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SATURDAY PREVIEW | Shaw Lane v Mansfield Town

3rd November 2017

Mansfield Town will be looking to avoid becoming the latest victim in a long line of Emirates FA Cup shocks when they travel to non-league Shaw Lane on Saturday.

The Stags go to Barnsley to face their Evo-Stik Premier Division hosts in their First Round tie, a team that is three divisions below them but who are second in the table after an excellent start to the season.

Boss Steve Evans has warned his players that if they take their foot off the pedal "one notch" then they will be punished.

He told Mansfield 103.2 at Thursday's press conference that Shaw Lane are "a Conference club all day long when you look at the quality of their players so this is only one level difference I'm looking at, not two or three.

"They'll win their league by seven to ten points - of course, the gaffer up there won't want to hear that, but they will.

"The quality of the players comes through so it's a real tough test and a tough examination of the mental capabilities within our dressing room."

Midfielder Jacob Mellis admits it is a new experience for him, adding: "I'm excited for it. I have never had a tie like this as normally I just get teams in the same league.

"We've got to respect them, they'll respect us and it'll be a good cup tie, I think."

The match kicks off at 12.30pm due to TV coverage and Evans only has centre-back David Mirfin unavailable for selection for Saturday's clash.

The defender is fit following injury but he will be given an extra week to fully recover whilst captain Zander Diamond could make his second start after returning from the sidelines in midweek, scoring the winner in Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy win over Everton U21s.

Shaw Lane, meanwhile, are getting ready for the biggest day in their five-year history with 560 Stags fans expected at Sheerien Park, the ground that is currently their home.

The Ducks have been promoted four times in their short life, three of those as champions, as they surge up the FA's National League System, and chairman/owner Craig Wood has said that they will "cherish", "embrace" and "enjoy" the opportunity to face Football League opposition.

If the match ends a draw, a replay will take place at Mansfield Town's One Call Stadium on Tuesday 7th November, 7:45pm.

Possible Stags XI: Logan; Bennett Pearce Diamond Hunt; Potter Mellis Byrom MacDonald; Rose Hemmings. Subs: Olejnik, Benning, Hamilton, Digby, Angol, Anderson, Sterling-James.


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