STAGS FIGHT BACK FOR POINT AT NEWPORT
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Newport County 2 - 2 Mansfield Town
Labadie 6, Amond pen 34. Pearce 47, Rose 49, Maynard missed pen 55. Mellis sent off 68
Attendance: 4441 (493 from Mansfield)
Date: 3 August 2019
Martin Shaw at Rodney Parade
The 2019/2020 season got underway in extraordinary fashion for Mansfield Town in a 2-2 draw against Newport County at Rodney Parade this afternoon. Last season had of course ended for the Stags in defeat on penalties to Newport, and the Stags were hoping to banish those memories today. But the first half was a nightmare for Mansfield who turned in a terrible 45 minutes to be 2-0 down at the break, and were lucky it was not 3 or 4-0. Newport took the lead after just 6 minutes when new left back Ryan Haynes curled in a good cross from the left and Joss Labadie scuffed a shot into the right corner of the net giving Conrad Logan no chance in the Stags goal. Newport could have increased their lead when Padraig Amond was left unmarked on the edge of the area from a corner and fired just over the bar, then a Mickey Demetriou long throw-in was headed out to Labadie who had a free shot from 12 yards but it was deflected wide by his own player, then another Demetriou long throw-in was headed out to Amond whose shot was blocked, and finally Matty Dolan smacked a free kick from 26 yards against the bar. Newport made it 2-0 after 34 minutes from the penalty spot after Ryan Sweeney was adjudged to have hauled down Jamille Matt in the area as a cross came in. The referee was perfectly placed and had no hesitation in giving it, and I think that was probably fair enough. Amond smashed the penalty into the left corner of the net, as Logan dived the right way but couldn’t get to it. Newport were rampant, while the Stags were shocking.
The Stags made changes, CJ Hamilton limped off after getting a whack, to be replaced by new signing Kellan Gordon, while Ryan Sweeney, already on a booking and having conceded the penalty as well in a separate incident, was replaced by Otis Khan, as the Stags switched from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2. Incredibly the Stags were on level terms inside the opening 4 minutes of the second half. Krystian Pearce powered a crisp header into the net from 12 yards from a super free kick delivery from Jacob Mellis. Then Khan pulled a low ball across from the byline on the left to Danny Rose who smacked a low left footed shot into the net, though Tom King should have saved it, a howler from the new Newport keeper. Joy for Rose, and his first league goal since October, aided by a bit of luck, but his man of the match performance deserved it. Logan made a fabulous save after 55 minutes to keep the Stags on level terms, saving from Labadie’s shot, making himself big. But on 58 minutes, the Stags should have been in front. Rose made a great header inside to Nicky Maynard, and back-flicked to Khan, who burst into the area and was clearly fouled for an obvious penalty. Maynard stepped up and fired to the right of centre, but keeper King redeemed himself with a great save. It was a nice height for a keeper though. Maynard went close to making amends on 66 minutes as Mellis found him and he curled just over the bar from the edge of the box.
The drama kept on coming, as the Stags were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes in controversial circumstances. Labadie went down just inside his own half, and Mellis landed on him on his knees. It looked innocuous to me in real time. The referee, influenced by the home fans, decided to consult with his linesman, who had not been flagging, and between them, they decided it was serious foul play and Mellis was sent off. The referee told John Dempster that it was a stamp. From the video replay from the two angles we have, it was not a stamp and not deliberate in my opinion. I would expect Mansfield to appeal the decision, and have a 50/50 chance of overturning it.
After that, Mansfield were left holding on for a draw, which they did with some good defending, much better defending than we saw in the first half. Newport had a goal disallowed in stoppage time, with two players offside.
So Mansfield came away with a point thanks to real guts and determination, after that dreadful first half performance, and then digging in after Mellis was sent off. It was a shame Maynard’s penalty was saved, and if that had gone in to make it 3-2, the Stags might have won, but I think we should be satisfied with a point. Back to the One Call Stadium next Saturday, with the visit of Morecambe, and the Stags will hope to put in a better performance over 90 minutes.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Report from NEWPORT COUNTY 2-2 MANSFIELD TOWN as ten-man Stags fight back for a point
chad.co.uk, SPORTS REPORTER (Agency), Saturday 03 August 2019
John Dempster’s first game in charge ended in a 2-2 as ten-man Mansfield held on for a point.
It was the old adage of a game of two halves as Joss Labadie and Padraig Amond’s penalty left the Stags down and out.
But a whirlwind start to the second half saw the visitors equalise with quick-fire goals from Krystian Pearce and Danny Rose.
Debutant Nicky Maynard had a penalty saved at 2-2 by Tom King, then Mansfield spent the last 22 minutes with ten men after Jacob Mellis’ opening-day sending off.
New boss Dempster went into his first competitive game in charge of the club full of optimism and handed summer signing Maynard an immediate debut.
But it took just six minutes for the smile to be wiped off the manager’s face as the hosts took the lead.
Labadie scored his first goal for the club since December 2017 with a well-taken finish into the bottom corner.
The game quietened down after the opener with the next best effort falling to Amond, who blazed well over.
Both sides came close as chances started to flow at both ends of the pitch.
Mansfield almost equalised in the 20th minute when Neal Bishop’s diving header hit the side netting.
Down the other end Labadie saw a fierce volley well blocked, before Ryan Sweeney nodded Jacob Mellis’ cross over the bar.
On the half hour mark Mellis’ powerful daisy cutter flew just wide as the Stags continued to search for the leveller.
The deficit nearly doubled when Matthew Dolan’s well-struck free-kick rattled against the bar.
A minute later Krystian Pearce conceded a penalty by hauling down Jamille Matt. Amond made no mistake from the spot despite Conrad Logan going the right way.
Dempster’s first half-time team talk worked wonders as the Stags levelled within four second-half minutes.
Pearce made amends for giving away the penalty as his superb diving header halved the arrears.
And Rose equalised moments later from inside the box.
Logan kept the scores level with a world class stop to tip Labadie’s effort over from close range.
A blockbuster start to the second period continued as seconds later the Stags had a penalty of their own after Otis Khan went down.
But Maynard was denied by a fine save from County stopper King as the game remained all square.
Maynard then squandered a decent chance when he fired over, before Mellis was sent off after an altercation with Labadie.
Late on the Stags were let off when Amond missed the target a scramble in the box.
Right at the death Matt had the ball in the net with the offside flag coming to the rescue.
Newport: King, Haynes, Howkins, Demetriou, Labadie, Willmott, Dolan (Whiteley, 73), Sheehan, McNamara (Abrahams, 84), Amond, Matt.
Unused subs: Townsend, Stojsavljevic, Maloney, Bennett, Nurse.
Mansfield: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney (Khan, 45), Benning, Bishop, MacDonald, Mellis, Hamilton (Gordon, 45+4), Maynard (Cook, 82), Rose.
Unused subs: Smith, Sterling-James, Donohue, Stone.
Referee: James Adcock.
Attendance: 4,441 (493)
REPORT - Spoils shared on opening day as County draw with Mansfield Town
by Ryan Robinson
Newport County AFC brought an end to their disappointing record on opening day but were left to rue missed opportunities as they were held to a 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town.
The Exiles were 2-0 up at half time after a stunning start to the new campaign. Joss Labadie struck inside the opening six minutes, before Padraig Amond doubled the advantage with a penalty midway through the half.
But County allowed Mansfield to grow into proceedings as Krystian Pearce then Danny Rose both found the net inside the opening four minutes of the second half.
Tom King then repelled a penalty from Nicky Maynard just before the hour mark; but County couldn’t then take advantage when Jacob Mellis was dismissed with 22 minutes to play.
Mike Flynn elected to name nine of his 11 summer signings in the 18-man matchday squad at Rodney Parade while implementing the familiar 4-1-2-1-2 formation used in the pre-season friendlies.
Tom King, Ryan Haynes, Kyle Howkins and Danny McNamara were all handed debuts from the off, while Corey Whitely and Tristan Abrahams also made their first appearances off the bench.
Newly appointed captain of the Club Joss Labadie led the side out for the start of the contest, with their also starting spots for Robbie Willmott, Matty Dolan, Padraig Amond, Josh Sheehan, Jamille Matt and Mickey Demetriou.
Mansfield Town manager John Dempster - appointed to the role over the summer - named a strong squad from the start including several fresh faces but would have been mightily disappointed with the performance from his charges in the first half.
The Exiles completely dominated up until the half time whistle and had Mansfield rattled inside the opening six minutes with a lightning start to the new campaign.
Stags goalkeeper Conrad Logan will look upon reflection and think he could have done better than palm away a Robbie Willmott 25-yard drive. Instead, it went to Haynes and his dinked ball into the area was calmly slotted home by the onrushing Labadie.
Mansfield were well and truly shell-shocked into silence as County continued their barrage of attacking intent - Amond firing narrowly over the top after a clever corner-kick routine.
Dolan whacked the crossbar with a curling free kick in the 32nd minute but it was only a matter of time before the Exiles doubled their advantage and it came just 60 seconds later.
After being harshly denied a penalty minutes before, Ryan Sweeney’s pull on Matt was finally punished and Amond held his nerve to rifle the spot kick easily past Logan into his right side.
The Stags for whatever reason just couldn’t get going before the break and only had a header wide from Sweeney at a corner plus a speculative attempt from Jacob Mellis to talk about before the interval.
However, whoever was questioning Dempster in his first game in professional management, would have been eating their words as whatever he said at half time did the job as the Stags made a lightning start after the restart to bring themselves level.
A guided free kick into the area allowed Pearce to pull one back with a header in the 47th minute before they found their equaliser just two minutes later as a Danny Rose shot squirmed its way under King and into the back of the net.
That had County nervous as the ascendency looked to be changing but they responded well and almost retook the lead on 55 minutes when Logan pulled off an unbelievable save to tip a Labadie chipped effort over the crossbar.
It really had become an end-to-end affair at Rodney Parade and on 58 minutes, it was Mansfield’s turn to have a chance to take the lead.
Some excellent play in and around the area allowed Otis Khan to burst between Demetriou and Howkins and when the former went into a challenge on the wild side, the Stags had their penalty.
Any lingering doubts in King’s mind surrounding the second goal were swiftly put to bed as he leaped to his left and repelled Nicky Maynard’s powerful spot kick.
It was all happening in South Wales and a further twist to proceedings occurred in the 68th minute when referee James Adcock sought advice from one of his linesmen and dismissed Jacob Mellis for a lunge on Labadie.
But try as they might, County just couldn’t find a desired third and had to settle for a point in an enthralling start to the 2019/20 season.
Newport County AFC (4-1-2-1-2): Tom King, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Kyle Howkins, Danny McNamara (Tristan Abrahams 84’), Josh Sheehan, Joss Labadie (C), Matty Dolan (Corey Whitely 73’), Robbie Willmott, Padraig Amond, Jamille Matt
Subs not used: Stojsavljevic, Nurse, Bennett, Maloney, Townsend
Mansfield Town (3-5-2): Logan, Benning, Sweeney (Khan 54’), Pearce (C), Preston, Hamilton (Gordon 45+2’), Bishop, MacDonald, Mellis, Rose, Maynard (Cook 82’)
Subs not used: Stone, Donohue, Sterling-James, Smith
Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 4,441 (493 AWAY)
Newport County 2 Mansfield Town 2: Opening day thriller at Rodney Parade
By Andrew Penman
NEWPORT County AFC let a two-goal lead slip and failed to find a winner against 10-men Mansfield Town in a brilliantly entertaining League Two opener at Rodney Parade.
First-half goals from captain Joss Labadie and striker Padraig Amond looked to have set Michael Flynn’s men on their way to a first opening-day victory since 2013.
But Mansfield, the pre-season promotion favourites, showed their pedigree as they fought back impressively after the break to claim a share of the points.
They could have won all three if Tom King hadn’t saved Nicky Maynard’s penalty, but they held on for the final 22 minutes after Jacob Mellis was sent off.
Goalkeeper King, right-back Danny McNamara, central defender Kyle Howkins and left-back Ryan Haynes all made their competitive debuts from the start and all contributed to a fantastic first 45 minutes for the Exiles.
King and Howkins didn’t have too much to do but always looked assured, while Millwall loanee McNamara demonstrated his composure and eye for a pass on several occasions.
But, of all the new arrivals, it was Haynes who really caught the eye with a performance that suggests that Flynn may just have found the perfect replacement for the departed Dan Butler.
The former Coventry City and Shrewsbury Town defender did everything that was asked of him at the back, which wasn’t too much, and attacked with intent down the left flank.
Haynes played a big part in the opening goal in the sixth minute as he reacted quickest when Robbie Willmott’s shot was beaten away and crossed for the on-rushing Labadie to steer the ball inside the far post.
Soon afterwards he picked out a run from Matty Dolan with a superbly executed chipped pass as County continued to attack.
Jamille Matt went close with a header, Amond curled a shot inches over the top after being picked out from a corner, Labadie saw a volley cleared off the line and Dolan hit the bar with a free-kick.
At the other end, Neal Bishop’s header was deflected into the side netting and Mellis had King scrambling with a low drive that whizzed just past the post.
But County got the second they deserved when Matt was dragged down in the penalty area and Amond buried the spot-kick on 34 minutes.
It was a brilliant first-half for the hosts but the match was turned on its head in the opening 15 minutes after the break, which were breathless for all the wrong reasons as far as the Exiles were concerned.
Mansfield had made two substitutions either side of the break with Kellan Gordon and Otis Khan replacing CJ Hamilton and Ryan Sweeney and they looked a different team.
Flynn’s men were caught cold as they allowed Stags skipper Krystian Pearce to head home from a free-kick in the 48th minute.
And a mistake by King just over a minute later allowed Danny Rose’s weak shot to trickle over the line to level the match just four minutes after the restart.
In a frantic passage of play, the imperious Labadie was then denied a second goal by a superb save from Conrad Logan before Mansfield were awarded a soft-looking penalty when Mellis tumbled in the box under Willmott’s challenge.
But King made amends for his earlier error as he dived to his left to keep out Maynard’s penalty.
That really lifted the home fans and they had renewed hope when Mellis was shown a straight red card for a suspected stamp on Labadie on 68 minutes.
Corey Whitely replaced Dolan five minutes later as Flynn looked to make the most of the numerical advantage.
Matt spurned a headed chance and Haynes fired wide under pressure before Tristan Abrahams, on for McNamara, poked an effort off target.
Mickey Demetriou almost prodded in a winner two minutes from time, Willmott blazed high and wide in stoppage time and Amond saw a header disallowed for offside as the Exiles were forced to settle for a frustrating draw.
County: King; McNamara (Abrahams, 84), Howkins, Demetriou, Haynes; Willmott, Dolan (Whitely, 73) Labadie, Sheehan; Amond, Matt
Subs not used: Townsend, Stojsavljevic, Nurse, Bennett, Maloney
Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 4,441 (493 Mansfield)
Argus star man: Labadie
The talking points from Newport County 2 Mansfield Town 2
By Andrew Penman
GOALS from Joss Labadie and Padraig Amond put Newport County AFC in charge against Mansfield Town before they were pegged back. Here are the talking points...
Fully fit skipper can make the difference
Labadie didn’t play until December last season and didn’t really get going until well into the New Year but he looked back to the player we know he can be on Saturday.
The captain dominated this match from start to finish, opening the scoring, picking up his customary booking, going close to two more goals and getting Jacob Mellis sent off.
A full pre-season has obviously done the 28-year-old the world of good and if he can stay fit - always a big if - then this could be a very exciting season for the Exiles.
Haynes looks a good replacement for Butler
Dan Butler was always going to be difficult to replace after a fantastic few years on the left of the County defence, but Ryan Haynes made a positive first impression.
The former Coventry City and Shrewsbury Town defender looked solid at the back and full of ideas going forward.
Danny McNamara (below) also impressed on the other flank and, with Daniel Leadbitter and George Nurse not involved, manager Michael Flynn looks to have real strength in depth in the full-back positions.
Sloppy 15 minutes proves costly
After a hugely impressive first 45 minutes, during which County could have scored more than two goals, all the hosts’ hard work was undone by a disastrous start to the second half.
The defence switched off to allow Krystian Pearce a free header from a free-kick to pull one back and goalkeeper Tom King was then beaten by a weak Danny Rose effort to level the scores within four minutes of the restart.
It could have been even worse, but County were the better side for 75 minutes of the match and really should have secured all three points against one of the promotion favourites.
King makes amends for his error
The former Millwall goalkeeper was a spectator for much of the first half and could do little to keep out the Stags’ first goal but he will be disappointed to have let Danny Rose’s tame effort squirm under him and over the line for the equaliser.
It was a nightmare moment on his competitive debut and could have severely dented his confidence but he was presented with an opportunity to be the hero with the penalty and he grabbed it with a fine save to keep out Nicky Maynard’s spot-kick.
That was an important moment for the new number one and he will hopefully be able to put the initial error behind him and move forward in a positive frame of mind.
Scott Merriman, kitman, on the new teal coloured third kit:
(In answer to will be wear the kit again?)
"We will wear it a couple more times I’m sure"
(In answer to who chooses which kit to wear for each game?)
"Yeah I choose, try and wear the home kit whenever we can, but the lads love the 3rd kit this year"