FLITCROFT, TURNER, WALKER, MICHAEL FLYNN REACTION
Key decisions pivotal in stalemate - manager
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 09 May 2019
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has reflected on what he describes as a ‘cruel’ night for Mansfield, who drew 1-1 at Rodney Parade following a ‘brilliant’ display.
CJ Hamilton fired the Stags into the lead with his sublime finish on 12 minutes, before Padraig Amond tucked home the rebound of what was a controversial penalty late on.
The manager says that the Stags were ‘on the wrong side’ of some key decisions in South Wales.
“This is a difficult place to come and the supporters make it that way,” he said. “They are passionate about football and get behind their team with every single action that they do.
“You have to withstand that pressure and stop balls coming into the box. That’s what we did brilliantly tonight.
“CJ’s goal deserved to win a football match. We were on the wrong side of two decisions that are just wrong.
“The sending off [Mark O’Brien foul on Tyler Walker which only received a yellow card] is as blatant as I’ve seen.
“Tyler has got in front with brilliant movement and he’s dragged him down. It’s not going through to the ‘keeper.
“It’s early in the game, but you still need him [referee] to make the right decision, and he’s not done.
“I’ve seen the penalty save, and Logan has come out and made the save - it’s hit his hand. He’s made the save and got ball to hand.
“So it’s big decisions that he’s got wrong. It’s a travesty because you prepare and work really hard for these games.
“Our fans have travelled a long way for this game, and I feel that we’ve been let down. It’s a massive game.
“It’s been a bit of a cruel night, but now we’ll just get ourselves ready [for Sunday]. We’ll prepare for one hell of a game on Sunday.”
The Mansfield chief was left pleased by his players’ reaction from Saturday’s disappointment at Stadium MK.
“When I look at Tyler’s [Walker] opportunity [in the second-half], that kills the game then at 2-0 in a really difficult place [Rodney Parade].
“We made some really good chances and we unbalanced them really well. In both halves we got into some really good goalscoring positions.
“I wanted to be at 2-0, which we’ve probably deserved to be at. But we go there [One Call Stadium] at half-time, with the tie a draw.
“We’ve got one hell of a fight back at the One Call on Sunday. We wanted to come and win this game here.
“We came down here and showed real fight, battle and a commitment. That was there for everyone to see, and comes from a group of lads who were on the floor on Saturday.”
Stags’ goalkeeper Conrad Logan made two sublime stops throughout, which led to the manager describing his performance as ‘excellent’.
“Logan saved the penalty but obviously it’s difficult when the taker gets the rebound,” added the boss. “He’s got the momentum and is always going to have that.
“He [Logan] was excellent. He got across and made himself big and stopped the ball [for the Jamille Matt chance].
“It’s a travesty because he’s come out and made the save for the penalty [decision]. He’s been wronged because he deserved a clean sheet tonight.”
The manager made three alterations for the clash - with Danny Rose, Gethin Jones and Ben Turner coming into the side - and explained the reasons for the changes.
“Danny [Rose] has been itching [to play] and he’s ready. This is a difficult place for him to come, with what happened to him last time out here [broken jaw].
“Danny felt comfortable playing here, and there have been times [since the injury] when he’s not felt comfortable with aerial balls.
“He’s over that now. Watching him tonight, he’s over that. He’s been smashed from pillar to post tonight and he’s accepted it and got on with it.
“Danny and Tyler formed a good partnership. It was important that we got CJ down that left-hand side with his pace. We knew there was space down that side and CJ exploited it.
“I brought Gethin [Jones] back in, who put in a really good performance. The lads, to a man, have defended absolutely everything.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft furious with referee as big decisions go against Stags in Newport County semi-final
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 May 2019
Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft was scathing of referee Matt Donohue’s performance as two big decisions went against the Stags in tonight’s League Two Play-Offs semi-final first leg at Newport County, which ended 1-1.
Mansfield striker Tyler Walker looked to be hauled down when clean through after only six minutes, but home defender Mark O’Brien escaped with only a yellow card.
Then, after Stags spent most of the game in charge thanks to a 12th minute goal from CJ Hamilton, the home side were gifted a penalty when it seemed on TV replays that Conrad Logan had got the ball before contact with Ade Azeez.
Logan saved that but could not keep out Padraig Amond’s follow-up.
An angry Flitcroft said: “They were big decisions and it’s important you get them right in these massive games as they mean so much to people.
“Tonight there will be between 50 and 70 referees sat at home not doing a lot and we end up with the referee we’ve ended up with who is probably 70 referees behind them That’s the thing I am absolutely fuming about.
“Have we been respected for a League Two Play-Off? No we haven’t, and that’s a worry.”
Looking back on the two decisions, he said: “Tyler got the wrong side of the player and the only thing he can do is bring him down. “It’s not going through to the keeper as suggested. There was only enough pace on the ball for Tyler to get in as he’s that quick.
“It’s a clear sending-off, an easy one, and the referee has missed it.
“I feel for Logan on the second decision as he’s had a brilliant game. The decision he made to come out was the right one.
“He made the save - it was ball to hand and the referee is on the spot and gives a penalty.
“I am gutted for the boys as they’ve fought and battled. They were passionate in their performance and their desire was incredible throughout the game.
“We have definitely been let down. That’s not me making excuses.”
Nevertheless, a 1-1 draw was a decent result at a difficult place to go for any opposition.
“You have to come here and battle, fight and scrap for every ball,” said Flitcroft.
“It’s coming in your box early, at pace and height, at every opportunity - every conceivable chance they get. It’s coming down your throat and we defended that excellently.
“This is a tough place to come and Premiership teams have found it hard in their cup games here. But Newport found it hard against us tonight - there is no doubt about that.
“With a bit more precision and a bit more composure we could have scored more.
“That Tyler Walker chance seals the tie. But it didn’t go in so we go again on Sunday. It’s a game we are massively looking forward to.”
He added: “There was talk of Newport taking a two-goal lead into the second game. But we looked threatening and like we had intent.
“CJ’s goal, for me, deserved to win the first tie. It hasn’t but we go back north knowing that fight and passion we’ve had most of the season was evident tonight.”
David Flitcroft fumes at referee after Mansfield are pegged back in play-offs
By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport
Mansfield manager David Flitcroft described his side's controversial League Two play-off semi-final draw at Newport as "a travesty".
Referee Charles Breakspear was at the centre of controversy in the 1-1 Rodney Parade draw which saw CJ Hamilton's early opener for Mansfield cancelled out by Padraig Amond seven minutes from time.
The Irishman scored from the rebound after his spot-kick had been saved by Conrad Logan, with Mansfield unhappy over the penalty award as the goalkeeper fell at the feet of County substitute Ade Azeez.
Flitcroft also felt Newport defender Mark O'Brien should have been sent off for denying Tyler Walker a goalscoring opportunity in the fifth minute, with Breakspear brandishing a yellow card.
"There are some big decisions he [Breakspear] has got wrong and it's a travesty because we're professionals," said Flitcroft.
"You work really hard for these games and the fans travelled a long way and I feel we've been let down.
"You just want the best officials to referee these games, we're not asking for a lot.
"There are plenty of great officials who will be on VAR duty this weekend they could have used."
Flitcroft claimed League Two had been let down by the appointment of Surrey official Breakspear.
"I'm just not sure how much they respect the League Two play-offs," said Flitcroft.
"We've been positioned on a Thursday, which gave the Football League an opportunity to give us a hell of a good referee.
"There are probably 60 to 70 higher ranking referees in this country that should have refereed this game."
Newport manager Michael Flynn said a Premier League official should have been put in charge of the tie.
"We've got goal-line technology tonight, so why not have one of the 20 full-time referees as well?" said Flynn.
"It's the play-offs. We want to keep getting better, so why not have a Premier League referee here?"
But Flynn was adamant that the yellow card for O'Brien was the correct decision.
"The referee has got that bang on, because it's run straight through to the keeper," said Flynn O'Brien's challenge on Walker.
"Our boys are saying it wasn't even a foul. He went down very easily."
David Flitcroft on Radio Nottingham in response to ...
Jake Garner: "... hugely improved performance from last Saturday."
Flitcroft: "The second half against MK Dons ... let's get the reporting right ... was excellent. We had a poor first half (at MK Dons)."
All is 'still to play for' - Turner
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 09 May 2019
Centre-back Ben Turner believes that Mansfield Town ‘deserved’ victory against Newport County but insists it is still ‘all to play for’ following a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade.
CJ Hamilton’s 12-minute strike handed the Stags a well-deserved lead in south Wales heading into the interval.
And Mansfield were resilient throughout until the Exiles were awarded a penalty - that Padraig Amond tucked home on the rebound - which ensured it would be honours even heading into the second leg in three days’ time.
Mansfield’s number 25 subsequently felt his side did enough to warrant victory in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.
“We were happy with where we were in the game and we wanted to take a lead back to our stadium,” he stated.
“I think we feel a bit hard done by. We’ve not hard the rub of the green lately but tonight was a better performance, definitely.
“I think we deserved the win - we got the goal and should have been playing against 10 men if I’m honest.
“Conrad doesn’t deserve that [the penalty] either because of the way he played and the saves he made when we needed him.”
Despite being pegged back with less than ten minutes left, the 31-year-old remained upbeat as he earmarked the final result as a positive one to take to One Call Stadium.
“It’s a good result and we take it back to Mansfield. I think we did well for most of the big moments throughout the game.
“Personally, I should have won a few more headers in the first half but [Jamille] Matt’s there to win headers, and you’re not going to dominate against everyone.
“It’s about digging in and getting it right in the big moments. The boys in front - Macca and Bish - scrapped really hard and we had some quality moments.
“I think we did pretty much everything right for an away first leg so that we can take something back to Mansfield.”
The former Burton defender - who made his ninth start for the Stags on Thursday evening - then looked ahead to an intriguing second leg.
“We’re very capable of our own quality moments so I’m expecting to have a few more like the goal and when Tyler was through,” Turner continued.
“That’s the quality they’ve got but at the same time I don’t think just because we’re at home that Newport won’t stick to their game plan to ask questions.
“They won’t be too deflated so it’s still all to play for.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Turner's interview by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town defender Ben Turner expects Newport County to try to draw them into a battle on Sunday
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 May 2019
Mansfield Town defender Ben Turner expects Newport County to try to draw Mansfield Town into a battle in Sunday’s League Two Play-Offs semi-final second leg at the One Call Stadium.
Mansfield’s football went up against Newport’s direct style in a 1-1 draw in tonight’s first leg at Rodney Parade and Turner said: “I expect a similar game on Sunday.
“We are very capable of having our quality moments. But, just because we are at home, I don’t think Newport won’t stick to their game plan and put a lot of balls on us and ask questions of us.
“They will want us to fight and scrap and turn into into a right good tear-up. That’s what they’ll try and do.
“It’s all to play for and we’ve got to be absolutely bang on.”
Mansfield went ahead through CJ Hamilton after 12 minutes tonight only to be undone seven minutes from time after Conrad Logan saved a contentious penalty but could not stop Padraig Amond tucking away the follow-up.
Stags were also angry that Mark O’Brien was not sent off for hauling down Tyler Walker as last man early in the game.
“Until they scored near the end we were happy with where we were in the game. We wanted to take a lead back to our stadium,” said Turner.
“I think we feel a bit hard done by. We’ve not had many rubs of the green recently.
“Tonight was definitely a better performance and we deserved the win - no two ways about it.
“We scored a good goal and we should have been playing 10 men if I’m honest. We’ve looked back at it and it’s just bizarre.
“We don’t want to be shouting and swearing at refs, but he’s cost us on two big decisions as it wasn’t a penalty either.
“Tyler was pulled down when you’d have backed him to score.”
Then Stags were rocked by a penalty decision against Logan that replays suggest should not have been given.
“Conrad didn’t deserve that with the way he played and the saves he made,” said Turner.
“He got two hands on the ball from what I could see. “All their players knew it wasn’t a penalty. But it is what it is. It’s a good result and we take it back to Mansfield.”
Logan’s first half save has been compared with the famous Gordon Banks save.
“Conrad’s save in the first half was top drawer - he’s dived low and he’s got it over the bar,” said Turner.
“But Newport’s will to win is huge and you have to fight for every ball. That’s why they are in the play-offs.
“They are not one of the best football teams in the league by any stretch of the imagination but they put it on you and keep going - they are relentless, so massive respect to them.
“I think we did pretty much everything right for an away first leg and we take something back to Mansfield.”
Turner has found himself in the side due to the concussion suffered by Matt Preston early in last weekend’s game at MK Dons after a long wait for game time.
“I have been patient,” he said. “I’ve had to respect that when I signed for Mansfield they had the best defensive record in our league, and potentially the best outside the Premier League.
“So it would be daft for me to be banging the gaffer’s door down and asking him to break that apart for me. I just told him I was ready when he needed me.
“I am playing for my future. I want to stay in football at a good club. I have really enjoyed it here.
“I am playing for all of the lads to try to get promotion, for myself to get promotion, but also for my future.
“When you are out of contract you need to catch someone’s eye - that’s what I am trying to do.
“I have kept myself very fit and hopefully I will do enough to continue my career.”
Stags striker Tyler Walker told Sky Sports after the final whistle: “This is a really tough place to come.
“I thought we held our own in the first half and caused them a lot of problems.
“In the second half they got on top a bit more so 1-1 is probably a fair reflection.
“You can say we have the advantage but Newport are a good team and we’ll prepare well for it.
“It’s a massive, one-off game now and we’ll be ready to go.
“We’ve got the bad run out of our mind, we’ve forgotten about and training has been really good. We’ll give Sunday a real go.”
POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn says it's all to play for after draw with Mansfield Town
Manager Michael Flynn says all the pressure is now on Mansfield Town this Sunday after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final.
The Exiles made it 11 matches unbeaten thanks to their second-half comeback which was required after falling behind inside 12 minutes.
County tried to play a short throw-in but Mansfield intercepted and broke away with frightening pace, influential midfielder Jacob Mellis playing in CJ Hamilton on the left flank who rifled into the roof of the net for the opening goal.
Mansfield were by far and above the better side in the first half in terms of creativity and flair, with Hamilton looking particularly menacing on the wing and Mellis trying to orchestrate the play from the central attacking midfield role.
County had their moments before half-time too and almost equalised on 33 minutes. Mickey Demetriou flicked-on a free-kick to Jamille Matt, only for Conrad Logan to save with his foot then tip it over in the same motion.
The second half was when County really started to take over the ascendency of proceedings and Logan again had to make a stunning save to thwart Padraig Amond within five minutes of the restart.
Robbie Willmott was harshly adjudged to be offside when tapping home the rebound to another smart save from Logan, before the Exiles finally broke the Stags shot stopper’s resistance with seven minutes to play.
Such was Logan’s night in-front of goal that he actually saved Amond’s penalty-kick, but fortunately the ball came straight back to the Irishman who calmly slotted home to level the scoring.
That means the tie is perfectly positioned ahead of the second leg in Nottinghamshire on Sunday and Flynn knows it’s still all to play for.
“All the pressure is on them,” he affirmed.
“We finished the game the strongest and we’ll have to pick a team who I think can cause them problems.
“In an ideal world, we wanted to be taking a lead to Mansfield. But, it’s another 90 minutes of football and we’re going to give it our best shot.
“When Newport last got promoted through the play-offs, they won at Mansfield on the first day of the season. Now we’re going to have to win there on the last game.”
It could perhaps be described as the cliché of a game of two halves at Rodney Parade where both sides scored in the period of the game they dominated.
Flynn continued: “For whatever reason, we just couldn’t get into the game and everything that came for them came from our own errors, even their goal.
“The speed in which they broke was quicker than ours and it was a great finish to be honest.
“It was a slow start from us, they were the better team for the first 25 minutes of the first half and won every first ball, every second ball.
“They started brighter than us, but we got back into the game in the last 20 minutes of the first half.
“Second half, we were by far the better team. In the second half, I thought there was only one team who was going to score.
“There was one error from Mickey where he got too tight to Tyler Walker and got rolled. Joe Day stood up well and pushed him out wide.
“That’s all I can think of them having. We had five or six good opportunities where on a different day, they could have all gone into the back of the net.
“On the whole, I thought we were slightly the better team and 2-1 to us wouldn’t have been so far out there.
“My players were fantastic, like I knew they would be.
“It’s 11 games unbeaten for us now - I’m not sure how far that is from a club record, but it must be up there in terms of the Football League.”
Goal hero Padraig Amond told Sky Sports after the final whistle:
“We didn’t start well, but we came into it a lot in the second half and got the deserved goal in the end,” Amond told Sky Sports.
“Thankfully the ball jumped back out to me. The keeper made a good save.
“It probably wasn’t a great penalty but it came back out and I was relieved to have the chance to knock it in.
“We’re ready to go again on Sunday,” added the Irishman, who was about to be substituted before the penalty.
“I had an idea [about the imminent substitution], but I’ll step up and take penalties all the time.
“If there is one at the weekend, I’ll do it again if the manager wants me to.”
John Radford on facebook
Ticket only Sunday night id like as many stags to make it if you can and I believe we can sell out before the same day deduction I’ve had imposed in the passed
John Radford on facebook
Just feel we’ve been robed bring them back to Nottinghamshire coys