James Beattie expects the last meeting between the sides to be in the minds of all the players when Mansfield Town visit the Store First Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Back in December the Reds won 3-2 at the One Call Stadium having trailed 2-1 in second half stoppage time – with Kal Naismith and James Gray scoring last gasp goals to turn the game around.
The Stanley boss feels it’s one of the most memorable games of the season so far.
“There are all sorts of moments from this season that we can look back on, both negative and positive but that was a massive positive,” he explained. “It was a huge plus and one of those once a season moments or maybe even once in a lifetime moments. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that when I was playing.
“The best thing about it was Shay McCartan’s touch; when Kal knocked it down the line on his right foot and it hit Shay on the back – a great touch – and in the ensuing melee James Gray finished it off and sparked scenes of pure elation with Paul Lodge running the length of the pitch to jump on the pile of players in the corner.
“We can reminisce and look back on things like that but this job needs finishing. We need to get over the line, there are four games to go and nobody is thinking we are safe let alone me.”
The Stags head north on a good run of form and still with an outside chance of booking a place for themselves in the play-offs.
Beattie expects their players that were involved in the previous meeting to be out to settle a score.
“I think it will be in their minds,” he said. “It’ll be both positive for them, thinking that they owe us one, but I also think it could have a slight negative impact on them too. It’ll depend on the mental strength of the individual player really. We’ll see how they react.
“We’ll just take the positive and try to remember how good that feeling was and how good our form has been since then. We’ll try to use that momentum and hopefully we can get the right result.”Beattie’s men were back to scoring late on at York last weekend, with Shay McCartan’s equalising goal coming in the 91st minute at Bootham Crescent.
“I think a number of things account for that,” concluded the manager. “The fitness levels of the boys are very good and I think that the spirit is never say die and never knowing when we’re beaten. The lads play for 96 or 98 minutes and never stop going. As their manager I can’t give them enough credit for the efforts they’ve put in so far this season. We just need to finish it off now.”
The Reds sit four points clear of second bottom Northampton Town and three points behind Newport who sit 13th in the table but Beattie isn’t thinking too much about the permutations.
“We can potentially get 62 points so that’s what we’ll be going for,” he said. “The league is much of a muchness, anyone can beat anyone on the day and it’s very much about the mental approach and what sort of frame of mind the players are in.
“The lads are really enjoying their football at the moment, they’ve been on the crest of a wave and in good form generally and I haven’t really needed to say much to them. They know their jobs by now and we work a lot on each game and each opponent every week.”