Dennis out to score in front of the Stags fans and '˜shut them up'
Kristian Dennis is out to silence the Mansfield Town fans with a derby day goal on Saturday, with the memories of his first trip to Field Mill still fresh in his mind.
Going into that game Dennis had scored in each of his previous six League Two outings, but the Chesterfield striker didn’t manage to hit the net in the 2-2 draw with the Stags, instead having to settle for putting Andy Kellett’s headed goal on a plate.
The lead up to that November clash was an education for the 28-year-old, who was unaware of how fierce the rivalry between the clubs was and how the miners’ strike has played a part in it.
“Now I do (understand the rivalry), I’ve heard about why. We learned about that the week before the previous game.
“They went to work when people around here didn’t.
“I had no clue whatsoever and wondered why there was so much hatred and the manager told us.”
But even with the benefit of a heads up from boss Jack Lester, Dennis was still startled by the strength of feeling in the stands when he walked out at Field Mill.
And with that in mind, he’d love to score in front of the visiting supporters this weekend.
“I didn’t realise how much hatred there was between the fans until we got there and they were giving us all sorts going on the pitch, coming off the pitch,” he said.
“Scoring one in front of them wouldn’t be bad – shut them up.”
Scoring in a Town victory over the Stags could be vital in helping Dennis avoid a return to non-league football, from where he was signed by the club.
“No chance I want to go back there,” he said.
“I’ve got to keep scoring and hopefully help us pick results up towards the end of the season and we’ll stay up.”