Stags hold firm to deny CountyNewport County AFC faced Mansfield on Tuesday night at the One Call stadium and it was the Stags who stood firm to deny County their first point of the season. Chris Clements second minute goal was enough to give Mansfield maximum points on the night.
County started quickly and within a minute had the first shot on target as Mark Byrne's shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Sascha Studer. Just moments later the hosts took the lead as a dangerous shot ricochet around the six yard box with the ball eventually falling to Chris Clements to bundle home from a couple of yards out. Lenny Pidgeley had to be on his toes to deny Clements again on 18 minutes.
Just a minute later Chris Zebroski was denied by a split second reaction save by Studer at the far post. Pidgeley was alert once more just before the half hour mark to save well from a Simon Heslop strike. County started to pile on the pressure as Mark Byrne's shot from distance was again saved by Studer. County earned themselves a free kick in a dangerous position on 31 minutes at Studer was at full stretch to keep out Andy Sandell's well struck free kick.
After a frustrating first half it was more of the same in the second, Kevin Feely sent the ball goal-wards only to his his effort deflected behind for a corner. Robbie Willmott was pressing forward in search of an equaliser but his shot was dragged wide from the edge of the box.
On 66 minutes a double substitution for County as Ryan Jackson and Rene Howe replaced Andy Sandell and Chris Zebroski respectively. With just over ten minutes to go in the match Aaron O'Connors shot ended up just wide of the mark. O'Connor was involved again just minutes later as he found himself through one on one only to see his effort just past the post.
As County pressed for an equaliser the home crowd started to get frustrated, but that frustration turned to disbelief, Mansfield managed to break away and Ollie Palmer put his effort wide with an open goal to aim for. County continued to push but the referee signaled the end of the game on a frustrating night for County.
Manager Justin Edinburgh commented after the game "I can't fault the effort or commitment tonight but we have had enough chances to get something out of the game tonight and we haven't took them. That's what happens when you're not winning football matches and we're certainly not doing that at the minute. We've got to regroup and take the positives out of it for long periods of time we were the better side, certainly second half."