Padraig Amond insists Newport County AFC will take numerous positives from the opening day draw with Mansfield Town, even if there’s a frustration at not holding on for all three points.
Amond once again got himself off the mark early for a campaign when he dispatched a first half penalty, doubling the advantage after Joss Labadie had earlier opened the scoring on six minutes.
Having not posed a threat in the first half, Mansfield sprung into life in the second half and were level four minutes after the restart following a Krystian Pearce header and a Danny Rose strike.
Exiles shot stopper Tom King saved Nicky Maynard’s penalty to prevent a complete turnaround at Rodney Parade, but County couldn’t retake the lead themselves after Jacob Mellis’ red card.
Here, read what Amond exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the contest.
On the opening day draw with Mansfield Town…
"We’re very frustrated. We played really well for the first 45 minutes, switched off for ten minutes of the second half, then we were the better team again and dominated after the red card. Just couldn’t get the winner at the end.
"Very mixed feelings but we know there are lots of positives to take out of it. There’ll be negatives which we can work on in the week but it’s not the worst start in the world.
"The position we were in at half time, it doesn’t look great in terms of the result, but the most important thing was that we made sure we didn’t lose the game. We easily could have done that as well, Kingy [Tom King] has made a good save from the penalty so it’s frustrating."
On the dominance of the first half display…
"We were completely on top. We feel that we maybe could have got another couple, Labz has hit one and it’s hit my foot because I couldn’t get out of the way of it. I’m not sure if it was going in or not.
"Matty Dolan has hit the crossbar from his free-kick and that extra goal would have killed the game off. Unfortunately we didn’t get it.
"We’ve been in a position like that a couple of times last year where we’ve been 2-0 down and therefore, we knew exactly what to expect from Mansfield.
"We didn’t play well enough in the first 10 minutes of the second half and we’ve been made to pay for it. We showed a bit of character, dominated the game again in the last 25 minutes and even just before the red card, we were back on top again.
"It’s a frustrating start but we can look at it and say it was a better start than last year against Mansfield."
On getting off the mark early for the campaign…
"It’s always pleasing because you want to score as quick as you can. Thankfully I had the chance and I scored.
"I was disappointed with the one at the end, I think I was offside, but I would like to see it again. It’s one of those where I was so convinced I was offside that I might look back and not be.
"We probably would have deserved that if it had gone in at the end, just to get the three points because the first half was so good.
"I took a couple of penalties in pre-season. I took one over in Spain against Al Ahly, missed one last week against Hungerford but there was never a doubt.
"Scored it and obviously pleased to get off the mark."
On facing Cambridge United next weekend…
"Sometimes you go into teams against whom you have a good record but the difference this time is that they had the same players over the two-year period [where we won six meetings in a row].
"There’s quite a few who have moved on and the same with ourselves, we’ve had a lot of change.
"It’s a clean slate next week for the Cambridge lads. We do have this little hoodoo against them but there’s no point building it up too much.
"We know exactly what’ll happen if we turn up and think we’ve won the game before it’s started. If we play like we did in the first 45 minutes, we have a great chance.
"We need to make sure we work as hard as we can this week in training, do what the gaffer asks us to do, and follow the game plan completely next weekend and we’ll win the game."
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