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Archived News from October 2022

30th October 2022 10:01

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Newport County
Perch sent off 59 minutes
Attendance: 5,624 (115 from Newport) (note this it is essentially tickets sold, including season tickets)

Date: 25 October 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 0-0 with Newport County at the One Call Stadium last night in a game very low on quality, excitement, entertainment and chances. The first half was dull with the Stags having just one chance of note as Lapslie fired straight at the Newport keeper just before half time, while for Newport, Will Evans had a shot saved by Pym after Hartigan gave the ball away, and Adam Lewis volleyed wide after a long throw-in from Mickey Demetriou was cleared. In the second half, the Stags briefly played some better football and Maris had a good chance but fired straight at the keeper after 56 minutes, while at the other end Demetriou headed goalwards following a free kick and Pym palmed it away. But just as the Stags were threatening to get on top, they were reduced to ten men when Perch was sent off for a second bookable offence after 59 minutes. For the remaining 31 minutes plus 6 minutes of stoppage time, the Stags defended well to stop Newport making the most of their one man advantage with Ollie Clarke excellent, replacing Perch in defence. At the other end, the Stags couldn’t get anything going, though won two corners, both of which were hopelessly wasted. Newport relied on many long throw-ins from Demetriou all game, and the Stags defended well against them hurled into the box. Two points dropped in one sense, from a poor performance. However, the players battled very hard to preserve a point in that last 31+6 minutes, and deserved it, with 0-0 a fitting scoreline.

The Stags remain 4th in the table, four points behind third placed Northampton with a game in hand.

The match marked the return of Graham Coughlan to the One Call Stadium. Coughlan was appointed as the new Newport County manager last week and had got off to a winning start at the weekend at home to Colchester. Coughlan was sacked as Mansfield manager almost exactly two years ago. I wrote at the time of his sacking: “I found Graham Coughlan to be very pleasant and respectful and it is very sad to see him sacked. However football is a results business and his results simply weren’t good enough. Nine games this season without a win, and four wins from 15 games last season.” Just 4 wins in total from 24 games, a win ratio of 16.7%, the lowest win-ratio of any manager in Mansfield’s history.

There was very little reaction from Stags fans to Coughlan’s return as he walked to the dugout. He did his best for the Stags, but couldn’t get results. I think this led to no booing nor particular applause. He did however bring six of the current squad to the club: Bowery, Clarke, Maris, Perch, McLaughlin, and Lapslie, all of whom have mostly done well under Clough.

It was the third time in quick succession that the Stags had come up against a team that had recently sacked its manager, and for the third time, the Stags failed to win.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that lost at Crawley. Harbottle missed out having received a whack on the head at Crawley. Swan and Bowery dropped to the bench, having both played poorly at Crawley, though they weren’t alone in that. In came Perch, back from illness, Wallace back from head injury, and Boateng. Gordon was back on the bench after his groin injury though not fit to start. O’Toole was on the bench and not fit to start after finishing the game at Crawley limping. McLaughlin remained out with a sore knee, a big loss to the side. Quinn was suspended after his daft booking at Crawley made it 5 yellow cards for the season.
The Stags started with a 4-5-1 formation. Nigel Clough explained: “We didn't have wing-backs tonight, so that's why we started with the back four.”
Hewitt was at right back, Hawkins and Perch at centre half, Wallace at left back. Akins was on his own up front, with Lapslie (right), Clarke, Hartigan, Boateng, Maris (left) in midfield.

The Stags started sloppily, again, as at Crawley. Inside the opening 2 minutes, Hartigan played a loose pass to set Will Evans in on goal, Evans sent in a low shot from the edge of the area which Pym got down to save comfortably. Three minutes later, Omar Bogle turned away from Hewitt, and his shot was deflected off Hawkins for a corner.

A good move from the Stags after 11 minutes down the right, Hewitt crossed in and Maris glanced a header wide.

Newport went close after 11 minutes as Demetriou’s long throw was headed out by Akins straight to Adam Lewis who volleyed just wide, the ball hitting the back stanchion.

Terrible refereeing after 17 minutes with the shirt being pulled off Akins’ back, but the free kick was given the other way.

Long ball football from Newport as a big punt forward from the keeper bounced into the Stags area and James Waite flicked wide, after 18 minutes.

Good play from Boateng on the left at the other end after 20 minutes to win a corner.

Wallace fouled Cameron Norman after 25 minutes to concede a free kick. Lewis took it into the area and Lapslie headed away for a corner.

Plenty of poor play from the Stags, gifting possession away, including in their own half, trying to play too much in their own half. Akins was completely isolated on his own up front, with Lapslie out wide on the right. A strange tactic with Lapslie in such hot form in front of goal.

With things not working at all, the Stags switched to 3 at the back, with Lapslie at right wing-back, Wallace at left wing-back, and Maris just behind Akins, in a 3-5-1-1 formation.

Much better from the Stags after 39 minutes: good movement down the right as Hewitt put in a couple of crosses, cleared, then Lapslie put in a low ball from the right towards Maris, cleared behind for a corner.

Perch was booked for deliberately bringing down Norman on the break after 41 minutes. A fair enough yellow card in my opinion, though Clough said afterwards he thought it was soft.

The Stags’ best chance of the half came after 45+2 minutes. A really good run from Maris won a free kick on the left. Norman could have been booked for the challenge but wasn’t. Hartigan’s free kick towards the near post was into a good area. It was initially cleared, but then Perch flicked on to put Lapslie in with a sight of goal from 18 yards. Lapslie took his shot first time on the volley but slightly miscued and it was straight at the keeper.

Nil nil at the break. Very dull. Akins was isolated on his own up front for most of the half, and Lapslie was out wide on the right. As I said, a strange tactic in my opinion with Lapslie in such hot form in front of goal.

Half time 0-0

Bowery replaced Wallace at the start of the second half. Bowery went in at left wing-back. Lapslie continued at right wing-back.

A free kick for the Stags after 47 minutes, from out on the left. A chance to get bodies in the box. Hartigan wasted it with a terrible delivery straight over the bar.

A free kick for Newport two minutes later, from a similar position to the one the Stags just had, this time out on the right. The delivery from Lewis was good, finding Demetriou unmarked at the far post and he headed goalwards, with Pym palming it away. From re-watching the video, at no stage was anyone marking Demetriou so a tactical error rather someone losing him. Pym then did well to punch away the resulting throw-in, taken long of course by Demetriou. Then good defending by Hewitt clearing a ball into the six yard box.

A change after 54 minutes as Akins and Lapslie swapped places, Akins moving to right wing back, Lapslie going up front.

Seconds later, good play by Bowery on the left, in to Lapslie, who turned and shot but it was blocked.

After 56 minutes, Mansfield’s best chance of the game, and much better movement. Maris played out to Bowery on the left, Bowery cut inside to Clarke. Clarke played a neat ball forward to Boateng on the edge of the area with his back to goal. Boateng turned, and beautifully teed up Maris for a free shot from the edge of the area but Maris fired straight at the keeper. What a chance for Maris.

But just as the Stags were threatening to get on top, they were reduced to ten men after 59 minutes. Demetriou punted a high ball just into the Stags half. Hawkins went to head it away under pressure from Will Evans and only succeeded in heading it square, straight to Bogle who chested it down and was about to get away from Perch towards goal before Perch wrestled him down. No question that it was at least a yellow card, and arguably could have even been a straight red as Bogle would have been through on goal. Perch was shown a second yellow card and was sent off.

The resulting free kick was 32 yards out. Lewis took it, straight at Pym.

Ollie Clarke switched from midfield to central defence, onto the left side of the three man central defence.

After 66 minutes, excellent defending from Clarke against Will Evans.

Swan replaced Boateng after 66 minutes. Swan went up front. Lapslie dropped back into midfield.

After 72 minutes, Swan won a corner. Hartigan put it over everyone.

A minute later at the other end, a rare chance for Newport given their man advantage as Scot Bennett volleyed over the bar from 25 yards.

Plenty of long throw-ins coming in from Demetriou but the Stags were defending them well. The Stags weren’t able to keep possession though.

O’Toole replaced Hartigan after 84 minutes. With Clarke playing so well in central defence, O’Toole went into midfield. This was a sensible change with Newport launching balls into the Stags box, and O’Toole to provide extra aerial ability. Also the Stags best chance of scoring themselves would be to win some set pieces.

A good punch away by Pym from a corner after 87 minutes.

Maris got a knock after 89 minutes. He was replaced by Gordon. Gordon went to right wing-back, Akins moved into midfield.

Six minutes were added on.

After 90+2, Bennett tamely fired over the bar from 16 yards.

The Stags won a corner after 90+4 minutes. Finally a chance to create a goalscoring opportunity. Gordon took it and didn’t beat the first man. Not what was needed. A minute later at the other end, a corner for Newport, and a glancing header so far wide it was going out for a throw-in.

After 90+7 minutes, a very bad foul by Moriah-Welsh on Gordon on the touchline. A yellow card. The worst foul of the game. It could have been a red. Gordon limped away from it. As the free kick was taken, the referee blew the final whistle.

The Stags dug in well in that final 31+6 minutes after Perch was sent off. Prior to that with 11 vs 11, in my opinion the Stags were not adventurous enough, with Akins isolated on his own up front. With Lapslie in hot form in front of goal, I would have liked to have seen Lapslie playing just off Akins.

Ollie Clarke was my man of the match. He showed a determination that the Stags weren’t going to be beaten. George Maris also played well and was the sponsors’ man of the match.

After the game Newport boss Graham Coughlan said: "I would have liked three points with a man advantage but we probably didn't do enough. I am not sure we asked enough questions or worked their goalkeeper enough. We got into the right areas and put balls in but I have to give credit to Mansfield because they put their bodies on the line, blocked, cleared, kicked and tackled.”

Nigel Clough said: “We value the point an awful lot, when you’re playing 40 minutes with ten men. To get a clean sheet out of that, and not get back-to-back defeats, is important. It keeps the unbeaten run going here at the One Call.”

The Stags are at home again on Saturday, with Swindon Town the visitors. Swindon are level on points with Mansfield, having played a game more. The home form is remarkable really, with just one league defeat at home in nearly 13 months. Hopefully Mansfield can put in a better performance than Tuesday and get back to winning ways.


Mansfield Town 0-0 Newport County
Perch (Dismissed at59'minutes)


High-flying Mansfield were held at home by Newport, who remain unbeaten under new manager Graham Coughlan.

Will Evans had an early chance for County but fired straight at goalkeeper Christy Pym.

Mansfield were reduced to 10 men when James Perch received a second yellow card after fouling Omar Bogle.

County could not make their numerical advantage count but secured a second consecutive clean sheet since ex-Stags boss Coughlan took charge.

Mansfield are fourth in League Two while Newport are 18th.

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan said:

"It's a tough one when a team goes down to 10 men, you'd like to go on and win it. But even with 11 v 11, I was really pleased with what the lads did, the chances we created in the first 20 minutes and again we've started fast.

"It's a clean sheet and had someone offered me that at the start of the game I would have taken it, so I guess I have to be pleased."

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Newport
Possession Home 56% Away 44%
Shots Home 6 Away 16
Shots on Target Home 2 Away 3
Corners Home 5 Away 4
Fouls Home 10 Away 16


Mansfield Town held to frustrating draw at home to Newport County after James Perch is sent off
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill

Ten man Stags were held to a 0-0 draw by Newport County on a frustrating night at the One Call Stadium.

Below-par Mansfield had struggled to get into the stride with visiting goalkeeper Joe Day rarely tested during the opening hour.

And their task was made that little bit harder when James Perch was dismissed just before the hour for two bookable offences.

The Welshman had seen the best chance of the game go begging shortly before the red-card after Christy Pym saved well from Priestley Farquharson.

But Stags were certainly worthy of a battling point with the Welshman failing to turn the screw with their numerical advantage.


Stags made three changes from the team defeated at Crawley at the weekend.

Kieran Wallace, James Perch and Hiram Boateng were given starting places at the expense of Riley Harbottle, Jordan Bowery and Will Swan.

The visitors were guided by former Mansfield manager Graham Coughlin following his appointment as Exiles boss last week.

Pym was forced into an early save from Will Evans after Anthony Hartigan gave the ball away cheaply.

George Maris headed Elliott Hewitt’s cross wide of the post on 10 minutes as Stags grew into the game.

Scot Bennett volleyed into the side netting, before James Waite also went close on 18 minutes.

James Perch picked up a booking four minutes before half-time for a foul on Cameron Norman.

George Lapslie fired a shot straight at Joe Day in stoppage-time following a Stags free-kick.

Pym kept out a Farquharson's close range header following an Adam Lewis free-kick at the start of the second half.

Maris could only pick out Day from the edge of the box as Stags looked to get going.

Mickey Demetriou picked up a booking following a heavy challenge on Hewitt on 57 minutes

Stags were down to 10 men two minutes later when Perch was dismissed for a double booking after hacking down on Omar Bogle.

Bennett fired over from distance on 73 minutes, before Pym tipped over a dinked cross from Norma at the back post with two minutes to go.

Bennett volleyed over in stoppage time as Stags saw the game out safely.

Mansfield Town: Pym, Hewitt, Hawkins, Perch, Wallace (Bowery 45), Hartigan (O’Toole 84), Clarke, Maris (Gordon 89), Boateng (Swan 66), Lapslie, Akins.

Subs: Flinders, Law, Gale.

Newport County: Day, Clarke, Farquharson, Demetriou, Norman, Moriah-Welsh, Bennett, Waite (Wildig 58), Lewis, Bogle, Evans (Nevers 70).

Subs: Drysdale, Willmott, Dolan, Collins, Townsend.

Ref: Samuel Barrott.

Att: 5,624 (115)


Newport County battle for 0-0 draw at Mansfield
By Chris Kirwan

NEWPORT County AFC built on their winning start under Graham Coughlan at Mansfield Town but had to settle for a share of the spoils against the 10-man Stags in League Two.

On the face of it, a 0-0 draw was a solid return from a ground where few leave with anything to show for their efforts but this was a missed opportunity against a team that started the evening in fourth.

It was goalless at the break after County picked up where they left off in the 1-0 win against Colchester, defending with discipline and focus.


They won their battles in the box while had the three best openings at the other end but there would have been warnings about a Stags improvement for the second half from manager Coughlan and captain Mickey Demetriou in the away changing room.

But Mansfield were reduced to 10 men in the 59th minute when James Perch was shown a second yellow card, giving the visitors a golden chance to turn a point into three.

They seemed reluctant to go for the kill, perhaps down to their position in the league, and in the end it was a solid point that not many expected them to get.

Mansfield ended last season with the second best home record in League Two and picked up where they left off to start the current campaign with four wins and two draws at Field Mill.

County had not won away against the Stags since their return to the Football League, although they did famously triumph on penalties in the 2019 play-off semi-finals.

It’s four points from six under Coughlan, whose side face another tough test at Northampton on Saturday.

County named an unchanged XI in successive league games for the first time since James Rowberry stuck with the side that hammered Harrogate for the clash with Grimsby at the start of September.

That meant they stayed in their 3-5-2 while the bench was the same, meaning that full-back Aaron Lewis and striker Chanka Zimba had the frustration of an early workout on the pitch as travelling reserves.

Mansfield were fresh from an away loss at Crawley and Nigel Clough made three changes but midfielder Antony Hartigan, who did well on loan at County from AFC Wimbledon as part of the 2020/21 squad that suffered play-off final heartache, kept his spot.

County had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the second minute when Hartigan played a poor pass back towards his goal to put Will Evans free.

However, Saturday’s hero took a slightly heavy touch towards the corner flag rather than to goal and then shot tamely with his favoured left at goalkeeper Christy Pym.

Mansfield popped the ball around nicely but the Exiles did well to keep them away from the danger areas and it remained goalless after quarter of an hour.

County then went close again with Scot Bennett shooting just wide with a left-footed volley from the edge of the area after a Mickey Demetriou long throw was cleared to the edge of the area.

That was swiftly followed by James Waite prodding narrowly wide after getting onto a pumped ball, similar to Robbie Willmott’s goal at Field Mill last season.

County were doing an extremely good job to frustrate the home players, fans and Clough, winning the battles in the box to clear and protect Joe Day, who got to half an hour without having to make a save.

Mansfield defender Elliott Hewitt somehow got away without a rash challenge on Evans being given as a foul, let alone a caution.

Some iFollow spectators suggested it could even have been red for studs up, although it didn’t seem to be worthy of a dismissal viewed live and there weren’t huge protests from those in green.

Nonetheless, it was pretty dull and fractured, and that was a job well done by the Exiles as half-time approached.

Mansfield had their first big opening in added time but George Lapslie scuffed a shot straight at day from 18 yards and County got to their changing room to no doubt be told to repeat the trick by Coughlan.

The Exiles went close again three minutes after the restart when a Lewis free-kick from the right found Demetriou unmarked at the far post but his header was palmed away by Pym, then a dangerous Waite cross was scrambled clear as Evans slid in.

Mansfield worked their best opening after 55 minutes when good passing created a shooting opportunity for George Maris but he fired straight at Day.

The hosts were then reduced to 10 men after Perch received a second yellow for dragging down Omar Bogle as he went in on goal, although it could easily have been a straight red.

This presented County with a big chance for a notable victory - at what stage would Coughlan go for it with fresh legs?

The decision was forced upon him when Evans went down chasing a long ball with West Ham forward Thierry Nevers his replacement.

County were in need of more quality in the final third and the clock was ticking down, with Mansfield happy with that and the visitors seemingly not distraught at a point even given their numerical advantage.

Bennett skied an effort in the second of six added minutes and a whipped Lewis corner just eluded Bogle, leaving County to settle for a point.

County: Day, Norman, Clarke, Farquharson, Demetriou (captain), Adam Lewis, Bennett, Moriah-Welsh, Waite (Wildig 57), Evans (Nevers 69), Bogle.

Substitutes not used: Townsend, Drysdale, Dolan, Willmott, Collins.

Yellow: Demetriou, Moriah-Welsh.

Mansfield yellow: Perch.

Red: Perch Referee: Samuel Barrott.

Attendance: 5,624 (115 County).



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