Stags and Luton resume their rivalry for tasty Sunday lunch showdown

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THE bookies’ joint favourites for the BSBP title, Mansfield Town and Luton Town resume their rivalry at the One Call Stadium (1pm).

The game has been moved around quite a lot recently, originally set for Thursday, moved back to its original Saturday, and then on to Sunday lunchtime with police saying they were unable to cope with it on Saturday.

However, with Mansfield already facing an away trip to Macclesfield on Tuesday, manager Paul Cox is unhappy the game couldn’t be played on Friday but is still very much looking forward to putting his in-form side up against the Hatters.

“I think the league have made a very silly decision to make us play Sunday,” he said.

“Why we couldn’t play Friday night no one knows. Luton didn’t want to play Friday for some reason but, with us already having a game on Tuesday, it puts us at a disadvantage. Obviously the league see it as something different.

“It is absolutely ludicrous us playing Sunday if they don’t move Macclesfield to the Wednesday.”

Stags have the joint best home record in the league, Luton the best away record, so another cracker is expected between these old rivals.

Cox said: “It doesn’t come more mouthwatering than Mansfield/Luton does it?

“Both have similar records and it is a big game so we hope the fans will come out and support the lads for what should be a very entertaining game.

“Team spirit is high right now and I want us to be positive and pro-active in trying to win the game.

“I hope the crowd are behind us to help us get what would be three very important points. The supporters were absolutely out of this world at the Southport game.

“That is important to one or two players’ confidence and self-belief. As soon as that comes back 100 per cent then I am sure we will be in a position where we are challenging.”

Centre half John Dempster misses out after being red-carded in Tuesday’s FA Cup penalties win at Slough Town.

John Thompson has picked up a slight foot injury but could be fit to challenge George Pilkington, Luke Jones and Ritchie Sutton for the vacant central defender slot.