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Season 17/18 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
5 - 0
 Newport County
Rose 6, Potter 9, 28, 61, MacDonald 34.
Attendance: 2866 (57 from Newport)
Date: 13 February 2018


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town produced a sensational performance to beat Newport County 5-0 at the One Call Stadium last night. Mansfield scored 4 goals in the first half, the first time they have done that since the 8-1 win over Barrow in the Conference promotion season. It’s no exaggeration to say it could have ended 10-0 and Newport could not have complained, such were the chances that the Stags created. Mansfield were stunning going forward, carving Newport to pieces time and time again. Alfie Potter, recalled to the starting XI, scored a hat-trick, the first of his career, with a goal each for Danny Rose and Alex MacDonald. This was a Newport side that was arguably unlucky not to beat a near-full-strength Spurs side a couple of weeks ago in the FA Cup at Rodney Parade, Spurs rescued by a late Harry Kane equaliser, before Spurs won the replay 2-0 at Wembley a week ago. Newport had had their game at the weekend postponed, so came into the game fresh, while Mansfield came out just on the wrong side of a tough encounter at Swindon. But it was the Stags who looked fresher from the 1st minute to the last, with a number of outstanding individual performances, not only from the each of the goalscorers, but also CJ Hamilton who gave experienced full back David Pipe an absolute mauling. Actually every one of the Stags team played very well. Mansfield have now won 5 home league games on the trot. Mansfield remain 3 points outside the top 3 and 4 points above 8th placed Exeter, though Exeter have 2 games in hand. The Stags go to Exeter on Saturday in yet another big game.

Steve Evans made two changes to the side that lost at Swindon. Evans wanted to move MacDonald into the middle, so Atkinson missed out and Evans said Atkinson was “unlucky” to miss out. Potter came in to the right of midfield. Byrom was not quite himself, suffering from slight dehydration, and was replaced by Adam King, on loan from Swansea, who came in for his debut. Mellis was back from a hamstring injury on the bench and was considered for the starting XI but Evans felt that just a couple of training sessions was not sufficient for him. Hayden White missed out from the 18 despite being available after suspension and Paul Anderson kept his place at right back.

It was a cold night, it was -2 when I left the ground at 10.30pm. It had been a very wet day until about 4.30pm, but the pitch played superbly, once again great credit to the groundstaff.

During the game, on 70 minutes, there was a minute’s applause for Stags fan Geoff Filipek, who passed away recently, aged 70.

Mansfield were on the front foot from the opening 30 seconds. Potter crossed from the right and Hamilton couldn’t quite get on the end of it. On 3 minutes, Potter shot over the bar from the left after his initial corner had been given back to him back Hamilton.

A great chance for the Stags on 5 minutes. Anderson’s free kick was headed on by Bennett and Pearce, to Hemmings whose low shot from 6 yards was saved by the keeper with his legs. Moments later, Anderson pulled the ball back to Hemmings, to Rose, whose shot was deflected for a corner.

Mansfield were ahead on 6 minutes from the resulting corner. Potter’s corner from the left was headed out as far as Anderson, who knocked the ball back into the area. Pearce got control of the loose ball, turned past White and then Pipe and pulled back across the edge of the six yard area where Rose side-footed in from 6 yards. Superb play from Pearce and Rose was in the right place and at the right time. It was a deserved lead after such a fast start.

It was 2-0 on 9 minutes. Hemmings barged Scott Bennett off the ball, fairly according to the referee, Hamilton picked up the loose ball just inside the Newport half and made a fabulous run all the way into the area and from level with the edge of the six yard box on the left, pulled the ball back across the area, to Potter who side-footed in from 12 yards.

On 16 minutes, Newport keeper Joe Day had to head away outside his area from a long ball forward.

It should have been 3-0 on 21 minutes. A great move down the left, Hemmings to Hamilton, who pulled the ball back to Rose and Rose slid the ball wide from a great position.

A very rare chance for Newport on 22 minutes. A free kick 35 yards out was taken by Matt Dolan, his low shot was deflected to Labadie who knocked into the net, but the offside flag was already up. The video replay is inconclusive as Labadie is out of shot as the free kick is taken.

On 25 minutes, Potter played a lovely ball forward into the path of Hamilton, who got into the area before his shot was blocked by Pipe. Then MacDonald’s shot from 25 yards was blocked.

Straight to the other end, and Ben White’s ball forward was flicked straight at Logan by Amond.

On 27 minutes, Benning tried his luck from 35 yards but was well wide.

It was 3-0 on 28 minutes. Benning nicked the ball off Scott Bennett on the corner of the area on the left, and from 8 yards away from the byline he squared to Rose. Rose took a touch and with the keeper now on the floor, tried to chip the ball over him from 6 yards, but only succeeded on hitting the underneath of the bar. The ball came back to Rose who couldn’t control it, it ran loose and Potter lashed it into the roof of the net from 4 yards. How Rose didn’t score was a mystery, but Potter made no mistake for his second goal of the night.

It was 4-0 on 34 minutes. Newport were unable to effectively clear Potter’s corner from the right. It came out to MacDonald, 14 yards from goal in a central position, who lashed the ball low and hard through a body of players into the net.

It was the first time Mansfield had scored 4 goals in the first half since the 8-1 win over Barrow in the Conference promotion season.

On 36 minutes, Hemmings found Potter who put in a good cross and Rose shot on the half turn, just wide of the right post.

On 41 minutes, another shot was Rose was blocked after Hemmings knocked down to him.

At the other end, Labadie’s shot from fully 40 yards was going well wide but deflected off Pearce taking it back on target, but Logan was able to easily save.

On 43 minutes a great ball forward by Pearce and Potter won a corner.

Good defending by Benning on 45+2 minutes, heading away a Newport corner. Two minutes later, a good push away by Logan from Willmott’s cross from the left.

So 4-0 at the break and a stunning first half from Mansfield. The Stags had been magnificent going forward with Hamilton ripping full back David Pipe to pieces. Newport had defended very poorly.

Half time 4-0

On 49 minutes, Rose found Hemmings who shot wide left footed from 30 yards.

A glorious triple chance for Mansfield on 51 minutes. The ball was gifted to Rose by the hapless Pipe, Rose ran forward into the area and his shot was pushed away by the keeper to Adam King, whose shot was brilliantly saved one handed by the keeper, back to him, and he fired over.

On 55 minutes, another glorious double chance for Mansfield. Firstly MacDonald’s free kick into the area was knocked against the right post by Bennett. Then Rose got to the byline and pulled inside to Hemmings who somehow knocked over the bar from 3 yards, unmarked.

Mansfield made it 5-0 on 61 minutes. MacDonald fed Hamilton, who progressed into the area on the left. Hamilton squared across the area to Rose, who tried to turn it goalwards but missed the ball. It ran through to Potter, 15 yards from goal on the right. Potter took one touch before firing goalwards. His shot was tipped away by the keeper and would have gone wide if it hadn’t hit Willmott and gone in. The goal was given to Potter, to complete his hat-trick, though if the dubious goals committee get involved, it will be an own goal. I don’t think they will get involved on this occasion as it seems the referee and press all gave the goal to Potter. The dubious goals committee got involved in the winner at Morecambe because the referee had given the goal to Spencer whilst the press had given the goal to Benning.

On 63 minutes, a candidate for the worst ball of the season from Ben Tozer who put the ball out for a throw-in, fully 25 yards away from any Newport player. He must have mistaken one of the advertising hoardings on the Bishop Street stand for a Newport player.

On 66 minutes, a good punch away by Logan after Pipe crossed in.

On 67 minutes, Logan’s long free kick was flicked on by Rose, and Potter’s shot was blocked.

MacDonald nearly had his second goal of the night on 69 minutes. The Stags won a free kick a yard outside the area, to the left of centre. MacDonald curled it into the side netting. Very close. Still the Stags can’t score direct from a free kick outside the area. The last one was early last season at Accrington (September 2016) by Chris Clements.

On 75 minutes, a monster long throw from Tozer was well caught by Logan.

Penney replaced hat-trick hero Potter on 76 minutes. Left footed Penney slotted in on the right.

Miller replaced Hemmings on 79 minutes.

Fabulous play from Rose created a great chance for Miller on 82 minutes. Rose got down the left and squeezed his way along the byline before cutting the ball back for Miller, whose shot was somehow saved on the line by the keeper.

A “wow” moment on 84 minutes. Adam King saw the keeper off his line and tried a David Beckham type effort, which the keeper scrambling back somehow tipped over his own bar. Wonderful skill from the Swansea loanee.

Newport’s best chance of the night came on 85 minutes. Willmott crossed from the right, and Marlon Jackson headed over.

Spencer replaced Rose on 89 minutes.

Spencer was hauled down for a free kick 20 yards out on the left hand side on 90 minutes. MacDonald fired the resulting free kick straight at the keeper.

Just 1 (one) minute of stoppage time was added on. I cannot remember a game with just one minute added on before. There were four separate substitutions, for which the referee is supposed to add on two minutes just for those!

5-0 it finished and a fantastic performance. An absolute thumping against a good side who were made to look very poor on the night.

A note on the hat-trick by Potter, the first of his career. It was the second by a Mansfield player this season, after Spencer against Guiseley. It was the first in a league game since Adam Chapman against Stockport in the Conference winning season.

A word on the attendance. Even allowing for it being a cold night, and having been a very wet day until about 4.30pm, it was very disappointing, and almost 1000 down in home fans from the Barnet game 10 days ago. Mansfield had won the previous 4 home league games on the trot. I would have expected the excellent run of form to bring a bigger crowd in.

Man of the match: Alfie Potter

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

Line Up:
Logan 7 A good punch and a good catch. Some straightforward saves.
Anderson 7 Good game. Some good attacking down the right.
Pearce 8 Tremendous play to set up the first goal. Good going forward and solid at the back.
Bennett 7 Unlucky when his effort hit the post in the second half. Solid.
Benning 7 Really good play in the build-up to the third goal. One very good piece of defending at the end of the first half.
Potter 10 Hat-trick, the first of his career. Some super corners. Plenty of good movement and passing.
King 8 Very good debut in central midfield. Wonderful skill for his chip from the halfway line which the keeper tipped over. Also denied by another fine save from the keeper.
MacDonald 8 Good finish for his goal. So close with free kick into the side netting.
Hamilton 9 Gave experienced full back David Pipe an absolute mauling. Superb, creating plenty of good chances.
Rose 8 Got the first goal. Missed a sitter leading up to the third goal. Fabulous play down the left and along the byline setting up a chance for Miller.
Hemmings 8 Very fine game and involved in a lot. Missed a sitter in the second half.
Sub Line Up:
Penney (for Potter, 76 mins) -
Miller (for Hemmings, 79 mins) -
Spencer (for Rose, 89 mins) -
Subs not used: Olejnik, Diamond, Mellis, Atkinson.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Day; Pipe, White, Demetriou, Butler; Scott Bennett (Tozer, 58), Dolan (O’Brien, 46); Willmott, Labadie, Nouble (Jackson, 46); Amond. Subs not used: Bittner, Reid, Sheehan, McCoulsky.
Ben Toner 7 Handled the game well.

Season 17/18 Reports