WINNING RUN COMES TO END AS STAGS BEATENBY NEWPORT
Blue Square Bet Premier
Newport County 2 - 0 Mansfield Town
Sandell pen 66, Jolley 78.
Attendance: 1902 (90 from Mansfield)
Date: 12 February 2013
Martin Shaw at Rodney Parade
Mansfield Town were beaten 2-0 by Newport County in a game that seemed to have 0-0 written all over it. The game turned on a soft penalty, but one which upon review of the match DVD was correctly awarded when Lee Beevers tripped the impressive Christian Jolley. Andy Sandell dispatched the spot kick. After that the Stags pushed forward in numbers and were caught out down the Stags' left, as Jolley broke forward and buried a fine goal. It wasn't the best performance from Mansfield, although there was no lack of effort and commitment. The Stags defended solidly in the first half, but were caught out a few times in the second half, and didn't have enough threat going forward to rescue the game after going behind. Without doubt the Stags tended to sit too deep. In hindsight, this was probably a game to get more balls into the box quickly, as Newport did, and playing Green more on his own up front didn't work as a tactic.
The Stags were unchanged from the side that battered Barrow 8-1. Lee Stevenson played further behind Green than he did at Field Mill. Newport were without Aaron O'Connor, out injured. Scott Donnelly played in midfield after scoring on his debut on Saturday; he signed from Farnborough on deadline day and only a fortnight ago I saw him scoring twice for Farnborough against Salisbury in Blue Square South. Christian Jolley was up front with Danny Crow, having signed permanently from AFC Wimbledon during the transfer window.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Newport County 2-0 Mansfield Town, Tuesday 12th February
CHAD report by John Lomas
PROMOTION rivals Newport ended Mansfield Town's winning run with two second half goals on a gluepot of a pitch at Rodney Parade last night.
The in-form Stags had won four away games on the bounce and also triumphed in their last four matches - as well as scoring 13 goals in their last two matches.
They also knew that a win against the stuttering Welsh side, who had won just once in five games, would see them leapfrog their opponents into the play-off spots.
However, it wasn't to be.
The Exiles had two first half penalty calls turned down and Luke Jones also had to head off his goal line as the sides went in all square at half-time.
But, after home keeper Lenny Pidgeley had denied Lee Stevenson after the break, Newport did take the lead when their third penalty appeal on 66 minutes was given and Andy Sandell netted, and Christian Jolley's solo goal on the break 12 minutes later.
It completed a double for the Welsh side after their 4-3 win at the One Call Stadium on the opening day of the season.
The pitch was in a terrible condition with various cut-up and wet patches and from some early bobbled it was clear it could play a major part in the evening's incidents.
The first eight minutes were scrappy in the extreme, summed up by Jolley having the first attempt on goal and slicing it so wide it ended up as a throw-in.
But on nine minutes the home side were calling in vain for a penalty when they felt Beevers had nudged Crow in the back to prevent him getting a head onto a Pipe cross.
A Beevers throw won Stags the game's first corner on 13 minutes which Pidgeley confidently claimed.
Amid a torrid battle, with tackles flying in, it took 16 minutes for a move of quality as Crow chested down a pipe cross for Donelly to lash over from 16 yards for the Welshmen.
Dempster did well to get a block in a Yakubu shot which earned the Exiles their first corner which the visitors cleared.
Stags' best move to far saw them string six or seven passes together before Jones teed up Murray for a 25 yard shot over the bar with 25 minutes elapsed of a strength-sapping contest.
Crow carved something out of nothing when Dempster tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick and the ex-Notts County striker managed to stretch out a foot to put it in front of goal, the visitors managing to clear their lines.
Marriott was down at his near post to make a routine save from Crow's angled drive on 28 minutes.
A minute later Newport almost broke through as Marriott didn't get near a far post cross where Sandell got the ball on target past the keeper only to see Jones make a fine header off the line.
Yakubu was booked for repeated fouling on 32 minutes after his body check on Daniel proved a misdemeanor too far.
On 33 minutes Jones met a Jennings free kick with a header straight at Pidgeley.
Two minutes later the home side were again aggrieved with the officials as Crow went down under contact from Jones in the box, again nothing being given.
On 40 minutes Sandell dipped a 20 yard free kick just over the bar for Newport.
From another Mansfield free kick Jones got another header on target at Pidgeley, taking a bang in the face for his troubles.
Jennings and Pipe were lectured, Jennings for a wild lunge that missed the full back and Pipe for then squaring up to him.
In stoppage time Sandell's 30 yard free kick bounced through a crowd of players into Marriott's arms to end a scoreless but full-blooded first half.
Jones hacked the ball away from in front of his goal in the second minute after the restart from a dangerous left wing cross.
But on 52 minutes Stevenson guided a superb near post header on target from a Jennings corner which Pidgeley had to tip over.
When the second corner was cleared back to Jennings, the full back showed good skill to beat his man to make space in the box and see a shot deflect into the sidenetting.
Mansfield forced five corners in a lively first 12 minutes of the second half.
Then Jolley was only just over with a shot on the turn for the home side as we reached the hour mark without a goal.
Sandell tested Marriott with a low shot from 25 yards which was easy for the keeper to grab.
However, it was third time lucky for Newport on the penalty appeals and led to them taking a 66th minute lead.
The referee agreed that Jones' challenge on Jolley in the box was a definite spot kick and Sandell stepped up to give Marriott no chance with a finish just inside the post.
Stags sent on Rhead for Briscoe with 19 minutes remaining.
Crow dipped a finish inches over from a half clearance to him on the edge of the box.
But with 12 minutes left Jolley delivered the killer blow of a second goal for the home side.
Stags were caught outnumbered on the break as Jolley ran at them down the right. He had Crow to his left but chose instead to run into the box himself and whip a delightful finish across Marriott.
Jennings forced Pidgeley into a save with a curling free kick over the wall that almost crept in at the near post.
Jolley then looked set to score again on another break as Stags pushed everything forward, but this time Beevers made a superb tackle.
In four minutes of stoppage time Marriott also had to spread himself to deny sub Washington
Newport County 2, Mansfield Town 0
TWO goals in nine second-half minutes, scored by Andy Sandell and Christian Jolley, secured Newport County a valuable Blue Square Conference win at Rodney Parade last night.
Big-spending Mansfield would have moved level on points with an away win, but it was County, with man of the match Mike Flynn outstanding in midfield, who stepped up their challenge near the top.
They are right in the mix and have games in hand on the teams above them.
County should have added a third when Scott Donelly set Jolley clear late on, but he tried to cut inside a defender inside the penalty area and lost possession when Danny Crow was unmarked a few yards away.
There were few chances for Mansfield during the first half and Newport went in feeling they should have been in front.
Home keeper Lenny Pidgeley, recovered from a calf strain which had forced him off during a 2-2 draw against Tamworth on Saturday, did not have to make a serious save before half-time.
At the other end Donelly fired over from Danny Crow's knockdown and then Ismail Yakubu's cross from the right had Mansfield in trouble.
Sandell's header back across goal was just stopped as it bounced towards the corner, while Jolley went close as the ball was half cleared.
His shot was deflected away for a corner.
County had strong shouts for a penalty after 35 minutes when Crow, picked out by Pipe's ball in, went down, but referee Charles Breakspear waved play on.
It was Sandell who had the final chance to go for goal in the opening half, but his free-kick from 25 yards flew just over.
Mansfield went close soon after half-time when Lee Stevenson headed a James Jennings corner goals and keeper Pidgeley produced a reaction save at the expense of a corner. That proved to be a rare chance for the visitors.
County went ahead from a penalty after Crow was fouled after 66 minutes and Sandell sent keeper Alan Marriott the wrong way.
Their second goal came when Jolley burst clear after 75 minutes and finished clinically from 15 yards, stroking a shot wide of the keeper and inside the far post
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/newport-county-fc/2013/02/13/91466-32798651/#ixzz2Kn3liilC
report from http://www.newport-county.co.uk/index.php?cat=report&id=135
County, without a home win in 2013 and deprived of a clean sheet in some four months, decided it was high time to rectify both with an excellent victory over the in-form Stags. Quite where this particular County had been hiding was anyone's guess; but the impressive Exiles looked strong at the back, determined in midfield, and somewhat sprightly up front. Despite that welcome industry, it still needed an Andy Sandell penalty just past the hour-mark to finally break the deadlock, with the glitter being applied by Christian Jolley's super second twelve minutes from time. Visitors Mansfield had hit an emphatic eight on Saturday against Barrow, so County could not have picked a better, more opportune time to emerge from their wintry slump as the home faithful roared their unanimous approval. What a difference a win makes eh.
Boss Justin Edinburgh made two significant changes from Saturday's mugging by Tamworth; one in personnel and one in formation. The well again Tony James returned to the defence where the Newport gaffer opted to go with a sturdy back five, comprising of three no-nonsense centre-backs in a 5-3-2 set-up. Despite being carried off at the weekend with what was thought to be a calf injury, goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley was deemed fit enough to play providing another boost; whilst wide-man Robbie Willmott was the unlucky player who dropped to the bench to accommodate James' inclusion. County were seeking a league double over Mansfield, having won a thrilling encounter 4-3 in Nottinghamshire on the season's opening day; while the stags arrived in Newport on a hot streak that had seen them win their last four on the bounce, scoring some eighteen goals in the process!
Still clearly feeling aggrieved by Saturday's events, it was a wounded County who took the game to their visitors from the off; David Pipe's excellent run and cross calling keeper Alan Marriott into immediate action. With Pipe and Sandell enjoying their new roles as roving wing-backs, it was Sandell on the opposite flank who was next to ask questions of the Stags' rearguard, his cross just failing to find Danny Crow. On 12 minutes, Scott Donnelly cut inside before lashing a shot over the bar following great work by Crow, as County looked to continue their early momentum; before Christian Jolley tried his luck with a left-footed swinger that troubled the corner flag more than it did Marriott. County continued to probe and a brace of free-kicks inside the Mansfield half resulted in precious little, before a third set-piece on 21 minutes almost brought the opening goal for Ismail Yakubu; defender John Dempster clearing his lines after a terrific block had denied the County man.
With the visitors happy to utilise the pace of former Newport forward Matt Green on the break, County continued to press and a low effort from Crow on 27 minutes lacked the wheels to truly trouble Marriott, before referee Mr. Breakspear rightly ignored a hopeful handball shout amidst County's vociferous appeals for a penalty. Three minutes later, the Exiles came the closest yet when Yakubu and Sandell combined to set up Crow for a header that was scrambled from the goal-line by Dempster. Unlike other officials of late, this referee was happy to allow the game to flow and would indeed make only one caution all night; that was when Yakubu saw his name taken for a foul on Colin Daniel. On 41 minutes, the Exiles were screaming penalty for a second time when Crow appeared to have been felled by Luke Jones; once again the protests fell on deaf ears however and once again, the official had probably made the right call. There was just enough time left for Sandell to fire over the bar before the players trooped off for a well deserved cuppa, their endeavours fully appreciated by all inside Rodney Parade.
Half-time: County 0 Mansfield 0
The visitors began the second period in much the same vein that County had the first; winning themselves a couple of early corners that ultimately ended with Pidgeley making an excellent save to deny Lee Stevenson. Mansfield continued to enjoy the territorial advantage and a fine interception from Byron Anthony halted Green in his tracks, County's new-look back trio standing resolutely firm. On 55 minutes, another marauding run and cross by Pipe just failed to pick out Jolley, whilst three minutes later, it was Jolley again causing problems in his central-striking role, this time shooting over after seizing upon a rare poor clearance. With defences clearly on top, it was going to take either a mistake or a flash of brilliance to open this one up; and on 66 minutes that question was duly answered when the former allowed County to finally take the lead.
It was Christian Jolley who proved to be the catalyst, jinking deftly inside from the left before being brought down by Luke Jones; and unlike on the previous two occasions, this time Mr. Breakspear pointed straight to the spot. Andy Sandell had missed his last kick against Wrexham, but there was no mistake on this occasion as he calmly slotted Newport in front. The Stags responded by introducing Matt Rhead for Lee Briscoe, although it was the Exiles who almost scored again on 74 minutes, Crow volleying just over following a sparkling County move. Thankfully, home fans didn't have to wait too much longer for a second goal, Christian Jolley turning from provider to executor on 78 minutes with a splendidly taken strike. Michael Flynn released the flying forward as he raced from just inside the visitors' half, all the way to goal before dinking a delightful finish past Alan Marriott. It was just what the doctor ordered.
Mansfield did their utmost to reply and Pidgeley got down well on 82 minutes to turn a threatening James Jennings free-kick around the post. Another swift raid involving Jolley, Donnelly and Crow almost reaped a third goal on 86 minutes, before the hard-working Crow trudged off to allow Conor Washington to play out the last few minutes. The substitute almost added a third as well, Marriott just denying him his first Newport goal following a moment of confusion between the stopper and his defence. It mattered not, County's first home victory of 2013 and that long awaited clean sheet was finally in the bag. “A lot of people looking from the outside thought we'd get well beaten by Mansfield” explained boss Justin Edinburgh afterwards; “But we thoroughly deserved to beat them. For what ever reason, a lot of people think we're going to fall away, there's no doubt about that and I think it includes one or two of our own supporters as well. But I know this group and I think they'll stand the test of time, it was a big, big result for us – a statement – and I'm absolutely delighted.”
Final Score: County 2 Mansfield 0
Bookings: County: Yakubu (32) / Mansfield: None.
Referee: Mr. C. Breakspear
MoM: Michael Flynn
Match report by Ade Williams
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