{ match reports }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
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.

Cox made one change to the side that beat Oxford, as Matt Rhead returned from his four-game suspension in place of Sam Clucas up front. Newport included former Stags Aaron O’Connor and Adam Chapman.

Newport had the first chance inside the 1st minute with a powerful long range shot from Marc Byrne straight at Studer.

The Stags were in front after 78 seconds (timed from the DVD) when Chris Clements bundled home from close range following a cross from Lee Beevers which bounced off defender Yakubu. 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. It was Clements’ second goal for the Stags following his first in the 5-4 defeat at Fleetwood last season.

On 5 minutes, a good punch from Studer from a corner.

Clements, buoyed his goal, did well to charge down a Newport clearance. Then on 14 minutes, a good 1-2 between Clements and Rhead, but Newport cleared for a throw-in. From that throw-in, Heslop got to a great position on the byline, but his cross was cleared.

On 18 minutes, Fisher beat his man and made a great run down the right, cut back to Clements, who fired 1st time straight at the keeper.

At the other end a minute later, a corner from the right by Byrne, and Studer made a point blank save from Zebrowski. Great positioning from Studer.

On 25 minutes, another corner from Byrne this time somehow went all the way across goal.

On 28 minutes, Fisher played the ball inside for Heslop who fired in a good shot that was tipped wide by keeper Pidgeley. From the resulting corner, Dempster headed across goal but it was cleared. Then a free-kick by Clements was just headed behind for a corner under pressure from Dempster. Straight to the other end, and Byrne shot straight at Studer from 22 yards.

On 32 minutes, Tafazolli tackled Zebrowski beautifully on the edge of the box, but the referee gave a free-kick. Terrible decision. From the free-kick from 19 yards, Studer made a great save punching away Sandell’s shot to his right.

On 34 minutes, Heslop was booked for pulling Zebrowski’s shirt.

Right on half-time it seemed that Fisher was biffed in the face, and as the players came off, Paul Cox appeared to be complaining to the referee. Newport seemed to get away with a lot of fouls in the first half.

The Stags grateful to Studer for a couple of great saves to preserve the 1-0 lead at the break.

Half time 1-0

On 49 minutes, Studer punched a corner away. On 51 minutes, ironic applause for the referee as Rhead got a free-kick for the first time in the game having had some rough treatment earlier.

The Stags should have increased the lead on 53 minutes. Beevers put in a great cross across the face of goal to Rhead beyond the far post, who fired wide. Rhead should have got it on target and put his head in his hands.

On 54 minutes, a good tackle by Beevers from Zebrowski on the edge of the box. A minute later, Sandell made a run and cross to the far post, and Taylor did well to put it behind for a corner.

On 58 minutes, Feely turned and shot and it was deflected just wide. From the resulting corner, Studer punched away.

On 59 minutes, Tafazolli headed away a Newport corner to Minshell who volleyed well over.

The Stags were hanging on.

Palmer replaced Fisher on 59 minutes. And he was straight into the action with great play to win a corner.

On 62 minutes, Rhead gave the ball away on the halfway line, Willmott went forward and fired wide from 25 yards.

Sutton was booked on 65 minutes and looked puzzled what he was booked for. On inspection of the match DVD, he kicked the ball away a millisecond after a foul was given and the booking was very harsh.

A great chance for the Stags on 68 minutes, Palmer did well down the left and squared for Clements who didn’t shoot first time when he probably should have done, and instead turned inside and then his shot hit Darren Jones. A great opportunity for Clements. But Heslop won the ball straight back, and got in a shot, straight at the keeper.

On 70 minutes, a good run down the left from Palmer after a good ball out from Taylor, Palmer cut inside, but sent a soft shot at the keeper.

A half-chance for Newport on 71 minutes as Willmott got to the byline and crossed across the 6 yard box but the Stags cleared. On 73 minutes, Ryan Jackson cut inside along the edge of the box, and his shot was blocked by his own man Howe and trickled through to Studer.

Murray replaced Clements on 75 minutes. Clements got a good ovation.

On 76 minutes, Tafazolli did well to clear. From the resulting corner, Feely headed well wide.

Newport were unlucky on 77 minutes, when O’Connor fired inches wide following a great move, as Howe played to Byrne to played to Chapman who beautifully back-flicked into the path of O’Connor.

McGuire was booked for an obvious foul on 79 minutes.

The Stags were really under the cosh. Cox made a final change when Clucas came on for Rhead on 84 minutes. Rhead was blowing hard and after the game Cox told us he had to take him off even though he would have been useful defending set pieces.

Newport were unlucky for a second time on 85 minutes, as O’Connor broke through on goal from a Howe flick-on and fired inches wide of the left post. Studer may have had it covered.

Palmer shot wide from a tight angle having been put in by Murray. Then in the 3rd minute of 4 minutes of stoppage time, a great run from Taylor and he crossed for Palmer who headed over from a 2 yards. After the game, Palmer told us he just couldn’t get over the header.

It didn’t matter as the Stags ran the clock down and held on for three more points.

Newport will feel they were unlucky especially because of O’Connor’s two near misses in the last 15 minutes, but the Stags defended well and had keeper Studer in good form.

Man of the match: Tafazolli/Clements

Report by: Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Studer 7.5 Two very good saves, and dealt well with corners.
Sutton 7 Very solid.
Dempster 7 Very solid.
Tafazolli 8 Very good performance with some good headers and tackles.
Beevers 7 Defended well, some good tackles and a couple of good crosses. Was given a hard time by Willmott in the second half.
Taylor 7.5 Some good tackles. Great run at the end to create chance for Palmer.
McGuire 6.5 Industrious. Decent game.
Heslop 7 Good game. Behind most of the good things going forward. Sponsors’ man of the match.
Clements 8 Matchwinner and could have had a hat-trick.
Fisher 7 Set up chances for Clements and Heslop.
Rhead 6.5 Not his best game, but his presence made a difference, Should have scored at the far post.
Sub Line Up:
Palmer (for Fisher, 59) - Did well to chase down some lost causes and run the clock down. Missed a good chance in stoppage time.
Murray (for Clements, 75) - Showed experience to win a couple of late free-kicks and run the clock down.
Clucas (for Rhead, 84) -
Sub not used:, Evtimov, Marsden, Jones, Fergus Bell.
Opposition Line Up:
Pidgeley, Feely, Jones, Yakubu, Sandell (Jackson 64), Byrne, Minshull (Klukowski 82), Chapman, Willmott, Zebroski (Howe 65), O'Connor. Subs not used: Jeffers, Hughes, Thomas, Jolley.
Darren Bond 7 Made a couple of obvious mistakes include a foul against Tafazolli that wasn’t, but got most things right.

Season 14/15 Reports