By Jonny Whitfield
Mansfield Town will meet Swindon Town for the first time in a decade, with both sides locked on 19 points for the season.
Swindon, who were relegated from League One last season, defeated their opponents 2-0 at the County Ground 10 years ago and this weekend’s fixture presents an opportunity for both to climb the League Two table.
The sides sit in ninth and 11th respectively with a play-off spot the ultimate aim, but last weekend’s fixtures ended in defeats for both sides.
Mansfield’s 2-0 away defeat to Colchester United was the second time in their previous three matches in which Steve Evans’ men have failed to register a goal.
Swindon suffered a 2-1 loss at Whaddon Road against Cheltenham Town last Saturday. Their solitary strike came from centre-back Matt Preston, who scored his first goal for the Robins after joining from Walsall in September.
And David Flitcroft’s side will be without first-choice goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, who will serve the second match of his four-game ban for foul language. Flitcroft will start second-choice man Reice Charles-Cook.
Flitcroft told the Swindon Advertiser: “I don’t think it’s been about the four games, I have bought [Charles-Cook] in to have real stimulation and competition between them both.
“It is a joint venture that Reice is pushing Lawrence so we get what we need out of Lawrence, but Reice knows that if he does the business and comes in and does what I want him to do, he will stay in.”
Mansfield boss Evans is targeting a play-off spot but is aware of the challenge presented this weekend.
He told the club’s official website: “It presents us with another opportunity against, what has to be said, a top side. This is an ex-Premier League club coming here.”
But Evans will look to extend his side’s strong home form to five games without defeat at Field Mill.