Mansfield Town will not be appealing against Darryl Westlake’s red card, but they have been boosted by the news that Ritchie Sutton could be back from injury early to replace him for Saturday’s big home local derby with Chesterfield.
Stags boss Paul Cox was furious to see a deliberate handball decision go against Westlake on Saturday, which saw Northampton rescue a 1-1 draw from the penalty spot and Westlake red-carded, earning him a one-game ban.
Cox said: “I have watched it a number of times and the DVD footage is inconclusive.
“But I did look where the referee was and he looks unsighted. If you are not 100 per cent certain you don’t give it.
“To then send the lad off as well was surprising. I have got to watch what I say as I will end up getting myself in hot water with truthful comments.
“But we won’t be appealing it. Unless you can 100 per cent guarantee the referee made a mistake, the decision goes against you.
“Darryl is a good player but it looks like Ritchie Sutton will be back and Lee Beevers came on last Saturday and did well. It is a one game ban for Darryl so we just have to get on with it.”
Stags now hope Sutton will come through a reserve outing at Leicester City on Wednesday and prove his fitness a couple of weeks ahead of when he was expected back from a pulled hamstring.
“Ritchie will probably get half a game’s run-out on Wednesday.
“He is back ahead of schedule which is a bonus, but we do have a good physio here who has worked wonders.
“Ritchie has been in every day and he is a big, strong boy who looks after his body well and recovers really well.”
Stags are going for the double over local rivals Chesterfield on Saturday, after the 1-0 away win back in September, though the Spireites did gain some revenge with a 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory at One Call Stadium a week later.
Chesterfield are currently top of the table with the meanest defence in the league and have had midfield ace Gary Roberts just named as League Two player of the year.
Cox added: “It is a football match we want to win. We know all about the local rivalry and how supporters are really passionate about it as are the players and all the staff.
“It is always fine lines in derby games and I am sure it will be the usual tight knit affair.
“It will be about the team who plays well, handles the atmosphere best and takes their chances.
“We have been creating a lot of chances while Chesterfield have quality in their squad and will create chances.
“We defended for large parts of the game at their place and we were perhaps fortunate to get away with a 1-0 win. But at home the tide turned and I thought we were unfortunate to lose 1-0.
“Both clubs need the points for different reasons and it has all the makings of a very good game.
“I know they have a Wembley final (the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy)to look forward to the week after. But they are looking to win a championship. That is their main goal. So I can’t see any reason they would take their foot off the pedal or rotate the squad.
“Our goal this year is to consolidate our place in this league and then plan again for next year and see how we can move on from there.”
Stags will also welcome back top scorer Sam Clucas after he missed the Northampton game with illness.
The Sandy Pate Sports Bar at One Call Stadium will open from 11am for home fans only on Saturday.
Only supporters with a valid match ticket can enter the bar.
Sausage and bacon cobs will be available instead of foods on the normal menu. The bar will re-open to the general public at 3.30pm, when the normal menu will also be re-available to order from.
It should also be noted that the gate inbetween the North Stand and Ian Greaves Stand will be closed throughout the day, following a request by the police. Stags fans should enter the stadium via Quarry Lane.
The club has reminded supporters that the match kicks off at the earlier-than-usual time of 1pm and, based on police advice, no tickets will be sold on matchday under any circumstances.
Tickets, which can be bought from the One Call Stadium ticket office are priced £18 adults, £13 senior citizens/students, £8 aged seven to 16 and free aged six and under.
Concessions are for students in full-time education with a valid NUS card or persons aged 60 or above.