Match Preview: Mansfield Town (H)
EFL League Two
The Hive London
Saturday, February 4, 2017 – KO 3pm
Team News: Jack Taylor and Curtis Weston both missed last weekend’s draw at Carlisle United with minor issues and it remains to be seen whether they will be fit enough to play some part against the Stags.
James Pearson (knee) continues his recovery from a long-term lay-off which has ruled him out of action thus far.
Michael Gash (knee) and Shaun Batt (hamstring) aren’t expected to play again this season.
Simeon Akinola begins his three-match ban following a red card at Brunton Park last weekend.
Last Time We Met: A John Akinde strike just before the hour mark gave the Bees their first away win of the 2016/17 campaign, 1-0 at Field Mill in September.
The goal arrived in the 57th minute when Luke Gambin threaded the ball into the path of Akinde who cut in from the left and slotted past the advancing Scott Shearer to open the scoring.
Manager: Steve Evans, 54, was appointed Mansfield Town boss on November 16, succeeding Adam Murray.
A striker during his playing days, most notably for Albion Rovers, the Glaswegian returned in 1986 and, eight years later, began his managerial career with Stamford.
Two stints at Boston United – spanning nine years – brought promotion from the Southern League Premier Division and then the Conference.
Evans stepped up to Crawley Town in 2007 and helped the Sussex side from the Conference into League One with back-to-back promotions; his success seeing him move to Rotherham United.
Three years at the New York Stadium saw Evans repeat the feat of double promotions, guiding the Millers in the Championship while personally making it four promotions in as many seasons.
He resigned at Rotherham in September 2015 and after – briefly – instilling some stability at Leeds United became Massimo Cellino’s sixth victim in May 2016.
Dangerman: Striker Shaquile Coulthirst signed on loan from Peterborough United earlier this month and has wasted no time in settling in at Field Mill, netting on his debut in a 3-1 win at Cambridge United.
The 22-year-old arrived at Mansfield after finding first-team action at London Road hard to come by, though he managed four goals in three league and cup games in October and November.
Coulthirst joined the Posh from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2016 having failed to make the breakthrough with the Premier League giants.
He previously enjoyed loan stints with Leyton Orient, Torquay United, Southend United, York City and Wigan Athletic.
Connections: Centre-back Krystian Pearce, 27, made 18 appearances on loan for Barnet during the 2012/13 season, scoring his solitary goal in the 4-0 rout of Northampton Town in October 2012 — the game in which Edgar Davids made his debut for the Bees.
Andy Yiadom, Anthony Edgar and John Oster were also on target that game, but despite a thumping win the season ended in relegation to the Conference on the final day.
Last Time Out: The Stags extended their impressive unbeaten run to six EFL League Two fixtures with a 2-0 win over struggling Leyton Orient.
Sheffield United loanee Ben Whiteman opened the scoring three minutes after the restart, crashing home from 20 yards after a free-kick was headed out to him.
Danny Rose added a second eight minutes later, sliding in at the back post to convert Whiteman’s low delivery across the face of goal.
Mansfield Town (5-3-2): Kean; White, Pearce, Bennett, Collins, Benning; Hamilton, Byrom, Whiteman; Rose, Coulthirst.
Ticket info: Supporters can order tickets for tomorrow’s match from our Online Box Office or by arriving early and buying on the day from The Hive Ticket Office.