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Archived News from August 2012

STAGS IN DEFENSIVE HORROR SHOW
15th August 2012 18:47


Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 3 - 4 Newport County
Speight 46, 89, Green 51. Yakubu 10, James 12, O'Connor 56, Louis 65.
Attendance: 2924 (357 from Newport)

Date: 11 August 2012

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town opened the new season with a stunningly awful defensive display to gift Newport County a 4-3 victory at the One Call Stadium. Newport scored two early goals, one a free header from a free kick and then a well taken volley from a corner that was not cleared. The Stags equalised with two goals early in the second half as substitute Jake Speight tapped in from close range and then Matt Green scored with a delightful chip over the keeper. But Newport restored their lead with a free header from another free kick, the header being from Aaron O'Connor who did not score a single goal from a similar situation in his time at the Stags. Then another former Stag Jefferson Louis was given space to turn and tap home from close range after another defensive shambles. The Stags were unable to come back from two goals again, though Speight scored his second on 89 minutes, heading home from close range, and Luke Jones missed a glorious opportunity to equalise with a free header in injury time. Conceding four shocking goals at home has the alarm bells ringing loudly and the Stags will need to improve dramatically at the back with visits to Gateshead and Kidderminster in the next week. Going forward, the Stags were ok, but there was an over-reliance on long throws from Owens and Beevers which did not contain the danger of Geohaghon's from last season due to the looping trajectory and lack of power. When the Stags played the ball on the deck they looked dangerous, but for too much of the game the midfield were bypassed.

Stagsnet report in the Match Centre

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Stags 3-4 Newport
Andrew Webb reports from One Call Stadium for mansfieldtown.net

Mansfield Town slipped to a disappointing defeat against Newport County on the opening day of the Blue Square Bet Premier season.

http://mobile.mansfieldtown.net/runtime/mansfieldtown/article?articleId=2878452

The Stags found themselves two goals behind after only a quarter-of-an-hour of the game, but hit back through strikes from Jake Speight and Matt Green at the start of the second-half.

Former players Aaron O'Connor and Jefferson Louis helped to restore County's two-goal advantage, before Speight grabbed his second goal in the final minute of normal time.

Ross Dyer also had to be carried off on a stretcher with what looked like a suspected knee-injury as Paul Cox's side endured a thoroughly miserable start to the new campaign.

Despite this, Mansfield began brightly on a glorious day in Nottinghamshire and had the visitors from South Wales penned in their own half for much of the opening ten minutes.

Jamie Tolley failed to test Lenny Pidgley with a shot from the edge of the area on four minutes, before Lindon Meikle cut inside from the left flank and hammered a shot wide of the woodwork a minute later.

However, it was Newport who opened the scoring with their first chance of the game.

Danny Crow picked out Ismail Yakubu with a vicious right-wing free-kick into the area and the former AFC Wimbledon centre-half rose above everyone else to flick the ball beyond a helpless Alan Marriott and put the visitors ahead.

Justin Edinburgh's team then doubled their advantage less two minutes later.

The Stags failed to convincingly deal with a corner from the right flank and a half-clearance by Anthony Howell reached Tony James on the edge of the box, who lashed home to send the travelling fans into celebration for a second time.

With the One Call Stadium crowd in a stunned state of silence, Newport came within inches of adding a third goal on 16 minutes.

O'Connor outpaced Lee Beevers and whipped a delightful low ball through the six-yard box from the left, but the industrious Crow was unable to make a connection and the danger was eventually cleared away by skipper George Pilkington.

Forced to push forward, the Stags then created two chances in as many minutes midway through the half.

Howell connected with a long throw by Andy Owens, but saw his header crash against the woodwork, moments prior to Green firing wide from distance after a fine run from the middle.

The Stags suffered a worrying setback on 26 minutes when Dyer collapsed in a heap in the far corner of the field clutching his knee. Evidently in pain, the former Forest Green Rovers man received lengthy treatment and was eventually carried off on a stretcher.

Mansfield enjoyed plenty of possession as the half grew old, but failed to create any meaningful openings until the final five minutes of the half.

Green and Gary Roberts exchanged a series of neat passes, which led to Speight being released through on goal. The Stags striker took a touch to control the ball, before being felled by David Pipe on the cusp of the area.

However, his desperate appeals for a penalty were waved away by referee Chris Kavanagh who booked him for an apparent dive, much to the fury of the majority of supporters in the One Call Stadium crowd.

Pipe denied Speight once more on 42 minutes with a perfectly timed challenge, moments before the striker hit a first-time shot straight at Pidgley from distance, despite finding himself unmarked and in plenty of space to do more.

Nevertheless, the Stags came out in resurgent fashion after the re-start and hit back almost instantaneously.

Tolley collected possession on the edge of the area following some good work from Meikle and spun away from his marker to get a shot away on goal.

His effort was only parried by Pidgley, but Speight was on hand to fire home the rebound and register his first goal of the campaign.

The Stags continued to attack and Meikle went down under a strong challenge in the box a minute later, but once again the referee from Greater Manchester waved away protests for a spot-kick.

However, the rejuvenated Stags soon grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Beevers played an intricate ball out of defence, which reached Green on the box. The former Oxford United striker then flicked the ball over an advancing Pidgeley to level the encounter.

Nevertheless, Newport were not to be deterred by the Stags quick-fire comeback, as they soon regained their advantage with a cleverly worked goal.

Jake Thomson delivered a free-kick into the area and O'Connor rose highest and flicked a fine header into the corner of the goal with Marriott rooted to his line.

Nick Wright replaced Tolley shortly after the hour mark, before Newport extended their advantage through former Mansfield player Louis on 66 minutes.

The well-travelled striker capitalised on some poor defending inside a crowded penalty area and fired past Marriott from close range to leave the One Call Stadium completely stunned for a second time.

Roberts did his best to try and reduce arrears but blazed his shot well over the woodwork, before Wright came much closer on 74 minutes when he powered his way through and saw a powerful attempt blocked by the body of Pidgley.

Newport enjoyed the majority of possession in the closing stages and seemed to be edging towards a comfortable victory, but in the final minute of normal time hope was temporarily restored when Speight headed home a Green cross into the net at the back post to set up a grandstand finale.

The Stags pressed forward in four frantic minutes of additional time and enjoyed a series of corners, the last of which saw Luke Jones head wide from only a few yards out as the visitors nervously held on to record a narrow opening day victory.

Attendance: 2,924 (357 away supporters).

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Saturday, 11th August 2012 - Mansfield Town 3 Newport County 4
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas

THERE was to be no fairytale start to Mansfield Town's latest bid for promotion as they conceded four goals to flop 4-3 at home in the opening fixture against Newport County this afternoon.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-fc/saturday-11th-august-2012-mansfield-town-3-newport-county-4-1-4826122

With Stags one of the two favourites for promotion, few fans on either side could have predicted how this thrilling game unfolded with Newport twice taking two-goal advantages and, the second time, holding on.

Mansfield did create the wealth of chances everyone expected, taking three of them, missing three other great openings, and had two penalty calls ignored, from one of which they appeared to have a great case.

Jake Speight also marked his return to a Mansfield shirt with two goals' from the substitutes' bench after Ross Dyer had been stretchered off on 31 minutes.

But all that good work was undone by some appalling defending from set pieces and, if you let in four goals at home, you won't win many games.

To rub it it, two of the Exiles' goals came from ex-Stags Aaron O'Connor and Jefferson Louis.

Stags had four new players making debuts for the club and Jones back in a Stags shirt for his second spell.

Although they went 4-3-3, there was no place in the side or even on the bench for Lee Stevenson while John Thompson and Nick Wright were two other players who have impressed in pre-season but didn't make the cut.

Paul Cox bravely went without a reserve keeper on a very attacking bench that included new signing Colin Daniel.

New centre half George Pilkington was, as expected, made the new Stags skipper.

The game began amid a superb atmosphere in the sunshine and Stags were first to threaten as Tolley fired wide from 20 yards when Newport struggled to clear a free kick.

A minute later Meikle dragged the ball wide of the near post from the same distance after teasing Pipe and then bringing the ball inside onto his right foot.

Howell won a home corner which Pidgeley managed to claw away. Roberts immediately won another and this time Jones nodded wide as the home side made the early running.

Almost as good as a corner was a throw on the right which gave Owens the first chance to hurl in one of his long throw which was cleared back to him and saw the full back slice a shot so far wide it went for a throw.

However, it was the Exiles who drew first blood with their first goal attempt on 10 minutes.

Yakubu produced a fantastic leap to meet a right wing free kick from Sandell and power a header across Marriott and inside the far post.

Spurred on, Newport then won two successive corners. And, from the second, which as overhit, it reached Porter who sent it back in and the ball bounced invitingly for James who crashed home an unstoppable right-footed half-volley from the edge of the box.

It was almost 3-0 on 17 minutes as Jones' wayward header went straight to O'Connor, who found Porter was just unable to reach the low return in front of goal.

Pidgeley did well to get a fist on another Owens throw as Mansfield began the long road back.

Two more Owens throws were cleared, then Beevers showed what he could do with a long throw and this time Evans met it with a glancing header that sailed back onto the roof of his own crossbar.

Green reminded home fans of what he can do as he had two defenders backing off from his run and fired a low shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.

Dyer's afternoon came to a premature halt on 27 minutes when his leg seemed to twist as he went down awkwardly in a challenge near the corner flag and he immediately looked to be in agony.

Dyer was eventually stretched off and Speight joined the action on 31 minutes to make his 'second debut' for his former club.

With Owens screaming for a penalty for climbing on him by a defender on 34 minutes, Howell lifted the loose ball well over the bar from just outside the box.

A Howell flick from a long Marriott kick was just too hard for Green to reach before Pidgeley gathered as Stags continued to struggle to get into any sort of groove.

Roberts launched a long ball forward for Green. He laid an inviting pass square for Speight to attack but, when Pipe got there fractionally first, Speight went down heavily and called for a penalty, instead getting a yellow card for what the referee believed to be a dive.

It did seem Pipe had clipped Speight, though, probably out the area. But nothing was going Mansfield's way.

Pipe then stuck to his task superbly to halt Speight's run onto another Howell flick.

Speight was guilty of a dreadful miss two minutes into stoppage time.

Pilkington and Howell had both headed the ball to send him clear on goal. But with only Pidgeley to beat, time, and a wealth of options how to do that, he sent a hurried lobbed attempt tamely into the keeper's arms.

The half ended with boos for the referee and angry words directed at him from manager Paul Cox.

But, whatever the views on the referee, the simple truth was that Stags had twice lapsed at the back and rarely got it together going forward in a bitterly disappointing first 45 minutes.

However, Mansfield were back with a bang on the restart as Speight pulled one back in the first minute of the half.

Tolley's low shot was saved well by the outstretched arm of Pidgeley, low to his left. Speight appeared to be in an offside position but was allowed to tuck the loose ball away and the goal stood with County players remonstrating with the assistant on that side.

A minute later and it was Newport who got the decision as Evans seemed to sell himself into a tackle that felled Meikle near the by-line, but no penalty was awarded.

However, it was 2-2 on 50 minutes. Beevers lifted the ball into space on the right and, with Pidgeley well out of position, Green lobbed him to perfection.

The home fans were in full voice now, the atmosphere completely changed. But the jubilation wasn't to last long.

Beevers' late tackle on Crow, as Newport tried to break on 55 minutes, earned him a booking.

And, from that free kick on the left, County roared back in front. Thomson provided the ammunition with a well-floated free kick that saw O'Connor bury his header from seven yards.

Once again Mansfield had all the hard work to do.

And they found themselves back to square one, two goals in arrears, when another ex-Stag, Louis, struck on 65 minutes.

Mansfield didn't deal with a low ball in from O'Connor from the left and, when Louis failed to put the loose ball away the first time, as the home defence dithered, he crashed home a low shot from 10 yards.

Immediately Cox sent on Wright for Tolley to try to force the issue.

On 72 minutes, with team mates making good runs around him, the space opened up for Roberts to crack a decent 20-yard shot on target that Pidgeley parried.

Wright then saw a shot blocked and Roberts whistled another effort just wide of the far post as County clung on to their two-goal advantage.

On 75 minutes Meikle curled a great pass behind the defenders that put Wright in on goal only to see him poke it straight at Pidgeley.

When Newport saw a corner half-cleared, Thomson wasn't too far wide with a blistering 25-yard effort.

With time almost up, Stags finally bagged a third to set up a heart-stopping finish.

Meikle did superbly well to hold off a defender and send Green to the right by-line. He picked out Speight on the far post with a great cross and Speight did the rest with a powerful header.

With four minutes added on, the volume rose around the stadium.

Three corners followed amid unbelievable tension. And from the third, Roberts picked out Jones for a free header that he somehow guided wide as a thrilling afternoon finally ran away from the Stags.

STAGS: Marriott; Beevers, Pilkington, Jones, Owens; Roberts, Tolley (Wright 66), Howell; Dyer (Speight 31), Green, Meikle. Subs not used: Thompson, Clements, Daniel.

NEWPORT: Pidgeley; Pipe, James, Yakubu, Sandell; Porter, Thomson, Evans (Hughes 85); O'Connor (Charles 70), Crow (Minshull 68), Louis. Subs not used: Harris, Perry.

REFEREE: Chris Kavanagh of Ashton-under-Lyne.

ATTENDANCE: 2,924 (357 away).

CAUTIONS: Stags – Speight 45 (+2), Beevers 55.

CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Jake Speight.

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Newport condemn Stags to opening day defeat
Nottingham Post Saturday evening report by Paul Taylor (nottmtails)

MANSFIELD Town kicked off their season in frustrating fashion with a dramatic, but painful defeat at the hands of Newport County that was tinged with controversy and misfortune.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-16693140-detail/story.html

Stags were guilty of some lax defending – and missed chances - as the Welsh side notched up a 4-3 success. But they were also denied two strong penalty claims and saw Ross Dyer carried off with what looked to be a serious knee injury.

Two goals in the first five minutes of the second half, from Jake Speight and Matt Green, had helped the home side draw level at 2-2, after Newport had taken the lead through Ishmail Yakubu and Tony James.

But then Aaron O'Connor was left free to head Newport ahead for a second time, before Jefferson Loius – the former Stags striker – added a fourth for the visitors.

Speight headed his second of the game late on to make it 4-3, but Stags were not able to claw their way back for a second time.

The first real effort of the game after the direct running of Green had lured a foul from Yakubu. Jamie Tolley's delivery into the box was eventually cleared, but the ball was worked back to the midfielder, who struck a shot with the outside of his boot that curled away from goal and wide.

After good work from Lindon Meikle, Anthony Howell looked to have ghosted into the box, but Yakubu was on hand to make a vital challenge. Still, Stags were building pressure on the Newport goal, with Luke Jones then sending a towering header narrowly wide from a corner.

But it was the visitors who were to take the lead, against the run of play. Andy Sordell bent in a driven cross from the right, from a free kick, and Yakubu rose the highest, eight yards out, to drive home a header.

Two minutes later Newport's advantage was extended to 2-0, in spectacular fashion, by another defender.

This time it was James who demonstrated a striker's instincts to lash home a powerful, perfectly struck volley from 20 yards, which zipped past Alan Marriott and into the corner of the net.

Despite having produced a lively, encouraging start, Stags suddenly found themselves with a mountain to climb, after the Welsh side had produced two moments of real quality.

And Newport could have made it 3-0 after Max Porter and Aaron O'Connor combined to good effect down the left flank, with forward O'Connor failing to make contact by a matter of inches, a yard out, after Porter had lashed the ball across goal.

James came within inches of scoring an own goal at the other end, as he flicked a header onto the bar from a huge Andrew Owens throw in. While Howell lashed a low shot just the wrong side of the upright, as Stags' confidence slowly returned.

Things went from bad to worse for Stags when Ross Dyer picked up what looked to be a serious injury, following a challenge with Andy Sandell. Dyer seemed to land awkwardly after colliding with the Newport player and had to be carried off the pitch after receiving extensive treatment on the pitch, with his leg in a splint. Dyer was replaced by substitute Jake Speight.

Howell had a half-chance on the edge of the box, which he fired over the bar after the ball bounced invitingly in front of him.

There was a moment of controversy in the 41st minute when Speight powered through the centre and looked to have been brought down when James slid in with a challenge, without making contact with the ball – but referee Chris Kavanagh booked the Stags player for diving.

Speight had a golden chance to pull one back in injury time, as he latched on to a flick on to race clear. But he seemed to panic and shoot a little early, flicking a harmless shot straight into the arms of the keeper with the outside of his right boot.

The substitute was not so wasteful after the break, however, as Stags made a flying start to the second half, pulling a goal back within a minute of the restart. Pidgley could not hold on to a crisp strike from Tolley and Speight was able to pounce on the loose ball and bundle it into the back of the net.

Referee Kavanagh took centre stage again as Sandell stretched out a leg to trip the advancing Meikle in the box. It looked like a penalty, but again the match official was not convinced.

But, by the 50th minute, Mansfield had hauled themselves level in dramatic fashion, as Green produced a sublime finish to lift the ball over keeper Pidgley and into the net, from just inside the box.

Stags' delight was short-lived, however, as five minutes later, Newport took the lead again from another set piece. This time it was O'Connor who was allowed the space to head home from five yards, to put the Welsh side ahead for the second time.

And, in the 66th minute, Newport restored their two-goal advantage as Jefferson Louis took full advantage as the Stags defence failed to clear the ball as it pinballed around the box, with the striker lashing a low shot fiercely into the bottom corner.

Gary Roberts tested the reactions of the Newport keeper with a dangerous, rising shot that came at the end of a flowing move, as the home side began to suggest there might be a route back into the match for them yet.

Speight gave Stags more hope when he calmly headed home at the far post, following good work from Green, in the 89th minute, to set up a barnstorming finale.

Jones could and, perhaps, should have scored when he connected with a header from a corner, which he sent flying the wrong side of the post. While Speight also failed to connect after a clever Roberts free kick had picked him out in the box.

Stags: Marriott, Beevers, Jones, Pilkington, Owens, Roberts, Tolley (Wright 67), Howell, Dyer (Speight 31), Green, Meikle. Subs: Thompson, Clements, Daniel.

Newport: Pidgley, Pipe, Porter, James, Yakubu, O'Connor (Charles 70), Crow (Minshull 68), Louis, Sandell, Thompson, Evans (Hughes 85). Subs: Harris, Perry

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Set-pieces are Stags' downfall
Nottingham Post considered report by Paul Taylor (nottmtails)

SITTING high at the back of the Quarry Lane End stand with his coaching staff, Paul Cox staged a lengthy inquest into what he had just witnessed.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-16700159-detail/story.html

In the grand scheme of things, it may only have been one defeat amid a 46-game season, but for the Mansfield Town manager, it clearly held greater significance. For him, it was not just a matter of three points lost. It was the manner in which they were lost that hurt him most.

And, amid a blunt assessment of the 4-3 defeat, Cox did not pull any punches, describing what he had seen as 'lacking any positives' and pledging that the buck stopped with him.

On that front, Cox also pledged that he would spend Saturday evening watching a recording of the match all over again, in an effort to address his side's shortcomings.

In truth, that may not be a difficult task, given that three of Newport County's goals came as a direct result of set-pieces. As visiting manager Justin Edinburgh put it, set-pieces are about 'delivery and desire'. And, when it came to that desire to get their head on the ball, it was Newport who too often came out on top.

But, as he settled down on his sofa to view an entertaining 90 minutes – for the neutral at least – all over again, Cox's mood may have mellowed a tiny bit, when he witnessed the attacking threat posed by his side through large portions of a game that, on another day, they could have won at a canter.

There will not be many occasions when they score three goals at the One Call Stadium and still come out on the wrong end of a defeat. And, if they can address their most obvious problem, they clearly have the firepower to achieve their goal of promotion.

Because, even after Newport had taken a 2-0 lead following a quick-fire double in the first half, there was always the feeling that the game was far from over; that Stags had it in them to bounce back.

Ishmail Yakubu had risen to head home an Andy Sordell free kick in the tenth minute and, when they failed to properly clear another set-piece delivery two minutes later, the Stags defence saw Newport's other central defender, Tony James, lash home an impressive volley from the edge of the box.

But, spurred on by a half-time rollocking from Cox, Mansfield responded with two quick goals of their own. Substitute Jake Speight – introduced for Ross Dyer after he had been carried off with what looked to be a serious knee injury – bundled home the first after Jamie Tolley's shot had only been parried by keeper Pidgley.

And Matt Green provided a sublime second, lifting a precise lob over the keeper from just inside the box within five minutes of the restart.

But then their familiar problems returned to haunt them as Aaron O'Conner was left to head home another free kick into the box and, after failing to clear the ball amid a melee inside the penalty area, former Mansfield man Jefferson Louis reacted quickest to sweep home the ball and make it 4-2.

With 24 minutes still left to play, Stags were still not dead and buried. Speight had been denied a reasonable penalty claim in the first half but, when Lindon Meikle was hacked down by Sandell in the area after the break, there was uproar when referee Chris Kavanagh failed to point to the spot.

Speight kept calm to make it 4-3 in the 89th minute with a composed far post header, following good work from Green. But he also failed to make contact with a shot from ten yards out, following a clever set-piece.

But the worst miss came from Luke Jones, who sent a free header a foot wide of the post in injury time.

A draw, at the very least, will have been no more than Stags deserved, from a game in which they were rarely exposed in open play.

That was clearly little consolation to Cox, who was furious over his players' inability to defend set-pieces. And, before they travel to face Gateshead tomorrow evening, you suspect that may be a stand- out theme in training.

In a division where only one team wins automatic promotion, there is little room for error.

Stags: Marriott, Beevers, Jones, Pilkington, Owens, Roberts, Tolley (Wright 67), Howell, Dyer (Speight 31), Green, Meikle. Subs: Thompson, Clements, Daniel.

Newport: Pidgley, Pipe, Porter, James, Yakubu, O'Connor (Charles 70), Crow (Minshull 68), Louis, Sandell, Thompson, Evans (Hughes 85). Subs: Harris, Perry.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Ashton-under-Lyne)

Attendance: 2,924

Stags v Newport match facts
Nottingham Post
Stags: Marriott, Beevers, Jones, Pilkington, Owens, Roberts, Tolley (Wright 67), Howell, Dyer (Speight 31), Green, Meikle. Subs: Thompson, Clements, Daniel.

Newport: Pidgley, Pipe, Porter, James, Yakubu, O'Connor (Charles 70), Crow (Minshull 68), Louis, Sandell, Thompson, Evans (Hughes 85). Subs: Harris, Perry.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Ashton-under-Lyne)

Attendance: 2,924

Goals: S Speight 48, 89 Green 50 N Yakubu 10, James 13, O'Conner 56, Louis 66

Shots on: S 7 N 4

Shots off: S 8 N 2

Corners: S 8 N 4

Offsides: S 3 N 2

Fouls: S 11 N 8

Man of match: Jake Speight. The striker only played an hour of the game after coming on for the injured Ross Dyer, but he netted twice and could have had to more goals, on an afternoon when Mansfield's attacking threat was never in doubt.

--------------

Mansfield Town 3 Newport County 4
by Phil Blanche, Wales On Sunday

JUSTIN EDINBURGH challenged his troops to build on this thrilling victory and set the wheels in motion for a season to remember.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/newport-county-fc/2012/08/12/91466-31604481/

The Exiles enjoyed an exhilarating start to the campaign coming on top in a seven-goal thriller that could easily end up being the game of the season.

Early goals from centre-backs Ismail Yakubu and Tony James put the visitors in control against one of last season's play-off semi finalists, but the hosts turned things round in a flash after the break courtesy of Jake Speight and Matthew Green.

But with the game finely balanced it was Newport who went on the offensive restoring their two-goal advantage with Aaron O'Connor and Jefferson Louis both on target.

Speight set up a nervy finish when he bagged his second of the game in the 90th minute but Newport held on with Edinburgh immediately setting his sights on home wins against Nuneaton and Lincoln.

“You don't win too many games away from home, now the important ones are the two coming up – we must capitalise on this,” he said.

“We'd have settled for a 1-0 but it was a strange game at times.

“We knew Mansfield would come at us and they had a good 10 minutes during which we weathered the storm and then played some really good football.

“We did terrifically well to stay in the game, then go two goals clear again which was great.

“But it was heart in the mouths time again for the fans – as it was for me – right at the end.”

Edinburgh has spoken in recent days about a 'tougher' mentality in his squad, a statement that his players lived up to.

“Of course, I was concerned at 2-2 but there's pride and passion in this camp,” he added.

“I thought Yakubu and Tony James stood strong and it's not often your two centre-backs will score as well.

“Yakubu's played just 25 minutes during pre-season but was a man-mountain out there.”

Edinburgh's men struck three times from set pieces in the all-action season opener, and he was delighted with both the execution and the finishing of his players.

“I know we have quality from set-pieces but it's all about delivery and desire and we showed both,” he said.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/newport-county-fc/2012/08/12/91466-31604481/#ixzz23PhDhKUo

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