LOMAS ON STAGS: Record-breaking home form can see Mansfield Town over the line

Home sweet home could be the key to Mansfield Town’s promotion aspirations this season after a torturous spell of road trips.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 4:20 pm

Stags are still in the hunt for automatic promotion and, after Saturday’s game at bottom club Scunthorpe United, face the luxury of four of their last six games back at the One Call Stadium.

Last weekend a deserved 1-0 win over promotion rivals Northampton Town set a new club record of 11 successive home league wins.

Only Barrow, Harrogate Town and Bradford City have come away with all three points from The One Call this season.

Mansfield Town's record-breakers celebrate Oli Hawkins' goal that made it 11 home wins in a row on Saturday. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

The football has been fantastic to watch, Nigel Clough has built up the home crowds to over 6,000 and the amazing encouragament they give the team has been commented on by every player.

Those fans have had their commitment tested to the full by a tiring and expensive run of nine away games out of 11 which will become 10 out of 12 at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

It would be interesting to know if this is an EFL record as it’s not a run I can ever remember seeing before.

With eight defeats and two draws in their last 10 games, Scunthorpe can be seen off if Stags stay professional and do not allow the desperate Iron any encouragament.

That will then see a fascinating finale with only Carlisle United and Salford City left to visit and winnable-looking home games with Crawley Town and Stevenage and a tougher challenge from Sutton United before that final potential blockbuster with leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Clough said this week that he felt Rovers and second-placed Exeter City were almost home and dry and the rest were fighting it out for the third and final automatic place.

But it is so tight that even Sutton United, right down in 11th place could still grab third spot, being only five points adrift.

The club and the Stags fans have rightly stuck behind Clough through thick and thin all season and, with those home games ahead, even finishing up in the play-offs might now feel a little disappointing with the momentum created and the opportunity dangling ahead right now – which is crazy when you remember they were second bottom at one stage.