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Archived News from February 2017

27th February 2017 21:00

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Newport County
Pearce 17, Coulthirst pen 75. Bird 5
Attendance: 3824 (158 from Newport)

Date: 25 February 2017

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town scraped a 2-1 win against bottom of the league Newport County in a tense game this afternoon. Newport took an early lead when Ryan Bird knocked home from close range after Craig Reid crossed from the left and Jake Kean couldn’t grab the loose ball under pressure from Mitch Rose. The Stags were level on 17 minutes. Joel Byrom’s free kick from the right was knocked down by Krystian Pearce and with a second touch he fired under the keeper from 7 yards. A fair scoreline at the break with both sides missing good chances, through Pat Hoban for the Stags and Bird for Newport. The game exploded into life midway through the second half. Newport striker Jaanai Gordon had been limping and the fourth official put up the board to indicate that he was being substituted, presumably under instruction from the Newport bench. Newport manager Graham Westley then stopped the fourth official and changed his mind so no substitution was made. Within a minute, Gordon had been booked for a foul on Jamie McGuire, and incredibly within another minute after that, he was booked again for another foul, this time on Byrom, and sent off. Westley put his head in his hands, presumably unable to believe the stupidity of his striker. The Stags won the game with a penalty on 75 minutes. Shaq Coulthirst’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Craig Reid as the ball struck his arm which was in front of his body. The referee pointed to the spot, and Coulthirst converted with a powerful kick despite the keeper getting a hand to it. His third penalty for the Stags. Despite being down to 10 men, Newport came close to equalising in stoppage time as Bird lobbed over substitute keeper Scott Shearer and onto the roof of the net with virtually the last kick of the game. Not a good performance from Mansfield, but they found a way to win the game with a helping hand from the penalty and the red card. An important three points as Mansfield remain outside the play-offs only on goal difference, ahead of trips to Yeovil and Cheltenham this week.



MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 2 Newport County 1
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 25 February 2017

A Shaq Coulthirst penalty got Mansfield Town back to winning ways with a 2-1 home win over 10-men bottom club Newport County at a wind-swept One Call Stadium this afternoon. But it was a very hard-earned victory as Stags had to come from behind and cope with the first half loss of keeper Jake Kean to injury. After one point from their previous two games, the Stags knew they would have their work cut out against a gutsy Graham Westley team who had only lost one of their previous eight games. So the worst thing they could do was fall behind after only five minutes to Ryan Bird’s strike. But Krystian Pearce levelled the game after 17 minutes and, despite some dodgy moments at the back in the strong wind, the home side dominated and had their chances. A poor second half then exploded when Jaanai Gordon was dismissed for two yellow cards in as many minutes on 67 minutes. Mansfield then made the man advantage count when Coulthirst tucked away a spot kick winner on 75 minutes after his shot had been handled. It was a third penalty success for the Peterborough loanee and made it six games unbeaten at home for Mansfield to stay in the chase for the play-off places. But they did survive a last gasp chip from Ryan Bird that ended on the top of the net. Coulthirst had his best game so far in a Mansfield shirt with winger CJ Hamilton also a constant livewire. The Mansfield side showed four changes. In came striker Pat Hoban, and midfielders Joel Byrom, Hamilton and Jamie McGuire. They replaced Matt Green, Alfie Potter, Alex MacDonald and the suspended Hayden White. Lee Collins dropped back to cover the vacant right back spot. Danny Rose was forced to drop out the 18 with a slight knock sustained in training. Newport were able to include former Stag Mitch Rose, who will face an FA charge next week after knocking a red card from a referee’s hand last weekend, which was eventually rescinded. Assistant boss Paul Raynor watched the game from the directors’ box after accepting an FA charge after being sent to the stand during the Accrington draw. Evans was sent to the stand last weekend but was on the bench today and answering his FA charge this coming week. The strength of the wind was evident in the opening seconds as Bennett miscued a clearance that hung up. But Stags won a corner in the opening minute, which was cleared at the second time of asking, and were also involved in a real scramble that the visitors survived. However, the first time Newport got into the home box on five minutes. A low left wing cross from Butler came into the centre of the six yard box and Kean was down to block Gordon’s close range finish but unable to stop Bird tucking away the loose ball from almost on the goal line. Rose was yellow-carded after only nine minutes for his challenge on Byrom. A Stags raid ended with Bennett flicking a tame header to keeper Day. Stags were then lucky when a quick Byrom free kick to no one allowed Newport to break, ending with a low Bird shot deflecting wide for a corner on 15 minutes. Butler was lucky not to see a card for an elbow across the throat of Coulthirst wide on the right. But justice was done as Stags levelled from the 17th minute free kick. Byrom sent it into the box and it fell nicely for Pearce to prod home under Day’s dive. McGuire brought cheers from the home fans with a 35-yard blast at goal which Day plucked out of the air. Mansfield were so close to going ahead on 22 minutes as Coulthirst put Hoban in on goal, the keeper smothering his finish. Hoban reacted quickly to send the ball at goal again where this time Demetriou cleared off the line. On 27 minutes Flynn stayed down for treatment and was eventually replaced by Bignot. A minute later a half-cleared home corner reached Whiteman 25 yards out, but for once his sights were out as he blazed over. Kean needed treatment next on 32 minutes after two home defenders hesitated as the ball spun towards Kean and the keeper was hurt as he went down in a tangle with Rose and Bennett. On 35 minutes Benning was quick to steal the ball on the left and float in for Bennett, whose goalbound header forced Day down to his left to save. Kean tried to continue but was hobbling and on 39 minutes was replaced by Shearer. Newport gave another scare on 44 minutes as a left wing cross was caught on the wind, fooling the defenders, as it fell to Bird, who sliced wide of the right post. On 48 minutes Whiteman curled in a tempting cross to the back stick, but Hamilton could only manage to head it into the ground and watch it bounce wide of the far post. Then Hamilton skipped away down the left and pulled back a low cross that Whiteman got on target without any real power and easy for Day to gather. Bennett’s challenge on McGuire brought a pushing contest which ended with bookings for Gordon and Pearce on 66 minutes. A minute later Gordon clattered into Byrom for an aerial challenge and this time out came a second yellow card and the red. Ironically the Welsh club had been about to substitute Gordon before his first yellow. Stags had more defending to do as two shots were blocked before Bennett finally drilled wide. MacDonald replaced McGuire on 73 minutes. But the home side were finally in front on 75 minutes from the spot. Coulthirst has a rasping shot blocked by the hand of Reid. The referee hesitated and then pointed to the post. We had a delay as Coulthirst tried to keep the ball still on the spot as the wind kept blowing it away. But when he finally got to take it, his rising kick was too powerful for Day, who got a hand to it but was unable to keep it out. Bird’s argument with a linesman over a foul against him saw him booked on 79 minutes. Arquin replaced Hoban on 88 minutes and was booked in added time for shooting after the whistle. In a fifth added minute home hearts were in their mouths as Bird stole through and lobbed Shearer, but the ball finished on the roof of the net and Stags were home and dry.

STAGS: Kean (Shearer 39); Collins, Pearce, Bennett, Benning; Whiteman, Byrom, McGuire (MacDonald 73), Hamilton; Hoban (Arquin 88), Coulthirst. Subs: Potter, Green, Baxendale, Hemmings.

NEWPORT: Day, Butler, Jones, Reid (Jackson 85), Samuel, Flynn (Bignot 27, Sheehan 79), Bennett, Demetriou, Rose, Bird, Gordon. Subs: Bittner, Owen-Evans, Williams.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce of Cleveland.

ATTENDANCE: 3,824 (158 away).


Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-report-mansfield-town-2-newport-county-1-1-8409792


Mansfield Town 2 Newport County 1
southwalesargus.co.uk, by Andrew Penman

TEN-MAN Newport County AFC were once again left to rue refereeing decisions going against them as they went down to defeat at Mansfield Town.

Just like at Cambridge United last week, they led through Ryan Bird before having a man sent off and losing as a result of a controversial penalty.

Jaanai Gordon picked up two yellow cards in just two second half minutes and Craig Reid was penalised for handball in the box 15 minutes from the end to leave the Exiles still six points from safety at the bottom of League Two.


And it makes next week’s home clash with 23rd-place Leyton Orient a must-win encounter for Graham Westley’s men.

The team sheet showed two changes from the midweek draw with Morecambe with Darren Jones and Jaanai Gordon replacing David Pipe and Aaron Williams.

But the County defence was subject to another last-minute reshuffle as Scot Bennett took to the field in place of Mark O’Brien.

The Exiles attack was ready to go from the off, however, and they were ahead in the fifth minute.

Dan Butler’s cross from the left really should have been bundled in by Gordon from a few yards out but they were queuing up at the far post and Bird was on hand to tap in his third goal in three games.

The striker could have had his second of the game 10 minutes later from the same combination as Butler’s cross was headed on by Gordon but Bird’s volley was deflected behind.

And a minute later the hosts were level as Joel Byrom’s free-kick found defender Krystian Pearce unmarked in the box and he poked the ball past Joe Day.

The Exiles goalkeeper saved from Rhys Bennett and Jamie McGuire and then rushed out to deny Pat Hoban before Mickey Demetrio cleared the striker’s second effort off the line.

The Stags were growing in confidence and County’s cause was not helped as Michael Flynn was forced off with an injury and replaced by Paul Bignot.

But as they reorganised once again at the back they still looked a threat on the break and Bird had two more chances before half-time.

The first came from Gordon charging down a clearance from Mansfield goalkeeper Jake Kean.

The ball broke nicely for Bird but his stabbed effort was blocked and Gordon was flagged offside as he tried to score from the rebound.

And just before the interval Gordon flicked on another Butler cross and Bird let fly with a half volley that was on target before it clipped the defender’s heels and deflected wide.

County will have been relatively happy at the break and they looked to be on their way to a point before a remarkable turn of events midway through the second half.

Westley was about to replace Gordon with Aaron Williams but changed his mind after the fourth official had put the numbers up on his board.

Within five minutes Gordon was off after picking up two yellow cards.

And that wasn’t the end of the bad luck for County as the Stags’ winner came from a controversial penalty on 76 minutes.

Craig Reid charged out to block a Shaquile Coulthirst shot and the ball hit his hand.

The referee hesitated before pointing to the spot and Coulthirst beat Day high to his right.

Bird almost rescued a point at the death but he lifted his shot onto the top of the net and County were beaten again.

County: Day; Jones, Bennett, Demetriou; Samuel, Flynn (Bignot, 27, Sheehan, 79), Rose, Butler; Reid (Jackson, 85), Bird, Gordon

Subs not used: Bittner, Owen-Evans, Williams

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 3,824

Argus star man: Bird


5 things we learned from Mansfield Town 2 Newport County 1
southwalesargus.co.uk, by Andrew Penman

NEWPORT County AFC led through Ryan Bird's early goal but Krystian Pearce levelled for Mansfield Town before the break and Shaquile Coulthirst netted the winner for the hosts from the spot after Exiles striker Jaanai Gordon was sent off. Here's what we learned...

1. More absentees

Darren Jones returns from suspension and Scot Bennett from injury and County’s defensive worries are eased but then David Pipe goes down with illness and Mark O’Brien pulls up in the warm-up.

With Sid Nelson, Joss Labadie and Sean Rigg still out, not to mention Lenell John-Lewis and Jamie Turley, and suspensions coming for Jaanai Gordon and most likely Mitch Rose, the Exiles are missing half a team as we enter the business end of the season.

2. First goal wins anyone?

For the third time in a week and the fifth time since the turn of the year, County led but failed to win.

In fact the Exiles have failed to convert a winning position into a victory an amazing 12 times so far this season.

3. Ref justice

Sooner or later the luck has to turn for County, surely? The second yellow card for Jaanai Gordon looked extremely harsh with the referee seemingly influenced by the Mansfield players, management and fans.

The penalty (above) - the 14th County have conceded in League Two this season - was also harsh on Graham Westley’s men.

The ball definitely hit Craig Reid’s arm as he blocked a shot but it was blasted at him from close range and was certainly far less blatant than the one County didn’t get against Morecambe.

4. Gordon’s naivety

The striker, a surprise starter in place of Aaron Williams, enjoyed a productive first half as he linked up promisingly with Ryan Bird up front.

But he got away with a yellow for a nasty looking tackle that incensed the home players and got the crowd on his back.

The second yellow after a routine aeriel challenge looked harsh but a more experienced player would have got himself away from the action and ensured he had a quiet five minutes rather than give the referee an opportunity to send him off.

Westley was going to take the youngster off before the first yellow only to change his mind and probably should have removed him before the second.

5. Fans’ anger

It’s now one win in 19 games in all competitions as the Exiles remain six points from safety with 13 fixtures to go and some fans have evidently lost faith in the manager.

Westley has been the target for stick on this website, on messageboards and social media for a while now but he was confronted by at least one angry County fan as he left the pitch at Field Mill (above).

The manager knows he needs victories and fast if he’s to win back the trust of some wavering supporters.



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