Newport hit the road for the first time in three weeks this weekend when we travel to Nottinghamshire to take on Mansfield Town.
Graham Coughlan’s team hopes to make it back-to-back away wins for the first time this campaign, with our last away game ending in a 2-0 win at Gillingham. Coughlan will be boosted by the return of James Clarke and Seb Palmer-Houlden, with both players making appearances off the bench in our midweek cup tie with Bristol Rovers. The gaffer has confirmed they will both be travelling for the game this weekend, and he hopes to give them some minutes at Field Mill as they return to full match fitness. In his pre-match conference, Coughlan said he would assess Kiban Rai's fitness ahead of the match. Matt Baker will miss the game because of international duty. The defender was a part of Wales U21’s 1-0 victory over Iceland on Thursday night at Rodney Parade and will take to the field again on Monday when they face Denmark U21.
Graham Coughlan was full of praise for Stags manager, Nigel Clough explaining that the squad he has assembled over recent years is good enough to make the leap to League One football next season. Despite praise for the opposition he is excited for his team to take on the challenge on Saturday: "Mansfield will be a huge challenge for us, but challenges are there to be met and that's exactly what we'll do," explained Coughlan.
"We had too really good battles with them [Mansfield] last year, they've got intesity, they've got really solid players, they've got experience so it will be a really big test for us, but one we are looking forward too."
Mansfield Town will provide a tough challenge this weekend. The Stags are one of only two unbeaten teams in the English Football League, with League One table-toppers Portsmouth being the other one.
However, this record is in the league, and the team has actually lost three of its last four games in all competitions, all of which were at the One Call Stadium. They exited the EFL Cup and FA Cup with defeats to Port Vale and Wrexham, respectively, before losing to Everton U21 in the EFL Trophy.
In the league, though, things are very different. The club has won four of its last six games, with draws against Wrexham and Wimbledon being their only blips. Their last outing was a 2-1 win away at Salford, with Jordan Bowery and Davis Keillor-Dunn on the scoresheet. The latter of these has hit the net nine times in the league this season, making him one of the division’s top scorers.
Calum Macdonald will miss the match, with the defender picking up a fifth yellow card last weekend at Salford. Elsewhere, Ollie Clarke, Stephen McLaughlin, John-Joe O’Toole, and Stephen Quinn are still injured, while Lucas Akins will be assessed ahead of the game.
You can find ticket information for the trip to Mansfield here:
Senior 65+ - £19
Adult - £21
Young Adult 18-21 - £17
Junior 13-17 - £14
Under 12 - £10
Tickets will be available to buy on the day of the game, however please note that Field Mill is a cashless stadium.
Last Time Out
Our last encounter with Mansfield ended in a 2-1 loss at Rodney Parade towards the end of last season. The Stags were in the hunt for the League Two play-offs, and despite a battling performance, we were unable to stop their charge.
A goal from Hiram Boateng in the 24th minute gave the visitors the lead against the run of play, and a fantastic solo effort from James Gale doubled their lead in the 73rd. A late goal from Aaron Wildig turned out to be nothing more than a consolation.
Our last trip to Field Mill ended in a 0-0 draw last October, with James Perch receiving a red card for the home side in the game’s most notable moment.
Head to Head
Our first match against Mansfield Town took place away from home all the way back in 1937. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. We would then win the next two encounters. The Stags would have to wait 22 years until they defeated us, securing a 2-1 win at Field Mill. This sparked a string of wins for Mansfield.
We have played each other 41 times, with Mansfield picking up 20 wins to our 10. Our last league victory at Mansfield was a 2-1 at Rodney Parade in 2020.
Played for Both
For the second time in five days, Graham Coughlan will be in the dugout against a former side when we visit Mansfield. The gaffer took charge of 27 games for The Stags between December 2019 and October 2020.
A familiar face that will be playing against us this weekend is Aaron Lewis. Lewis left Newport after three seasons in the summer, having made over 100 appearances for us in all competitions. He signed a two-year deal with Mansfield and has played a key part in their promotion push so far this campaign.