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Archived News from October 2017

26th October 2017 13:40

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Newport County 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
McCoulsky 69. Rose 21
Attendance: 3146 (160 from Mansfield)

Date: 21 October 2017

Martin Shaw at Rodney Parade

Mansfield Town drew their second away game in four days 1-1 at Newport County this afternoon. And as at Barnet on Tuesday, the Stags led 1-0 at half time but were pegged back, and in the end grateful to goalkeeper Conrad Logan with some good saves and one super save late on to preserve a point. The scene was set for the game in the opening 15 minutes as Newport won two throw-ins halfway inside the Stags half and Ben Tozer hurled the most enormous throws into the Stags box creating chances for the home side. The Stags were under an aerial bombardment which was to continue. The Stags however were in front after 21 minutes. Alfie Potter’s ball in from the right came off a combination of Kane Hemmings and defender Ben White to Danny Rose six yards out, to the right of centre. Rose fired a low shot first time across the keeper like an arrow into the bottom left corner of the net for his 8th goal of a fine season. Newport had some pressure after that but created little in terms of goalscoring chances during the rest of the half. People often talk about big moments in games and there was certainly a big moment on 60 minutes when Alex MacDonald’s free kick from the left, level with the edge of the area, was met by Potter at the far post who volleyed against the post from 3 yards with the keeper beaten. If it had been 2-0 at that stage, Newport’s spirit would probably have been broken, but as it was they were level on 69 minutes. Yet another throw-in from Tozer hurled into the box, and for just about the first time in the game so far, the Stags defence misjudged it as it sailed over Bennett and Rose, and Shawn McCoulsky was quickest to react to the bouncing ball turning it into the net from 6 yards. Disappointing from Bennett and Rose, and from White who was not as quick as McCoulsky to react to the bouncing ball. However mitigating circumstances for Bennett and Rose if we’re being generous were that it was windy and a high ball in the wind like that might just have travelled a bit further than you’d expect. After that, Newport looked the more likely winners with Conrad Logan making a number of good saves to preserve the precious point. Frank Nouble powered past Hunt and MacDonald on the right before firing in a low shot from an angle that Logan pushed wide, then MacDonald made a mess of a clearance allowing Nouble to shoot from the right and again Logan was down well to save, then Logan tipped over a shot from Rigg which may have been going over already, and finally the best of the lot on 86 minutes as Logan superbly tipped over Padraig Amond’s header following a corner. My Newport commentary counterparts reckoned that save was as good as anything they’ve seen for a while. I thought it was similar to his late save at Barnet, which also preserved a point. So a point that was a fair reward for the Stags’ hard work, and much credit to keeper Conrad Logan for those late saves to preserve the point.

The Stags remain 4 points outside the play-offs. It’s the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday and a trip to Meadow Lane. There will be clearly be plenty of changes and opportunities for the likes of Olejnik, Spencer and others who haven’t had so much game time. There is also £10,000 for the winners of each group stage game, so it’s still a game we want to go and win.

Mansfield made three changes from the side that drew at Barnet. David Mirfin was injured at Barnet, and was replaced in central defence by Rhys Bennett. Paul Digby dropped out of the side having played as part of a central defensive three at Barnet as Steve Evans reverted to a flat back four here. He was replaced by Alfie Potter, returning from injury. Johnny Hunt returned at left back having lost his place to Mal Benning who had played at left wing-back at Barnet. So far this season, Hunt has shown himself to be a better defender than Benning while Benning has been better pushing forward and was better suited to the wing-back role employed at Barnet. So the back four was White and Hunt at full back with Pearce and Bennett in central defence. The midfield 4 were, in a line from right to left: Potter, Butcher, Atkinson, MacDonald. Danny Rose played in a deeper role than normal, just behind Kane Hemmings who was on his own up front. Before the game, Steve Evans said that he’d asked Hemmings to play a different role to usual today, and it became clear after kick off what he meant.

Newport have been resurgent this season and sit in the play-off positions. Their home defeat to Colchester on Tuesday was their first defeat at home since March. They started with three central defenders at the back, and wing-backs, but switched to four at the back during the second half.

Much had been said about Storm Brian hitting Britain today and a wind gusting at 71mph had been recorded along the South Wales Coast at the Mumbles in Swansea earlier this morning. There was a wind at Newport but it was not as gale force as that and probably had less impact on the game than I was initially expecting, though still certainly had an effect. It did get a little stronger the longer the game went on, and was behind Newport in the second half. There was also heavy rain in spells. Last season, with the dreadful pitch at Rodney Parade, this game would unquestionably have been postponed. But the owners of the ground, the Welsh Rugby Union, have spent three quarters of a million pounds on the pitch and turned it into what is now virtually a perfect pitch. We were told before the game by my counterparts who do the Newport commentary, that representatives from Tottenham, who soon move into their new stadium, plus West Ham and Wembley Stadium, have recently been to see how the pitch played and are considering a similar pitch. Needless to say, the pitch was indeed perfect.

A word on the Stags travelling fans. It was horrendous weather today, but 160 fans gave their side good support on a long away day.



MATCH REPORT: Rose nets again, but Stags held at Newport
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 21 October 2017

Mansfield Town’s winless run was stretched to four games after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Newport County this afternoon. Danny Rose opened the scoring midway through the first half but Newport grew stronger as the game went on and sub Shawn McCoulsky’s strike earned them a point.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-report-rose-nets-again-but-stags-held-at-newport-1-8817077

Newport fashioned the game’s first chance when Mark O’Brien nodded wide from a long throw into the box. Shortly after, the hosts again went close only for Dan Butler to smash a shot over the bar from the edge of the box. Despite a slow start it was the Stags who went in front when Danny Rose put them in front midway through the first half. Kane Hemmings’ header was blocked and it fell to Rose, who proceeded to smash a half-volley beyond Joe Day for his eighth strike of what is proving to be a fruitful campaign. Hayden White of Mansfield Town and Frank Nouble of Newport County during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Newport County and Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade, Newport, Wales on 21 October 2017. Photo by Mark Hawkins / PRiME Media Images. Newport then upped the ante and peppered the visitors’ box but skipper Krystian Pearce made a couple of vital interceptions to keep County at bay. Rhys Bennett then made a vital block to divert an effort from Frank Nouble out for a corner. After the restart Hemmings almost made it 2-0 but saw his shot just fly over the bar before Alfie Potter saw his effort come back off a post. And Steve Evans’ men were made to pay shortly after when Newport levelled up proceedings on 69 minutes. Sub McCoulsky, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, volleyed beyond Conrad Logan to restore parity for the Exiles. Newport were growing stronger as the game wore on and Mansfield were indebted to Logan for two fine saves. First, the Stags’ stopper denied Nouble with a tremendous save before tipping over a fierce effort by Sean Rigg just minutes later. And those saves proved crucial as Mansfield held on for a share of the spoils in South Wales.

NEWPORT: Day, White (Rigg 59), O’Brien, Demetriou, Pipe, Tozer, Bennett (McCoulsky 64), Dolan, Butler, Amond, Nouble.

STAGS: Logan, White, Pearce, Bennett, Hunt, Potter (Anderson 87), Butcher, Atkinson, MacDonald, Hemmings, (Spencer 72), Rose (Sterling-James 73).

REFEREE: C. Breakspear ATTENDANCE: 3,146 (160 away).


REPORT| McCoulsky scores again as County draw with Mansfield Town
newport-county.co.uk, by Ryan Robinson

Shawn McCoulsky scored for the fourth successive game as The Exiles secured a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade.

But it was in-fact the visitors who took a lead into half-time, thanks to Danny Rose’s opener on 21 minutes.

The ball presented itself kindly to the Stags front-man just outside the six-yard area, who calmly planted a volley into the far corner.

But just as in the two previous league games, Mike Flynn’s inspired decision to bring on McCoulsky reaped dividends again.

From a Ben Tozer long throw, McCoulsky got ahead of his marker to stab home a strike from about ten yards to get County what was a deserved equaliser.

That means he moves onto seven goals for the season, his third at Rodney Parade, which coincidentally makes him County’s top scorer for the campaign.


Mike Flynn elected to name just the one change to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Colchester on Tuesday as captain Joss Labadie was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

His replacement Mark O’Brien took over the captaincy, with County using the familiar 3-5-2 system again. O’Brien returned to the heart of the defence while Scot Bennett pushed further up into the midfield.

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Barnet on Tuesday - two enforced and one tactical.

That saw Paul Digby drop to the bench, while Malvind Benning and David Mirfin missed out. In their place came Rhys Bennett, Alfie Potter and Johnny Hunt.

It also meant the Stags changed their system to a 4-4-2 formation instead of the 3-5-2 line-up last time out, with Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings starting up-front.

Right from the off it was evident that the conditions were going to play a huge part in the outcome of the game, as it was a wet and windy atmosphere at Rodney Parade.

That meant it took until the 11th minute for either side to muster an opportunity, O’Brien heading just past the post for the Exiles.

You would have to say that the possession was all with County in the first 15 minutes, Dan Butler blazing high and wide in the 13th minute, although away goalkeeper Conrad Logan had not had a save to make early-on.

It took until the 19th minute for Mansfield to create their opening opportunity of the afternoon, although O’Brien had superbly read the cross from Will Atkinson to prevent Rose from having a chance at the far-post.

But just two minutes later, Rose did break the deadlock with a composed volley across the goal from 10 yards. The conditions had made it extremely difficult for County to clear another Atkinson cross, as the ball sat up perfectly for Rose to coolly dispatch the opportunity.

The goal seemed to stifle County’s positive start somewhat, a couple of corners for the Exiles but nothing to test Logan in the away goal as the game ticked past the half-hour mark.

But again, the conditions were causing havoc just after, as Rhys Bennett’s header back to his goalkeeper from Amond’s delivery drifted out for a County corner. And from it, the Exiles were so nearly level.

Nouble, who was again looking menacing throughout, was found at the front post but his header was cleared off the goal-line by Alex MacDonald.

The striker had another opportunity on 36 minutes only to see his effort narrowly avoid the top corner, as it appeared that the away side were content with sitting back and defending their lead.

On the counter-attack, Johnny Hunt was intent on making a nuisance of himself, as David Pipe had to recover superbly to shield the ball out for a goal-kick.

It took until the 44th minute for referee Charles Breakspear to produce his first yellow card of the afternoon, Hayden White the offender for Mansfield, for what was a cumulation of fouls from the defender in and around the centre-circle.

At the end of the two additional minutes Mansfield again had to clear off the line, Nouble again denied as Stags captain Krystian Pearce rose well at the far-post to clear the header.

That brought the first-half proceedings to a close, in a game of limited chances for both sides.

All the possession was with the Exiles, Nouble and Mickey Demetriou again standing out, although you would have to say that the away side had adapted to the conditions better and took their chance when it arrived.

The first chance of the second-half fell in the 52nd minute, but after Nouble had again skipped four or five challenges couldn’t find a County shirt in the area with his low cross.

Alfie Potter became the second man to receive a yellow card, for preventing a County breakaway, which had the referee played on, might have seen Bennett clear on goal.

On 58 minutes, Flynn made his first substitution and with it came a change of formation.

Sean Rigg replaced Ben White as County moved to a 4-3-3 system with Rigg playing in the wide-left position.

But the post had to come to Rigg’s rescue within 10 seconds of his introduction as his headed clearance looked like it might have just creeped into his own goal.

Shawn McCoulsky was introduced not long after that chance, in place of Bennett, to add even more depth to the County front-line.

That did leave the Exiles exposed defensively, Kane Hemmings testing Day with a fizzing 30-yard effort that the goalkeeper did well to hold.

But on 69 minutes, County did find their leveller and it was again McCoulsky off the bench to score it.

It was another inspired substitution by Flynn to introduce the front-man, who scored for the fourth successive game to become County’s top scorer for the season on seven goals, with a thunderous half-volley from just inside the area.

That forced Stags manager Steve Evans into a double attacking substitution of his own, Rose and Hemmings both coming off for Omar Sterling-James and Jimmy Spencer.

McCoulsky had two further opportunities to give County the lead within the next five minutes, although couldn’t find the target on those occasions as the Exiles were clearly in the ascendency after the goal.

Logan made a decent save to deny Nouble on 78 minutes, after the front-man had done so well to skip past the challenges of four Mansfield players.

Dan Butler became the first County player to receive a yellow card on 82 minutes, for preventing Sterling-James from bombarding forward as Bennett hit the resulting free-kick into the side netting.

The pressure continued to build from the Exiles as the game approached the final five minutes, Logan required to make three stunning saves to deny Tozer, Nouble and Amond.

Four minutes of additional time was indicated at the end of the game, but no further chances were created as both teams had to settle for a point.

County: Day, Pipe, Butler, Demetriou, White (Rigg 58’), O’Brien (C), Dolan, Bennett (McCoulsky 65’), Tozer, Amond, Nouble

Subs not used: Bittner, Barnum-Bobb, Owen-Evans, Quigley, Willmott

Mansfield: Logan, White, Pearce (C), Bennett, Hunt, Potter (Anderson 87’), Butcher, Atkinson, MacDonald, Hemmings (Spencer 72’), Rose (Sterling-James 72’)

Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Mellis, Angol

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 3,146 (160 away)



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