Match Preview: Mansfield Town vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 15 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889


 The Blades are expected to take a majority first team to Field Mill tomorrow in a game which sees them come up against former Blades defender David Holdsworth who is the Stags manager.

For the fans it gives them the opportunity to cast their opinions on new signings Daniel Bogdanovic, Johannes Ertl and Leon Britton.

However United will be without midfielder Lee Williamson (back) who is recovering from an operation which almost cost him his life.

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell could also turn to three unknown players currently on trial; all is known that they descend from French, Belgian and Spanish dependency; the latter has reportedly featured 70 times for Athletico Madrid.

Former Stag Richard Cresswell is likely to feature in this pre-season friendly on his former stomping ground. He joined on loan from York City in March 1997, playing five times and scoring once before returning to Bootham Cresent.

Meanwhile Lee Williamson started his professional career with Town; making his debut as a substitute against Shrewsbury Town (4-0) in September 1999, replacing Michael Boulding. He went onto make 127 (+38) appearances and scored three goals before joining Northampton Town in September 2004.

Last season Mansfield Town competed in the Blue Square Premier League, finishing ninth in the table with Stevenage Borough and Oxford United both winning promotion to the Football League; they recorded a big win at Histon (5-0) and their top scorer Jake Speight netted 17 goals - including an hat-trick at home to Kidderminster Harriers on the final day of the season.

Signed from Droysden in June 2009 Speight initially started his career with the Blades as an academy player but never quite made the grade and failed to make a professional appearance; he joined the now defunct Scarborough in August 2005.

Another ex-Blade on the books is Kyle Nix who was signed from Aston Villa in August 2005 by then manager Neil Warnock - he too failed to progress as expected through the youth/reserve program but did feature as a substitute in two League Cup fixtures; these his only appearances for United.

Stags boss David Holdsworth has bolstered his squad by re-signing former defender Steve Foster, 35 (Blyth Spartans), left full-back Kevin Sandwith, 32 (Oxford United) and centre-half Chris Smith, 28 (Tamworth) on free transfers - the trio could feature this weekend at Field Mill.

Paul Heckingbottom has left the club to team up with Ian Bogie (ex-Port Vale) at Gateshead following release from the Stags. The defender can list Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Norwich City and Sunderland amongst his former football league clubs.