This week I found out that Mansfield Town have the toughest run-in out of any of the top nine sides in League2.
That starts tomorrow really with a trip to Swindon in 7th.
It will see two gaffers who were up for January’s Manager of the Month in League 2 in Steve Evans and David Flitcroft.
Both missed out however as the award went to Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth.
Jacob Mellis could miss out once again for The Stags and boss Steve Evans said "It may just come a day or two early for Zander (Diamond), whose focus has been, quite rightfully, on Nadine and his new family. He's had well wishes from everyone - I think he's only waiting on the Pope!"
The Robins were beaten in mid-week by Accrington Stanley who with that victory jumped above Mansfield in the League 2 table.
It’s all getting rather tight at the top (below Luton) with six points separating Wycombe in 2nd and Checkatrade finalists Lincoln in 9th. That tough run-in could be vital for The Stags to open up a gap by beating all the other teams around them.
Jumping up a couple of divisions and Nottingham Forest could do with a win against struggling Hull.
The Reds have only won two of their last 10 in the league, a run which has seen them fall into the bottom half, still some nine points above the drop-zone though.
Will Aitor Karanka’s new crop of players be able to turn Forest’s form around starting with a win on the banks of the Trent.
The race to the Premier League continues at the top though with Derby County hosting mid-table Norwich looking to keep up the frantic pace. Aston Villa (3rd) have won their last six and Wolves (1st) are miles better than anyone else.
The Rams have quietly gone about their business this season with a solid defence rather than swashbuckling attack being the reason they’re up in second. They have conceded two goals in 11 in the league and there have been calls to get keeper Scott Carson on the plane (sitting next to Harry Kane) for the World Cup in Russia later this year.
Back into League 2 then and Notts County won for the first time in four in the league last time out but then came back down to earth with an almighty bang mid-week with an 8-1 defeat in their FA Cup replay with Swansea. Tomorrow they go to bottom side Barnet.
5.1 miles is all that separates Clipstone and Rainworth Miners Welfare and The Wrens travel to The Cobras tomorrow.
If we’re going by nickname’s I would fancy a poisonous snake to beat a small bird but Rainworth are having a good season under Craig Denton, they’re seventh in NCEL Premier Division with 51 goals scored and 51 conceded. It’s not been such a good story for Clippo this season though as they’re bottom of the pile with one point and 24 scored and 98 conceded.
Clipstone are celebrating their 90th year this year and have announced a new logo for next season.
It's certainly better than the one Leeds United came up with a couple of weeks ago!
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, at the risk of putting the mockers on, AFC Mansfield who have an 18 point lead at the top will be beating Penistone Church tomorrow in NCEL Premier Division.
The Bulls have won 12 win a row so I chose a bad week to boldly claim their win, which will of course be number 13!
Into Division One, the league’s top scorer Keiran Watson will be confident he can help his Shirebrook side to another win this weekend. They take on Nostell Miners Welfare who are hovering above the drop in 18th.
Watson has 27 goals in the league this season and it’s helped propel Shirebrook up to 5th place.
Staying on goals and Gavin King is among the top scorers too with 13 for Ollerton Town in their second season in the NCEL. They play at home tomorrow against top of the pile Knaresborough.
Meanwhile FC Bolsover who without their six point deduction would be three places higher in the table go to a strong Winterton Rangers side.
Time for a weekly look at the top of the East Midlands Counties Premier. Selston won in the week moving them to 53 points, still four off Teversal at the top though.
Selston travel to second bottom of the table Arnold Town and Tevie also play away, but they’re at Borrowash Vics.
Dave Cockerill continues to bang them in at Carnarvon Street with 25 this term whilst Selston’s top marksman is Carl Moore with 15.
All of the game are of course weather permitting and I may have wasted my time writing about some with how terribly cold it has been this week.
Another weekend that could shape the future of the Earth.
Despite Elon Musk sending a massive rocket into space this week, a Clipstone win against local rivals will surely draw as much media attention.
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