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REPORT | Exiles come from behind to seal third consecutive Sky Bet League Two victory against Mansfield Town

3 October 2020

Matty Dolan stroked home a penalty two minutes from time to ensure Newport County AFC kept their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two record in tact with a 2-1 win against Mansfield Town.

Stephen McLaughlin fired the Stags ahead when his effort from range found the top corner before Scott Twine responded for the hosts nine minutes later.

And, after Rollin Menayese was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area, Dolan rolled home the resulting penalty with two minutes left of normal time to ensure County secured their third consecutive Sky Bet League Two victory of the campaign.

Michael Flynn made two changes from the Exiles' penalty shooutout defeat against Newcastel United on Wednesday evening, as Joss Labadie - who missed the clash against the Magpies through suspension - was brought in for Scot Bennett, and Ryan Taylor replaced Padraig Amond.

The Exiles were limited to few clear-cut chances against Steve Bruce's side in mid-week, but enjoyed the first opportunity of the afternoon through Mickey Demetriou. After Twine cut inside from the left flank, the midfielder found the path of Demetriou, who struck just wide of Aiden Stone's post after being pressurised by the away defence.

County continued to press for the opening goal but nearly found themselves undone by a quick counter-attack from the Stags down the opposite end. Dolan's corner, which looked to be one straight off the training ground, found Tristan Abrahams in the area, but the striker's lay-off failed to reach Liam Shephard. Graham Coughlan's men quickly forged a counter-attack through Nicky Maynard and George Maris, before the latter forced a save out of Nick Townsend down the opposite end.

Townsend's opposite number Stone also produced a strong save of his own after being called into action by Twine. The Swindon Town loanee, who helped the Exiles break the dead-lock on Wednesday, when his shot fell kindly for Abrahams, nearly added his second goal of the campaign with a similar strike to his effort against the Toon. But Stone was on hand to palm the ball away from the danger zone and the away side cleared away to safety.

The Stags goalkeeper had to be alert again in the early stages of the second half, as he pulled off another fine save to keep out Brandon Cooper's effort. The Swansea City loanee, who found himself in unfamiliar territroy after venturing forward, sent James Perch the wrong way before forcing Stone into tipping the ball over the crossbar.

The home side had enjoyed the better of the opportunities but had Townsend to thank for keeping the scores level on the hour-mark. Jamie Reid's curling effort was kept out by the Exiles' shot-stopper before he recovered quickly to deny Maynard from point-blank range minutes later.

The Stags finally managed to find the breakthrough when McLaughlin drifted inside from the left wing and fired into the top corner, leaving Townsend helpress in the County goal.

But it took just nine minutes after the restart for Flynn's men to reply to the setback through Twine. After Mansfield substitute Jordan Bowery's attempted clearance fell into the path of the midfielder, Twine picked his spot before rolling the ball into the bottom corner to draw the Exiles level.

And County managed to find a second two minutes from time when Dolan fired in from the penalty spot. Amond made an immediate impact after his introduction when his flick hit the hand of Menayese in the penalty area, with referee Samuel Allison pointing to the penalty spot. Dolan, who converted in the shootout against Newcastle in mid-week, sent Stone the wrong way before tapping the ball into the opposite corner to seal the victory for the hosts.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie, Josh Sheehan, Scott Twine (Scot Bennett 89'), Tristan Abrahams (Padraig Amond 83'), Ryan Taylor (Saikou Janneh 65').

Substitutes: Tom King, Ashley Baker, Robbie Willmott, Lewis Collins.

 


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