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Match Reports

Report: Newport 1-1 Stags

19 February 2022

Mansfield Town extended their magnificent unbeaten league run to 12 games following a 1-1 away draw with fellow promotion chasers Newport County.

The hosts’ Josh Pask deflected Stephen McLaughlin’s shot from range into his own net on 68 minutes to put the Stags ahead. 

Nigel Clough’s side had been dominant before John-Joe 0'Toole's 64th minute red card changed the dynamic of the contest.  The Exiles snatched a point late on via a Dom Telford penalty. 

Manager Nigel Clough made three chances to the side that earned a point away to Bristol Rovers a week ago. 

Jamie Murphy, Jordan Bowery and Rhys Oates were replaced in the starting XI by Ryan Stirk, McLaughlin and George Maris. 

The game began in blustery conditions, courtesy of Storm Eunice, which swirled around Rodney Parade. 

George Maris tempted the Newport goal for the first time inside three minutes by swinging a shot from distance towards Nick Townsend’s near post. However, the ‘keeper was able to claim the shot. 

With Mansfield enjoying a sustained spell of possession, midfielder Ollie Clarke cut inside from the right wing. The captain's delivery picked out Matty Longstaff well, who drilled a low shot at Townsend on eight minutes. 

The Stags continued their push for an opener. On 13 minutes, Quinn's through-ball played in Akins who squared a cross ahead of George Maris' reach. 

Some more excellent movement from Quinn followed when the Irishman found space on the edge of the box before his shot was directed narrowly wide. 

Two minutes later, Newport worked their way into Mansfield's box for the first time. However, League Two’s top scorer, Dom Telford, was well shepherded well by O'Toole before he flashed his shot into the side netting. 

Mansfield continued to threaten Newport for the remainder of the half and dominated proceedings. 

Elliott Hewitt enjoyed a creative first-half performance and demonstrated his attacking intent on 32 minutes. The full-back beat his man to fire an inviting ball across goal, but Quinn's wind-assisted effort on the slide beat the crossbar by an inch. 

The Stags went into half-time off the back of a highly encouraging 45 minutes, displaying some excellent football and remaining a constant threat to the Newport goal. 

The hosts made two half-time changes. Captain Matt Dolan and Ryan Haynes were replaced by Robbie Willmatt and Cameron Norman.   

The second half began in equal balance with neither side able to craft a clear-cut chance before the hour mark. Mansfield's best opening within that period came on 57 minutes when Akins showed fine alter ness to intercept a Newport pass. However, Maris' subsequent threaded ball into Longstaff evaded the on-loan Newcastle midfielder just outside the Newport box. 

The Stags persisted to knock the ball around Newport's box in crisp, creative fashion. On 63 minutes, Quinn again skipped clear of his marker, settled himself on the edge of the box and curled a well hit strike narrowly over the crossbar. 

Newport's only threat came on the counter-attack with Mansfield's men camped within the attacking half. However, the Stags' defensive bodies continued to show excellent stamina and defensive perception to recover and deal with the hosts' attacks.

Following another well-worked attacking move, Stephen McLaughlin helped to open the scoring in Mansfield's favour on 69 minutes. The full-back worked his way into space and let fly from range. The Irishman's effort deflected off Pask and deceived Newport 'keeper Townsend to find the bottom left corner and ignte pandemonium in the away end. 

In the 64th minute an altercation led to the dismissal of John-Joe O'Toole in an off the ball incident. 

Centre back Oli Hawkins received a yellow card ruling him out of Mansfield's next two fixtures. 

Soon afterwards, defender Farrend Rawson was introduced for midfielder George Maris. 

Newport were awarded a penalty when Oli Hawkins was adjudged to have handled Scot Bennett's shot. Telford converted the subsequent spot-kick in the 82nd minute.   

With that, the hosts regained momentum but the Stags defended resolutely to see out a vital draw. 

Mansfield head to Bradford next Saturday, with the backing of over 2,000 away fans set to rally them on at Valley Parade.  

NEWPORT XI: Townsend, Haynes (Normann 46'), Pask, Dolan (Willmott 46') Baker-Richardson, Lewis, Bennett, Azaz, Telford, Caine (Waite 65'), Demetriou 

UNUSED SUBS: Day, Clarke, Street, Collins

STAGS XI: Bishop, Hewitt, O Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Longstaff (Bowery 82'), Clarke, Maris (Rawson 65’), Stirk, Quinn (Wallace 84'), Akins 

UNUSED SUBS: Stech, Perch, Law, Johnson 

REFEREE: Will Finnie 

ATTENDANCE: 3956 (337 away) 

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