loss in ten though bodes well, even with the champions-elect to play – projected finish, FIFTH PLACE


TO PLAY – Stevenage (a), Leyton Orient (h), Harrogate Town (h), Colchester United (h)

So then, going from all that, the top three, automatically promoted sides from League Two (predicted), will be the current top three of Leyton Orient, Northampton Town and Stevenage Borough; the play-offs will equate to Bradford City, Mansfield Town, Carlisle United, and Stockport County; whilst Salford City miss out, finishing in eighth place.

The play-offs would then see the following games – Bradford City (4) vs. (7) Stockport County, and Mansfield Town (5) vs. (6) Carlisle United, with the Stags returning to Wembley to play Bradford City in the final.

Nigel Clough’s side would be looking to go one better than last season, when they lost 3-0 to Port Vale in the play-off final, having finished seventh in the table, and this time, make that jump into League One.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Hiram Boateng celebrates at Newport.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *