FRIDAY'S FORMER STAGS: Stags & Pompey star Liam Lawrence
One player who will be keeping a particular eye on the result of Portsmouth versus Mansfield Town tomorrow will be Stags legend Liam Lawrence, one of few players to play for both clubs.
Although he wasn’t in the side, Lawrence’s latest club, Bristol Rovers, were down at Fratton Park on Tuesday night and were beaten by a single late goal in the Checkatrade Trophy to end a poor run of home form for Pompey.
Click HERE to see Lawrence score the late winner at Chesterfield back in 2003
Rumours abounded last season that Lawrence may come home to Stags at the tail end of a great career, possibly in a coaching role, but it proved to be just terrace talk in the end.
He has only started one game this season, having spent much of it injured.
But, even at 34, he remains a highly dangerous player when fully fit, tending to play a deeper midfield role these days than the roving, rampaging Lawrence Stags fans can remember.
The Retford-born youngster came through Stags’ youth set-up in 2009 and starred for the club until his £175,000 move to Sunderland in 2004, helping the Black Cats into the Premier League.
He then helped Stoke into the Premier League as well and enjoyed more games in the top flight.
Spells at Portsmouth, Cardiff City, Greek club PAOK, Barnsley and Shrewsbury followed before he found himself under the management of fellow ex-Stag Darrell Clarke at Rovers.
A bright, exuberant character on and off the pitch, Lawrence was also capped 15 times by the Republic of Ireland.
At Mansfield, Lawrence played 136 times, scoring 35 goals and remains one of the most talented players to ever wear the Amber & Blue.
His winning goal in the derby away to Chesterfield deep into injury time on 18th January 2003 will remain one of fans’ greatest memories of him.
Sadly his last action for the club was to miss a penalty in the ill-fated shoot-out of the play-off final against Huddersfield Town at the Millennium Stadium.