STAGS LOSE AT NEWPORT AFTER LEADING AGAIN
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Newport County 2-1 Mansfield Town
Twine 78, Amond pen 88. McLaughlin 69
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 3 October 2020
Martin Shaw at Rodney Parade
Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 at Newport County yesterday afternoon after taking the lead on 69 minutes through a wonderful 20 yard rocket-shot from Stephen McLaughlin, who was starting his first game for the club. But for the third game running after taking the lead, the Stags were unable to complete their first victory of the season. The Stags were made to pay for sloppy defending 9 minutes later as Jordan Bowery miscued a clearance from a cross, straight to Scott Twine who side-footed into the corner of the net from 13 yards. It was poor play from Bowery, who was only just on as a substitute and perhaps caught cold.
Worse was to follow as Newport scored a winner on 88 minutes from the penalty spot. This time the Stags were unlucky to be on the wrong end of a poor refereeing decision. Outside the left side of the penalty area, Padraig Amond lifted the ball and it struck Rollin Menayese’s left arm from less than a yard away. Menayese’s arm was in a natural position by his side, and also because the ball was struck from less than a yard away, it clearly should not have been given as a penalty or a free kick in my opinion. Whether it was inside or outside the box is difficult to tell from the TV angles we have (I've checked our pitchside footage which doesn't help). From my position in the ground, I thought it was outside, but we haven't got the right angle to say definitively. Matt Dolan, who scored the winning penalty in the penalty shoot-out in the play-off semi-final between the two sides the season before last, stepped up and sent keeper Aidan Stone the wrong way to complete the victory.
It was a bitter pill to swallow and tough luck on Mansfield, who certainly deserved a point in my opinion. The first half had seen the best chance fall to the Stags as a great break from Nicky Maynard sent George Maris away and his shot was saved at full stretch by the keeper. At the other end, Aidan Stone made a good save from a deflected Mickey Demetriou shot. Newport had plenty of possession in the first half, knocking the ball around confidently, but rarely troubled the Stags who looked solid.
The second half saw the Stags play some good football and create some good chances. Jamie Reid nicked the ball off Josh Sheehan just outside the area and fired in a good shot which was palmed away by the keeper. Then Reid put in a great cross from the right which Maynard turned goalwards and was saved by the keeper with his legs, though Maynard should have buried it. Newport created little apart from a shot from Brandon Cooper into the ground which was deflected up and over the bar by Menayese. But in the end, Newport were able to come from behind to claim the points.
Newport go top of the league, which coupled with their excellent Carabao Cup run, constitutes a tremendous start to the season. The Stags on the other hand, are languishing without a win in any competition. The Stags have a game in the EFL Trophy against Lincoln City on Tuesday (note kick off is 7pm). A win, in any competition, might do the Stags a power of good.
Mansfield made five changes to the side that lost to Exeter. Only one was enforced, with keeper Marek Stech out through illness. As a result of Stech’s illness, the whole squad had been tested for Covid-19 on Thursday, and all came back negative including Stech. In game Aidan Stone for his first game of the season. The other changes saw McLaughlin come in for Benning at left wing-back, James Perch replaced Harry Charsley in midfield, and up front Reid and Maynard came in for Bowery and Cook. Perch played in front of the back three in a defensive midfield role. Coughlan explained he had brought him in for his experience and he is a fighter and a battler. Coughlan explained that he had brought in Reid and Maynard to provide freshness and legs up front. Benning, Charsley, Bowery and Cook dropped to the bench. Young keeper Maison Campbell was also on the bench. The players who travelled with the squad but were not in the 18 were James Clarke, Gordon and Sinclair who all watched the game from in front of the commentary position.
There had been plenty of rain in South Wales on Friday and Saturday morning but the pitch was in surprisingly good condition, unlike many occasions when we have played there before. It was certainly benefitting from no rugby being played on it so far this season.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield Town still searching for first win after being sunk by late goals at Newport County
chad.co.uk report, by Press Association, Saturday, 3rd October 2020
Late goals from Scott Twine and Matt Dolan denied battling Mansfield their first win of the new season.
Stephen McLaughlin’s wonder strike put the Stags on course to get their faltering start to the season off and running.
But Twine’s 78th minute equaliser and Dolan’s last-gasp penalty strike was tough to swallow for Graham Coughlan’s team.
The Stags have now not won in any of their six games so far this campaign.
Brandon Cooper had a shot blocked from the edge of the box in only the third minute as Newport made a bright start.
And soon after Joss Labadie had a shot charged down as the hosts pushed for an early advantage.
Town had their first chance in the eighth minute but McLaughlin’s sweet left-foot strike flew well over.
Moments later Nicky Maynard had a good chance to open the scoring, but he blasted well over having been teed up by McLaughlin.
Mickey Demetriou rifled wide of the left post as County rallied on the counter, before midfielder Ollie Clarke had an effort blocked at the other end.
George Maris went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock but his powerful shot was well-saved by keeper Nick Townsend.
Demetriou saw his crisp shot deflected but Town shot-stopper Aidan Stone was equal to the effort and made a fine save to keep proceedings level-pegging.
Swindon loanee Twine hit the target but again Stone saved well.
Five minutes before the break Labadie tried his luck from distance, but his right-foot strike flew high and wide.
Maynard came close to giving the visitors a welcome half-time advantage, but he shot wide of the right post.
Welshman Cooper was unlucky not to give the home side the lead just ten minutes after the restart, but Stone produced a fine fingertip save to deflect his shot over the crossbar.
And then Jamie Reid blasted over on the hour mark as County kept pushing to break the deadlock.
But the breakthrough came for the Stags with 21 minutes remaining as McLaughlin netted with a screamer.
McLaughlin lashed into the top right corner to leave keeper Townsend no chance at all. It was a special strike from the Irishman.
Seconds later Maris came close to doubling the lead but he rifled wide of the left post.
However, there was still time for a twist in the tale.
Twine levelled with 12 minutes remaining, rifling into the bottom left corner.
And then with two minutes left Dolan tucked away from the spot after Rollin Menayesse was penalised for a handball in the box.
Newport: Townsend, Cooper, Dolan, Demetriou, Shephard, Labadie, Sheehan, Twine (Bennett 90), Haynes, Abrahams (Amond 83), Taylor (Janneh 65). Subs: King, Baker, Willmott, Ellison.
Mansfield: Stone, Menayese, Rawson, Sweeney, O’Keeffe (Cook 90+2), O Clarke (Smith 84), Maris, Perch McLaughlin, Maynard (Bowery 75), Reid. Subs: Benning, Charsley,O’Driscoll, Campbell.
Referee: Sam Allison
REPORT - Exiles come from behind to seal third consecutive Sky Bet League Two victory against Mansfield Town
Matty Dolan stroked home a penalty two minutes from time to ensure Newport County AFC kept their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two record in tact with a 2-1 win against Mansfield Town.
Stephen McLaughlin fired the Stags ahead when his effort from range found the top corner before Scott Twine responded for the hosts nine minutes later.
And, after Rollin Menayese was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area, Dolan rolled home the resulting penalty with two minutes left of normal time to ensure County secured their third consecutive Sky Bet League Two victory of the campaign.
Michael Flynn made two changes from the Exiles' penalty shooutout defeat against Newcastel United on Wednesday evening, as Joss Labadie - who missed the clash against the Magpies through suspension - was brought in for Scot Bennett, and Ryan Taylor replaced Padraig Amond.
The Exiles were limited to few clear-cut chances against Steve Bruce's side in mid-week, but enjoyed the first opportunity of the afternoon through Mickey Demetriou. After Twine cut inside from the left flank, the midfielder found the path of Demetriou, who struck just wide of Aiden Stone's post after being pressurised by the away defence.
County continued to press for the opening goal but nearly found themselves undone by a quick counter-attack from the Stags down the opposite end. Dolan's corner, which looked to be one straight off the training ground, found Tristan Abrahams in the area, but the striker's lay-off failed to reach Liam Shephard. Graham Coughlan's men quickly forged a counter-attack through Nicky Maynard and George Maris, before the latter forced a save out of Nick Townsend down the opposite end.
Townsend's opposite number Stone also produced a strong save of his own after being called into action by Twine. The Swindon Town loanee, who helped the Exiles break the dead-lock on Wednesday, when his shot fell kindly for Abrahams, nearly added his second goal of the campaign with a similar strike to his effort against the Toon. But Stone was on hand to palm the ball away from the danger zone and the away side cleared away to safety.
The Stags goalkeeper had to be alert again in the early stages of the second half, as he pulled off another fine save to keep out Brandon Cooper's effort. The Swansea City loanee, who found himself in unfamiliar territroy after venturing forward, sent James Perch the wrong way before forcing Stone into tipping the ball over the crossbar.
The home side had enjoyed the better of the opportunities but had Townsend to thank for keeping the scores level on the hour-mark. Jamie Reid's curling effort was kept out by the Exiles' shot-stopper before he recovered quickly to deny Maynard from point-blank range minutes later.
The Stags finally managed to find the breakthrough when McLaughlin drifted inside from the left wing and fired into the top corner, leaving Townsend helpress in the County goal.
But it took just nine minutes after the restart for Flynn's men to reply to the setback through Twine. After Mansfield substitute Jordan Bowery's attempted clearance fell into the path of the midfielder, Twine picked his spot before rolling the ball into the bottom corner to draw the Exiles level.
And County managed to find a second two minutes from time when Dolan fired in from the penalty spot. Amond made an immediate impact after his introduction when his flick hit the hand of Menayese in the penalty area, with referee Samuel Allison pointing to the penalty spot. Dolan, who converted in the shootout against Newcastle in mid-week, sent Stone the wrong way before tapping the ball into the opposite corner to seal the victory for the hosts.
Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie, Josh Sheehan, Scott Twine (Scot Bennett 89'), Tristan Abrahams (Padraig Amond 83'), Ryan Taylor (Saikou Janneh 65').
Substitutes: Tom King, Ashley Baker, Robbie Willmott, Lewis Collins.
Dolan penalty seals win over Mansfield as County go top of League Two
By Alex Bywater, southwalesargus.co.uk
MATTY Dolan’ 88th minute penalty saw Newport County come from behind to seal a 2-1 win over Mansfield Town in League Two at Rodney Parade.
Stephen McLaughlin looked like he’d given the visitors victory when he arrowed an unstoppable second-half shot into the net.
Just three days after exiting the Carabao Cup on penalties at the hands of Newcastle United, Newport were left frustrated as they struggled to create clear-cut chances.
But they equalised through Scott Twine after Mansfield substitute Jordan Bowery had produced a poor clearance and there was still time for Dolan to win it.
Newport substitute Padraig Amond crossed towards goal and the ball struck Rollin Menayese. Referee Samuel Alisson judged the ball to have hit Menayese on the hand when he was inside the box, but in truth both calls were marginal.
Newport didn’t care and Dolan stepped up to win it.
Newport beat Mansfield on penalties to reach the League Two play-off final in May 2019 and Mike Flynn made two changes from the side beaten by Newcastle on Wednesday.
Captain Joss Labadie and Ryan Taylor returned in place of Scot Bennett and Amond on a wet afternoon in Newport. Mansfield included former Cardiff City striker Nicky Maynard.
Newport were straight on the front foot with goalkeeper Nick Townsend calmly playing the ball out from the back when under pressure. Mickey Demetriou fired the first shot wide.
Mansfield were reduced to two shots from distance - both could still be travelling - but when Maynard led a breakout, Townsend was forced into action to deny George Maris.
Demetriou then went close again with a deflected effort which required saving.
Newport were neat and tidy as they have become under Flynn, but they struggled for sights of goal as Mansfield defended resolutely and Twine shot from distance.
Labadie also fired wide as Newport turned around with work to do.
Maynard failed to connect with a shot at the start of the second half and Mansfield’s Jamie Reid was denied by an onrushing Townsend.
Brandon Cooper, who missed the crucial penalty against Newcastle in midweek, then cut in on his left foot and forced impressive Mansfield goalkeeper Aiden Stone into another smart stop.
Tristan Abrahams, who had been well marshalled, crossed for strike partner Taylor, but the visitors got back to clear. At the other end Reid shot over and Cooper went close again.
The chances were suddenly coming thick and fast as Townsend was forced into two quick save, Flynn swapped Taylor for Saikou Janneh, and Twine tried his luck.
Mansfield took the lead with a superb strike.
On debut, McLaughlin cut inside from the left and on to his right foot. His shot immediately looked destined for the top corner and so it proved.
It left Newport to chase the game and after Twine had a free-kick saved, the talented midfielder kept his composure and slotted into the bottom corner after Mansfield had failed to clear.
There was still time for more late drama and Newport had Dolan to thank as their unbeaten start to the league season continued.
Newport County (3-5-2): Townsend; Cooper, Dolan, Demetriou; Shephard, Labadie (capt), Sheehan, Twine (Bennett 90), Haynes; Taylor (Janneh 65), Abrahams (Amond 83)
Substitutes not used: King, Baker, Willmott, Ellison
Goals: Twine 78, Dolan 88
Mansfield Town (3-4-3): Stone; Menayese, Rawson, Sweeney; O’Keefe (Cook 90), Clarke (capt) (Smith 84), Maris, Perch, McLaughlin; Maynard (Bowery 80), Reid
Substitutes not used: Campbell, Charsley, O’Driscoll, Benning
Goal: McLaughlin 69
Booked: Perch, O’Keefe, Smith
Referee: Samuel Alisson
Star man: Scott Twine (Newport County)