In-form Mansfield Town relishing revenge mission to Newport
chad.co.uk Monday 11 February 2013
BANG-IN-FORM Mansfield Town are relishing a revenge mission tomorrow night as they head for fading early pacesetters Newport County (7.45pm).
The Welsh club won 4-3 at Mansfield on the opening day of the season and have often led the table.
But a spell of one win in five games has seen them slide into the fifth and final play-off spot which Stags can leapfrog them into with a win tomorrow.
Mansfield have won their last four away games and also their last four matches, demolishing Barrow 8-1 last weekend and Dartford 5-0 the week before.
In contrast, Newport let a 2-0 lead slip in the last 16 minutes as Tamworth earned a point at the Exiles' new Rodney Parade home on Saturday.
Stags manager Paul Cox said: “We thought Saturday's game with Barrow was a tough one, and tomorrow's will be a tough one too.
“But the boys are playing with confidence at the moment. I know I sound like a scratched record, but the boys do look hungry at the minute and we have a lot of positives to take into tomorrow.
“Not many teams go down there and come away with a lot. We know we are going to have to be on our mettle to get a positive result.”
The biggest worry at the moment is the Rodney Parade surface which saw the weekend Rugby League game called off due to standing water.
However, Newport escaped the snow that hit Mansfield last night and today their pitch is drying out nicely with no rain forecast. So the Welsh club remain hopeful of the game going ahead.
“I believe pitch conditions are heavy and it seems to have cut up a bit so this could be one of those nights when you have to go down and grind out a result,” said Cox. “We are preparing as if it will be on and, hopefully, it will be.”
South Wales Argus »
Pidgeley boost for County
Tuesday 12th February 2013
COUNTY v MANSFIELD (Tonight, KO 7.45)
NEWPORT County are hopeful goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley can play through the pain barrier tonight when Mansfield Town visit Rodney Parade.
The Exiles are looking for a win after a hugely controversial penalty in the final minute of Saturday's clash with Tamworth cost them two points as they were pegged back to draw 2-2.
The loss of Pidgeley, who left the field on a stretcher, didn't help their cause but County are hopeful the calf strain victim will be able to play tonight.
And the goalkeeper himself took to Twitter to indicate his desire to feature.
“Hoping to be ok for Tuesday, Max (Porter, captain) had the same injury versus Braintree and he made the Hereford game (three days later on a Tuesday night).”
A County spokesman commented: “We are very hopeful the injury isn't as serious as it initially looked.
“Lenny was involved with training yesterday and all being well he will be fit to play.”
Meanwhile, new boy Scott Donnelly insists Newport have the talent to bounce back from their latest setback and challenge for promotion.
The former Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City midfielder, a deadline day signing from Farnborough, took just 30 seconds to open his Exiles account against Tamworth on Saturday.
Donnelly was delighted with his goal but is desperate to earn three points for his new side against fellow promotion contenders Mansfield tonight.
“I've never scored on my debut at any club I've been at so to get one after 30 seconds was nice, it's just a shame it wasn't a winner,” said the 25-year-old, who settled in quickly in place of the departed Lee Evans.
“I had the freedom to push on and hopefully if I can keep getting into the box there'll be more goals to come.
“That was the only real opportunity I had but when I get up to match fitness hopefully there'll be more goals and more creativity there.”
Donnelly admits the County players were just as angry as manager Justin Edinburgh at referee Kevin Johnson's penalty decision.
“The referee and linesmen had a poor game,” he said. “I thought he'd given a foul for us on Byron.
“I didn't think it was a penalty and I don't think anyone in the ground thought it was a penalty so it was very disappointing because it's cost us two points.
“They've been taken away. We had other opportunities to score but we were winning at the time and without that decision it would have been 2-1 to us.
“They didn't create a whole lot. The first goal was a big deflection and there was nothing we could do about that or the decision from the referee at the end.”
Sixth-placed Mansfield come to Rodney Parade in stunning form having beaten Barrow 8-1 at the weekend and will overtake their hosts with a win tonight.
But Donnelly is unconcerned, believing County have the talent to threaten any team and sustain the push for a place in League Two next season.
“With the attacking qualities we've got up front, on the wings and in the middle of the park there's no reason why we can't continue to challenge,” he added.
“The teams around us will drop points as well and there is a long way to go in the season.”
Edinburgh was impressed with his new signing's debut and he too insisted that promotion is still the aim.
“Scott had a great start and he'll get better,” said the Exiles boss. “He needs to get up to match speed and he's still getting to know the players but he showed he will be effective for us.
“We were unlucky (against Tamworth) but it was a vast improvement on the Barrow performance.
“It's a point and we have to build on that. We know what we want to achieve and our aim hasn't changed.”
Newport County vs Mansfield: Pidgeley faces race against time
Monday, February 11, 2013 This is Nottingham
Newport County will give goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley a late fitness test ahead of the visit of Mansfield.
The former Chelsea keeper was handed his first start since November at the weekend but was stretchered off with 20 minutes to go with a calf injury and is rated as 50/50 for Tuesday's clash with the Stags.
The Exiles were leading 2-0 when Pidgeley was taken off, but could only manage a 2-2 draw with Tamworth.
It means they will slip out of the play-off places for the first time this season if they are beaten by sixth-placed Mansfield.
Striker Aaron O'Connor is sidelined with a thigh injury and is expected to be out for three to four weeks, while Max Porter is a couple of weeks away from a return from his groin problem.
Mansfield are unlikely to make any changes as they look for a fifth successive victory.
The Stags made just one change from the side that beat Dartford 5-0, Louis Briscoe starting in place of Lindon Meikle, as Paul Cox's side thrashed Barrow 8-1.
The result earned Cox a new car from the club's chairman and he is not expected to tinker with his line-up as his side look to break into the play-off places.
Injured duo Ross Dyer and Jake Speight (both knee) remain the only absentees in the squad.
Speight scored twice in the reverse fixture, as the Exiles ran out 4-3 winners on the opening day of the campaign.
The Stags have tightened up at the back since. In their last four outings they have conceded only three goals and found the net 18 times
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