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Archived News from April 2021

13th April 2021 17:59

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Newport County
Sinclair 84. Labadie 75
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 9 April 2021


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town inched further away from the relegation zone with a 1-1 draw at home to Newport County this evening. In a highly entertaining game, the Stags played some really good football and were unlucky not to win, but the night provided a memorable moment for young Tyrese Sinclair, who scored his first ever first team goal on just his second league start, to equalise six minutes from time. The Stags had gone behind after 75 minutes when a double error at the back gifted a goal to Joss Labadie, after George Maris lost the ball to Labadie and Labadie’s shot went straight through keeper Aidan Stone who should have made a comfortable save.

The first half was quite even though the Stags had the better chances. The Stags thought they might have taken the lead after 3 minutes as Stephen Quinn, who had another excellent game, crossed from the byline on the left to Sinclair who headed goalwards from 3 yards. Goalkeeper Nick Townsend scooped the ball out with his knee and against the inside of the post and away. From my position in the West Stand I could not tell if the whole of the ball had crossed the line, though it certainly looked close. The linesman decided it hadn’t. From the main camera video from the Bishop Street stand, it is again impossible to tell if the whole of the ball crossed the line.

More good play three minutes later as Sinclair and Quinn set up Sweeney who swept a shot over the bar. Newport went close to scoring after 26 minutes as Josh Sheehan’s free kick from the left was bundled inches wide of the left post by Joe Ledley. Then after 31 minutes, Ollie Clarke, who had a poor first half, dallied on the ball and was robbed by Labadie, before Dom Telford’s shot was well saved by Stone.

The Stags were very close to the taking the lead again after 38 minutes as Quinn cut in from the left hand side, tried to cut past Josh Sheehan, the ball ricocheted off Sheehan’s leg back into the path of Quinn who curled a right-footed shot inches wide of the right post from 16 yards. Two minutes later, good play by Maris, Lapslie and Quinn, to McLaughlin whose cross into the middle was headed over the bar by Sinclair. Then after 43 minutes Lapslie surged forward and his shot from 23 yards was blocked by Demetriou.

Into the second half, and Stone did well to punch away a dangerous free kick from Sheehan from the left, and then caught a follow-up cross from the byline from Scott Bennett.

The Stags were desperately unlucky not to score after 56 minutes. Quinn made a good run down the left, played inside to Jordan Bowery, Bowery then found Quinn with a great little pass, giving Quinn a chance to shoot from a tight angle. Quinn’s shot hit the inside of the right post and didn’t rebound to any of Sinclair, Clarke or Lapslie all of whom were unmarked and could have tapped into the net.

After 70 minutes, good movement from the Stags and Quinn’s low shot from 16 yards was straight at the keeper.

But a massive sucker punch for the Stags after 75 minutes and it was totally self-inflicted. Maris dallied on the ball 35 yards from his own goal. Labadie nicked the ball off him and pushed forward to the edge of the area before shooting low fractionally to Stone’s right. It should have been a comfortable save but it went straight through him. A howler from Stone, and from Maris.

After 77 minutes, the Stags had the ball in the Newport area but frustratingly no-one wanted to take a shot including Lapslie and Bowery. A minute later, Perch smashed a shot well over the after McLaughlin’s free kick came out to him.

After 82 minutes we found out that Tyrese Sinclair possesses a long throw, which could be a useful tool in the future, though on this occasion it was cleared.

Frustration for Mansfield turned to joy after 84 minutes as Sinclair equalised. McLaughlin’s cross from the left was headed away by Scott Bennett to Liam Shephard who chested the ball down inside his own area and went to clear but the ball was nicked away from him by Sinclair who took a couple of touches before rifling a shot into the roof of the net from level with the edge of the six yard box on the left. A memorable moment and I expect the first of many goals in his career by Sinclair who I think is a very special talent.

The Stags pushed hard for a winner with Sinclair sending a free kick from 29 yards just over the bar, Quinn’s cross deflected onto the roof of the net, Sinclair’s corner scrambled away, and an on-target shot from substitute Jamie Reid blocked, while Newport also had a chance to win it in injury time as Aaron Lewis’s shot was deflected wide by his own man Jake Scrimshaw.

Another draw then, which in some ways came as a relief after conceding that 75th minute goal to Newport, but on the balance of good chances created, the Stags were certainly unlucky not to win it, striking the post twice and having several other near misses.

Plenty of good performances throughout the Stags side with Stephen Quinn and Tyrese Sinclair catching the eye, and the whole of the back four playing very well. I asked Nigel Clough after the game whether he thought he would be able to sign Stephen Quinn permanently at the end of the season and he said he was pretty hopeful. I also joked with Nigel Clough that just about every other League Two club seems to have a long throw merchant and we seemed to have found ours in Tyrese Sinclair!

So another draw for the Stags. That is 19 draws in total this season, and just one more in the remaining 5 games of the season would equal the club record for most draws in a season, which is 20 (set in 1971-72 and 1995-96). As I said after the Exeter game, it’s not particularly a record you want to equal or beat, but it does tell part of the story of the season.

(UPDATE: Thank you to a couple of people on the Stagsnet messageboard, Daz and Pete Wright, pointing out that the Football League record for number of draws in a season is 23, jointly held by Norwich, Exeter, Hartlepool and Cardiff. The Stags could equal that with 4 draws from the final 5 games of the season).

Ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) games, Mansfield are 12 points above bottom club Grimsby, 10 points above second bottom Southend, and 5 points above third bottom Colchester. Mansfield now have just 5 games left this season. Grimsby have two games in hand, Southend one game in hand, Colchester have played the same number of games. Mansfield’s goal difference is more than 20 better than both of the bottom two, and 14 better than Colchester, so is effectively worth an extra point. The Stags are inching clear.

(UPDATE: Grimsby lost 1-0 at Bradford on Saturday. Southend drew 0-0 with Crawley. I watched the Southend game on iFollow. Very entertaining. Both sides could have won it in an open game. Grimsby remain 12 points behind Mansfield and they have 6 games left. Southend are 9 points behind Mansfield and they have just 5 games left. The chances of either catching Mansfield is getting very slim indeed now.)

The Stags’ next game is next Saturday away to Stevenage.

(UPDATE: the game will be moved from 3pm Saturday due to the funeral of Prince Philip. Details to be announced, probably announced on Monday I’d guess).



First goal for Tyrese Sinclair earns Mansfield Town a late draw with Newport County
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Friday 9th April 2021

Youngster Tyrese Sinclair's late goal gave Mansfield Town a deserved 1-1 home draw with promotion hopefuls Newport County tonight.

Mansfield had twice hit the post before two bad mistakes laid County skipper Joss Labadie his 75th opener on a plate.

But Stags continued to press and got their reward when Sinclair blasted home his first senior goal with only six minutes to go.

Mansfield are now without a win in eight games but gave as good as they got against the Exiles aside of the errors that gave Newport the lead.


But victory again proved elusive as Stags fight for the win or two that will end any fears of being dragged into the relegation battle.

The night began with a two minute's silence following the death of Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip earlier in the day.

Inside the first minute Lewis warmed Stone's hands with a 25 snapshot on the half volley but it was straight at him.

But Stags went much closer on three minutes as Quinn crossed to the far post where Sinclair's header clipped a post and was scooped off the line by Townsend with Stags claiming it had crossed. But play continued and Clarke sliced a follow-up wide.

On six minutes Sweeney was too high from a low Quinn pull back after Mansfield's first corner was not properly cleared.

Newport should have gone ahead on 26 minutes after Maris conceded a free kick to the left of the box. Sheehan floated it across and somehow Labadie bundled it wide from close range in front of goal.

Two minutes later Rawson headed a long McLaughlin free kick straight at County keeper Townsend.

Clarke caused danger when he lost possession for Mansfield on 31 minutes and Stone had to beat away a fierce Telford shot.

Then on 38 minutes Quinn cut in from the left, got a fortunate rebound off a defender and whipped a shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Sinclair was too high as he strained to get a head on a McLaughlin cross soon after, but the half ended goalless.

On the restart Stone did well to push a Sheehan free kick away from danger as it zipped into the six yard box.

On 57 Quinn hit the base of the far post after Bowery's intelligent pass slipped him to the left by-line.

Sinclair was again too high with a header from McLaughlin's 62nd minute cross.

A good 68th minute break by the visitors saw Labadie well over with the finish.

Then McLaughlin and Sinclair's passes set up Quinn only to send his low shot straight to Townsend.

But two bad errors by the home side gifted Newport the opener on 75 minutes.

Maris was caught in possession and Labadie raced on to rifle low at goal from 20 yards and Stone allowed it to squirm under him when he looked favourite to save.

Perch blazed over a half-cleared free kick as the home side looked for a way back.

And they were level with six minutes to go as Sinclair blocked a Shephard clearance and took possession to smash an unstoppable rising shot under the bar from the left.

It was all Stags in the exciting five added minutes but Newport stood firm.

MANSFIELD: Stone, Sweeney, Rawson, Clarke (Reid 80), Bowery, Maris, Perch, Quinn, McLaughlin, Sinclair, Lapslie. Subs not used: Stech, Ward, Benning, Charsley, Gordon, Law

NEWPORT: Townsend, Labadie, Dolan, Sheehan, Lewis, Bennett, Telford, Demetriou, Taylor (Scrimshaw 62), Shephard, Ledley (Collins 67). Subs not used: King, Amond, Longe-King, Gambin, Ellison.

REFEREE: Christopher Pollard.


Promotion-chasing Newport held to draw by Mansfield
By Chris Kirwan argussport

NEWPORT County AFC had to settle for a point in their push for promotion from League Two after being hit by a late leveller in Mansfield.

Time will tell whether it was a point gained at Field Mill but it certainly felt like two dropped after Michael Flynn’s men hit the front in the closing stages.

The deadlock was broken after 74 minutes when Joss Labadie robbed George Maris of the ball, drove towards the box and fired a left-footed shot that went underneath goalkeeper Aidan Stone.

Labadie earned a precious 1-0 win on the road at Walsall in February but this time they failed to hold onto the lead.

Mansfield levelled with six minutes to go when Liam Shephard failed to clear his lines and Tyrese Sinclair fired high into the net from inside the box.

It was an extremely poor goal to concede after the Exiles had looked set to grind out a vital victory to back up the 1-0 win against Bolton.

The strugglers denied play-off hopefuls Exeter on Bank Holiday Monday and did the same to County with another point to edge away from the drop zone.

Now Flynn & Co must watch the results come in on Saturday afternoon after failing to earn a maximum haul to close right in on the top three and provide some breathing space over the chasing pack in the race for the play-offs.

Ahead of a week where County will host fellow promotion hopefuls Carlisle and Cambridge, the clash with the Stags felt like a must-not-lose after the fine 1-0 win against Bolton Wanderers.

Flynn made three changes, two of them forced with Mickey Demetriou back from suspension in place of the injured Priestley Farquharson and Dom Telford in up front for on-loan striker Nicky Maynard, who couldn't play against his parent club.

The final change saw Joe Ledley preferred to David Longe-King with Scot Bennett dropping back to the right of the defensive three.

It took just 30 seconds for County to enjoy an effort with wing-back Aaron Lewis firing at goalkeeper Stone from distance, a sweet strike but a routine save.

That was easy enough for the home stopper but Nick Townsend was sweating in the third minute after a cross from the left was struck towards goal by Sinclair but he was denied by a combination of the ‘keeper and the post.

The Stags were swiftly in their stride and centre back Ryan Sweeney fired over after a cross from the left in a worrying start for the Exiles, with the hosts causing issues with their midfield diamond.

County settled but were struggling to get their game going in heavy conditions that were reminiscent of Rodney Parade in the winter, with the pitch having boggy patches yet still given a pre-match watering.

Set pieces were vital and the Exiles should have hit the front from one after 25 minutes only for Ledley to fail to hit the target from a driven free-kicks into the six-yard box by Josh Sheehan.

On the half hour Telford shifted the ball nicely to work a chance on his left that led to a solid stop by Stone at his near post.

It wasn’t a half of flowing football but County needed to scrap, as they had against a quality Bolton team.

Mansfield went very close on 37 minutes when a ricochet allowed Stephen Quinn to open up his body and try to curl a shot from the left but he just failed to hit the target.

It was the home side that finished the half strongly with the Exiles having to be wary about their energy on the counter.

It was scoreless at the break, as it had been against Wanderers when Flynn changed his side’s shape for the second half.

This time he opted to stick with it for the start of the second half but it remained an even battle that suggested one goal could be enough.

The Stags came agonisingly close to getting their noses in front after 57 minutes when neat link-up play put dangerman Quinn in down the left but the veteran Irishman’s shot beat Townsend and rebounded out and to safety from the right post.

Mansfield were on top and County responded with their first change, bringing on the energy and industry of Jake Scrimshaw up front for Telford.

Another change came on 66 minutes with young Lewis Collins coming on for veteran Ledley; the Exiles desperately needed a spark if they were to turn one point into three.

The new man made an immediate impact with a burst from midfield but Scrimshaw’s pass forced him wide and his pull-back was fired well over the bar by Labadie.

However, the skipper made no mistake after 74 minutes when he fired home after winning the ball himself.

The Stags needed to respond - and did with six minutes to go.

A period of pressure was rewarded when Shephard failed to clear and was dispossessed by Sinclair, who fired high past Townsend.

It was Mansfield that finished on the front foot as the rain hammered down but it ended up honour even, probably a fair result.

Mansfield: Stone, Perch, Rawson, Sweeney, McLaughlin, Maris, Quinn, O Clarke (captain), Lapslie, Sinclair, Bowery.
Substitutes: Stech, Benning, Charsley, Gordon, Reid, Ward, Law.
Goal: Sinclair

County: Townsend, Bennett, Dolan, Demetriou, Shephard, Lewis, Sheehan, Ledley (Collins 66), Labadie (captain), Telford (Scrimshaw 61), Taylor.
Substitutes: King, Longe-King, Ellison, Gambin, Amond.
Booked: Lewis
Goal: Labadie



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