Underdogs Stevenage go into promotion showdown at Mansfield Town in fine form

STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Cuthbert of Stevenage in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Stevenage and Northampton Town at The Lamex Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Stevenage, United Kingdom. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Cuthbert of Stevenage in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Stevenage and Northampton Town at The Lamex Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Stevenage, United Kingdom. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

In-form Stevenage go into Saturday’s huge game at promotion-chasing Mansfield Town needing all three points to keep their own play-off dream alive.

As one of the smallest clubs in the division, Stevenage fans are delighted to see their side still in the mix with just two games to go and only two points outside the top seven, but they are in 10th and need other results to go their way as well as beating a Stags side on course for automatic promotion.

A run of three wins was followed by a 1-1 home draw with Exeter on Monday and boss Dino Maaria said: “We still have to go win the next two games regardless of Monday’s result.

“They are going to be difficult. Mansfield this weekend is going to be difficult, so is Cheltenham last game of the season. We will take it game by game.

“What I have got to do is keep the players fresh for the next two or three days and look after them mentally and physically.

“It is quite demanding, mentally, to keep giving that and producing.

“We are in a good place, with four games unbeaten, three wins and a draw. It could have been better if we got the penalty on Monday, but it did not happen, and we will take the draw.”

Skipper Scott Cuthbert added: “We got beat by Notts County at home, quite convincingly 3-0 and everyone was disappointed. “There were a lot of home truths spoken that week. We got back to basics to try and find form and kick on and finish the season strongly. We have done that.

“We went up to Grimsby and won 2-0, beat Carlisle here at home 3-0, got a great result on Friday against Port Vale, so there are a lot of positives.

“Ideally, we would have liked a win against Exeter, but it is a good draw.

“It keeps us in the mix, and if we can go to Mansfield and get a good result then it is all to play for in the last game.”

Stevenage got off to a flying start and were fourth after 10 games.

They have stayed in-and-around the top 10 all season, often due to a WLWLWL pattern for much of the season.

But a lot of late goals have gone in at both ends, more recently to hurt them and if they could have held on at MK Dons, Macclesfield or at home to Bury, they would be even closer.

Danny Newton and Jamal Campbell Ryce remain on the injured list for Stevenage.