League Two - Play-offs - 1st Leg
Newport1Mansfield1

League Two play-offs: Newport County 1-1 Mansfield Town

Newport striker Padraig Amond turns in the rebound after his penalty had been saved
Newport striker Padraig Amond turns in the rebound after his penalty had been saved

A late goal from Padraig Amond rescued a 1-1 home draw for Newport County to give them hope in their League Two play-off against Mansfield Town.

The Stags seemed destined to win thanks to CJ Hamilton's fine first-half goal, plus goalkeeper Conrad Logan's display.

However, Newport improved markedly after the break and Amond tucked in the rebound after Logan brilliantly saved his penalty, won by sub Adebayo Azeez.

The two sides meet for the second leg at Field Mill on Sunday.

Mansfield missed out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season after being in the top three for most of the campaign, whereas for Newport the play-offs are a bonus after an incredible 10-game unbeaten run saw them sneak into seventh.

However, you would have never known which side was supposedly full of confidence based on the incredibly fast start made by the Stags.

The visitors were utterly dominant in the first period and undermined why they finished five points ahead of County, dispelling any suggestion of a hangover.

Newport heeded a warning on just five minutes when Tyler Walker burst clear and was hauled down by Mark O'Brien, with the County defender perhaps lucky to escape a straight red card from referee Charles Breakspear who instead reached for yellow.

Mansfield's lightning fast counter-attacking was causing Newport all sorts of troubles and they deservedly went in front when Jacob Mellis and Danny Rose combined to tee up Hamilton, who lashed the ball into the roof of the net with Joe Day beaten at his near post.

CJ Hamilton celebrates after his brilliant goal put Mansfield ahead in the tie
CJ Hamilton celebrates after his brilliant goal put Mansfield ahead in the tie

Mansfield were in control and both Mellis and Walker missed opportunities to extend the lead.

The Exiles in contrast did not threaten Logan until the 33rd minute when Mickey Demetriou flicked the ball on and Jamille Matt headed at goal from close range, only for Logan to incredibly scoop the ball off the line to safety.

The home side also saw a penalty appeal for a handball against Neal Bishop waved away.

Both sides exploded out the blocks after the interval and either team might have scored in 60 frantic seconds, when first Walker was denied by Demetriou's clearance off the line after the pacy forward expertly rounded Day.

Newport's chance was also gilt-edged, with Matt's header finding Padraig Amond who was denied at point-blank range by another fantastic Logan stop.

The Exiles were pushing and pushing but an offside flag denied them on 70 minutes when Robbie Willmott fired home a rebound, only for the linesman to intervene.

Mansfield had the best defensive record in League Two in the regular season and worked incredibly hard to secure what seemed destined to be an 18th clean sheet, with Newport seeing efforts from Joss Labadie just miss the target in a frantic finale.

The impressive Mellis might also have taken the game away from Newport, but a fine stop from Day kept Newport in the tie before the thrilling late stages saw the Exiles earn parity.

The penalty was contentious with Logan clipping Azeez, though the goalkeeper very nearly made amends with a terrific penalty save only for the ball to fall kindly to Amond who smashed home to level.

Labadie had another chance in the last few moments to give Newport an unlikely lead, but saw his goal-bound effort blocked to leave the tie delicately balanced for the second leg.

Newport County manager Michael Flynn told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was a slow start from us. For 25 minutes in the first half they were the better side, but in the second half we came back into it.

"I don't know why we didn't have one of the top 20 professional referees here. If we want to grow the game that would've made sense to me.

"In the second half I thought only one team was going to score. We had five or six good opportunities and having a full house here with the crowd helped us, we are 11 games unbeaten now and that is a good thing.

"The referee got the incident with Mark O'Brien bang on. The ball went through to the goalkeeper, our lads said it wasn't even a foul. Mansfield go down easily, they manage the game well.

"But I don't think they have an advantage now, because all the pressure is on them.

"We both played really well at times. It is two good sides giving it everything they have."

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft said:

"There are some big decisions the referee has got wrong and it is a travesty because we're professionals who worked really hard preparing for these games.

"Our 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.

"I'm just not sure how much they respect the League Two play-offs; we've been positioned on a Thursday which gave the Football Association 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 the game tonight."

Line-ups

Newport

  • 1Day
  • 26Poole
  • 25O'BrienBooked at 6mins
  • 28Demetriou
  • 16Sheehan
  • 7Willmott
  • 17BennettSubstituted forLabadieat 72'minutes
  • 8DolanSubstituted forAzeezat 58'minutes
  • 3Butler
  • 11Matt
  • 9AmondSubstituted forCroftsat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Pipe
  • 4Labadie
  • 10Marsh-Brown
  • 14Azeez
  • 15Bakinson
  • 22Crofts
  • 27McKirdy

Mansfield

  • 1Logan
  • 5PearceBooked at 54mins
  • 25Turner
  • 17Sweeney
  • 20Jones
  • 7MacDonald
  • 6Bishop
  • 8Mellis
  • 22Hamilton
  • 32RoseBooked at 68minsSubstituted forBenningat 77'minutes
  • 19Walker

Substitutes

  • 3Benning
  • 10Khan
  • 11Atkinson
  • 14Smith
  • 21Ajose
  • 23Grant
  • 30Smith
Referee:
Charles Breakspear
Attendance:
6,035

Match Stats

Home TeamNewportAway TeamMansfield
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Newport County 1, Mansfield Town 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Newport County 1, Mansfield Town 1.

Ryan Sweeney (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamille Matt (Newport County).

Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Ben Turner.

Attempt missed. Joss Labadie (Newport County) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dan Butler with a cross.

Hand ball by Joss Labadie (Newport County).

Foul by Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town).

Joss Labadie (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Neal Bishop (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adebayo Azeez (Newport County).

Offside, Mansfield Town. Tyler Walker tries a through ball, but CJ Hamilton is caught offside.

Foul by Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town).

Josh Sheehan (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Jacob Mellis (Mansfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Turner with a headed pass.

CJ Hamilton (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Mickey Demetriou (Newport County).

Substitution

Substitution, Newport County. Andrew Crofts replaces Padraig Amond.

Goal!

Goal! Newport County 1, Mansfield Town 1. Padraig Amond (Newport County) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.

Penalty saved! Padraig Amond (Newport County) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Penalty conceded by Conrad Logan (Mansfield Town) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Newport County. Adebayo Azeez draws a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Gethin Jones.

Attempt missed. Joss Labadie (Newport County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Mansfield Town. Malvind Benning replaces Danny Rose.

Attempt blocked. Robbie Willmott (Newport County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamille Matt.

Attempt missed. Joss Labadie (Newport County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Newport County. Joss Labadie replaces Scot Bennett.

Offside, Newport County. Jamille Matt tries a through ball, but Adebayo Azeez is caught offside.

Booking

Danny Rose (Mansfield Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Regan Poole (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Rose (Mansfield Town).

Corner, Mansfield Town. Conceded by Joe Day.

Attempt saved. Jacob Mellis (Mansfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Tyler Walker.

Offside, Newport County. Mickey Demetriou tries a through ball, but Jamille Matt is caught offside.

Offside, Newport County. Jamille Matt tries a through ball, but Robbie Willmott is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Jamille Matt (Newport County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Regan Poole.

Attempt saved. Tyler Walker (Mansfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Danny Rose.

Offside, Mansfield Town. Tyler Walker tries a through ball, but Danny Rose is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lincoln City462316773433085
2Bury4622131182562679
3MK Dons4623101371492279
4Mansfield4620161069412876
5Forest Green4620141268472174
6Tranmere4620131363501373
7Newport462011155959071
8Colchester4620101665531270
9Exeter4619131460491170
10Stevenage462010165955470
11Carlisle46208186762568
12Crewe46198196059165
13Swindon461616145956364
14Oldham461614166760762
15Northampton461419136463161
16Cheltenham461512195768-1157
17Grimsby46168224556-1156
18Morecambe461412205470-1654
19Crawley46158235168-1753
20Port Vale461213213955-1649
21Cambridge461211234066-2647
22Macclesfield461014224874-2644
23Notts County46914234884-3641
24Yeovil46913244166-2540
View full League Two table

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