Centre-back Ben Turner believes that Mansfield Town ‘deserved’ victory against Newport County but insists it is still ‘all to play for’ following a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade.
CJ Hamilton’s 12-minute strike handed the Stags a well-deserved lead in south Wales heading into the interval.
And Mansfield were resilient throughout until the Exiles were awarded a penalty – that Padraig Amond tucked home on the rebound – which ensured it would be honours even heading into the second leg in three days’ time.
Mansfield’s number 25 subsequently felt his side did enough to warrant victory in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.
“We were happy with where we were in the game and we wanted to take a lead back to our stadium,” he stated.
“I think we feel a bit hard done by. We’ve not hard the rub of the green lately but tonight was a better performance, definitely.
“I think we deserved the win – we got the goal and should have been playing against 10 men if I’m honest.
“Conrad doesn’t deserve that [the penalty] either because of the way he played and the saves he made when we needed him.”
"I think we feel a bit hard done by. We’ve not hard the rub of the green lately but tonight was a better performance, definitely."
Despite being pegged back with less than ten minutes left, the 31-year-old remained upbeat as he earmarked the final result as a positive one to take to One Call Stadium.
“It’s a good result and we take it back to Mansfield. I think we did well for most of the big moments throughout the game.
“Personally, I should have won a few more headers in the first half but [Jamille] Matt’s there to win headers, and you’re not going to dominate against everyone.
“It’s about digging in and getting it right in the big moments. The boys in front – Macca and Bish – scrapped really hard and we had some quality moments.
“I think we did pretty much everything right for an away first leg so that we can take something back to Mansfield.”
The former Burton defender – who made his ninth start for the Stags on Thursday evening – then looked ahead to an intriguing second leg.
“We’re very capable of our own quality moments so I’m expecting to have a few more like the goal and when Tyler was through,” Turner continued.
“That’s the quality they’ve got but at the same time I don’t think just because we’re at home that Newport won’t stick to their game plan to ask questions.
“They won’t be too deflated so it’s still all to play for.”
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