STAGS DIG IN FOR HARD-FOUGHT VICTORY OVER NEWPORT
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Newport County
Clements 78 seconds
Attendance: 2448 (98 from Newport)
Date: 19 August 2014
Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town completed back-to-back home victories with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newport County tonight. In truth the Stags were probably fortunate to pick up the three points but that matters little in the end and there have been plenty of times when we have been unfortunate, not least against Sheffield United a week ago and arguably at Northampton on the opening day. The only goal of the game came after 78 seconds when Chris Clements bundled home from close range following a cross from Lee Beevers. Clements was fouled by keeper Pidgeley in the process, and had the ball not gone in the net, Pidgeley would surely have been sent off as well as conceding a penalty. Clements and Heslop had chances to increase the lead but gradually Newport worked their way into the game and failed to capitalise on numerous first half corners. After the break, Newport put the Stags under pressure and the Stags held on thanks to fine performances from the central defenders and wing-backs, and a smattering of luck as a couple of chances from Aaron O’Connor whizzed inches past the post. The Stags should have made the game safe with great chances for Rhead, Clements and then in stoppage time for Palmer, but in the end it didn’t matter. Not a great game, but good applause for the battling players at the end, as the Stags move level on points with the 7th placed side.
Before the game, the signing of keeper Dimitar Evtimov on loan from Nottingham Forest was announced to replace the departed non-contract keeper Cameron Belford. After the game, Paul Cox explained that John Radford has told him that no more players will be coming in at this stage even though Amari’i Bell has returned to Birmingham City and Liam Hearn is out until Christmas. The signing of Evtimov was agreed before Cox was told this. With Hearn ruled out, the squad is now effectively down to 19 players including two keepers and young Marsden and Thomas.
Stags 1-0 Newport: Mansfield hold onto early lead to seal victory
chad.co.uk report by Stephen Thirkill, email@example.com
Chris Clements early goal sealed a 1-0 win against Newport County as Mansfield made it two wins on the bounce.
The visitors gifted Mansfield the lead after just 90 seconds when poor defending allowed Clements to scramble home Lee Beevers cross.
In truth Mansfield can count themselves somewhat fortunate as Newport recovered from the poor start to dominate the match for vast periods.
Chris Zebroski’s snapshot which was beaten away by Sascha Studer on 19 minutes was saved.
Kevin Freely saw his shot blocked before Robbie Willmott fired wide as the visitors continued to push Mansfield back at the start of the second half.
And the one-way traffic continued as Mansfield desperately hung on at the death.
It could, and perhaps should have been level, as former Stag Aaron O’Connor blew two excellent chances to level.
On another night Mansfield may well have been beaten. But a win is a win and Paul Cox will be delighted to have six points on the board after a difficult opening first week.
Matt Rhead started for Mansfield Town after returning from suspension at the expense of Sam Clucas, the only change for Stags.
And Mansfield got off to the perfect start when Newport made a real hash of clearing Lee Beevers cross allowing Chris Clements to scramble the ball home after just two minutes.
Clememts was at the heart of the danger once again after excellent work from Alex Fisher down the right flank found the midfielder in acres of space on 18 minutes.
But his first-time shot from around 25 yards out only found the palms of Lenny Pidgeley in the exiles goal.
County nearly levelled on 19 minutes after Chris Zebroski turned in the box before firing a close range shot straight at Sascha Studer from Mark Byrne’s corner.
Mansfield were breathing a sigh of relief when Robbie Willmott’s dangerous inswinging cross evaded everyone in the box to go out for a goal-kick on 26 minutes.
Simon Heslop brought the best out of Pidgeley after more good play by Fisher found the midfielder, who enleashed a powerful effort on 28 minutes.
Some brilliant defending by Darren Jones denied what would have been a certain goal for Matt Rhead moments later.
Jones stood solid at the back post to beat Rhead to the ball and head Clements’ corner away to safety as the home side continued to dominate.
Studer then showed good hands as he palmed away Andy Sandell’s curling free-kick on 31 minutes.
Matt Rhead should have sealed the game on 54 minutes, but he blazed over with the goal gaping after Beevers’ pass had split the Newport defence.
Rob Taylor headed Sandell’s cross away for a corner after the Newport wingman’s run down the left had cut open Mansfield.
Kevin Freely saw his shot blocked for a corker on 58 minutes as Newport continued to push Mansfield on the back foot.
Robin Willmott fired well wide from 28 yards on 63 minutes despite having plenty of time and space to do better.
Clements failed to make the most of great chance when he was played through on goal on 70 minutes.
But he lacked the necessary conviction and composure as he turned back inside before seeing his curling effort saved by Pidgeley.
Former Stag Aaron O’Connor hit a fierce effort inches wide in the closing stages as County knew it was not going to be their night.
Mansfield Town 1 v 0 Newport County: Third straight defeat sees County's slow start to the season continue
report By WalesOnline
Chris Clements’ fortuitous strike after just 90 seconds condemned Newport to a third successive league defeat, despite a dominant attacking performance from the visitors.
The game’s first attack saw Clements nip ahead of Darren Jones to confuse the County defence and keeper Lenny Pidgeley saw his clearance rebound off the Mansfield midfielder and trickle over the line.
Pidgeley was then at full stretch to beat away powerful drives from Clements and Simon Heslop as the Stags looked to stretch their early advantage, before the visitors took control of the match.
Chris Zebroski, recalled to the starting line-up, saw his close-range snapshot from a corner rebound to safety off keeper Sascha Studer's chest.
The unmarked striker then headed Mark Byrne’s corner over the bar and Andy Sandell's fierce free-kick was parried by Studer but an equaliser didn’t arrive before half-time.
Right after the break Matt Rhead blazed over as County switched off at a throw-in and from a similar move for the Exiles, Zebroski was denied by John Dempster's header.
The returning Kevin Feely and Robbie Willmott both squandered chances and former Mansfield striker Aaron O'Connor's first-time shot grazed the outside of the post as the visitors searched for a leveller.
But it needed a flying save by Pidgeley to keep them in the game 20 minutes from time and deny Clements again, the hosts seeing the rest of the game out for the win.
Referee: Darren Bond 7/10
Match rating: 2/5
Star man: Adam Chapman, AFC Newport centre midfielder
Mansfield Town: (3-5-2): Studer 7, Sutton 6, Tafazolli 8, Dempster 7, Beevers 6, Heslop 6, Clements 7 (Murray 75 5), McGuire 5, Taylor 6, Rhead 6 (Clucas 84 4), Fisher 6 (Palmer 59 5),.
Subs not used: Jones, Bell, Marsden, Evtimov.
AFC Newport: (3-5-2): Pidgeley 6, Feely 6, Jones 7, Yakubu 6, Sandell 6 (Jackson 64 4), Byrne 7, Minshull 5 (Klukowski 82 4), Chapman 8, Willmott 7, Zebroski 7 (Howe 65 5), O'Connor 7.
Subs not used: Jeffers, Hughes, Thomas, Jolley.
Latest | August 2014