Slough ties the perfect preparation for Trophy test for Mansfield Town

STAGS manager Paul Cox believes the two recent games against minnows Slough Town in the FA Cup have provided the perfect preparation for Mansfield Town’s Saturday’s FA Trophy first round banana skin against NPL neighbours Matlock Town at the One Call Stadium (3pm).

Stags needed penalties to go through after 220 minutes of football failed to separate the two sides.

Now Matlock will arrive hoping to repeat the upset they caused in the FA Cup in December 1976 when, after Stags had twice had to come from behind, the Gladiators grabbed three goals in the last hour to pull off a shock 5-2 win at Field Mill.

“The Slough games have been a good experience for us and we have to take that into this game,” said Cox.

“Non-League football has come on leaps and bounds in the last five or six years. Look at their (Matlock) manager (Mark Atkins). He won the Premier League 20 years ago (with Blackburn Rovers).

“If we start to believe the hype and take our foot off the gas pedal on Saturday, football has a habit of kicking you up the backside.

“We have to be ruthless. These are tough games and real banana skins.

“Some players have tired legs and minds right now after two games in three days. But I want to see them come thick and fast now as the boys just want to play and look like they are enjoying their football.”

Anthony Howell could be back in the squad after missing out in midweek with a knee injury.

Centre half Exodus Geohaghon is also available again after suspension.

Admission is just £10 adults, £6 concessions and £4 U11s.