Amazingly, we have only played Mansfield three times in our entire history and only once at their place.
The first occasion was a second round League Cup tie in September 1972 when a crowd of 5,190 at The Valley saw Charlton nearly throw away a four goal lead given to them in 55 minutes by Horsfield, Hunt, Flanagan and O'Kane. When Mansfield notched their third goal there were still three minutes to go but we managed to hold on and qualify for the third round, where we played Sheffield United three times before eventually succumbing to a 119th minute Billy Dearden goal which, according to Colin Cameron "looked several yards offside". We were this deprived of a tie against Arsenal in round 4.
Five years later Mansfield had gained promotion to Division Two and came in November 1977 to play their first and only league game at The Valley. An early Flanagan goal put the hosts ahead but he missed a penalty in the 57th minute and Mansfield went 2-1 up six minutes later. It took a Keith Peacock goal to level the scores.
By the time the team went up to Field Mill the following April the Stags were staring relegation in the face and Charlton coasted to a 0-3 win with goals from Gritt, Shipperley and Robinson. Manager Andy Nelson was so confident that Charlton were in no danger of relegation themselves that, after the match, he allowed Mike Flanagan and Colin Powell to join Lawrie Abrahams at The New England Tea Men for the rest of the season. One win in the next six games meant that we had to get a point at Orient in our final match. It ended 0-0.
This Sunday's cup tie will be a tough encounter as Mansfield are proving to be a very hard team to beat. When they won against Grimsby on Tuesday evening and got themselves into the League 2 play-off spots they were playing their seventeenth league game of the season, only one of which they have lost (1-2 at home to Exeter). In all competitions they have played 21 games and the only other team to beat them was WBA in the EFL cup at The Hawthorns. Their attack is led by Tyler "son of Des" Walker who is on loan from Nottingham Forest and has scored eleven this season already.
Lee Bowyer's team selection will be heavily influenced by injuries and the need to protect players. Igor Vetokele and Josh Cullen both left the pitch at Walsall with dislocated shoulders and Lyle Taylor serves a suspension after collecting his 5th yellow card of the season. A draw and a replay at The Valley on November 20th would not seem to be a bad outcome.