Newport County fell to 2-0 defeat against Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A brace from Davis Keillor-Dunn was enough to hand the Stags all three points and continue their unbeaten start in Sky Bet League Two.
Manager Graham Coughlan made just one change from the side that faced Bristol Rovers in midweek, with Omar Bogle coming into the starting XI in place of Olly Thomas. Academy players Alfie Young and Nelson Sanca retained their places on the bench.
It was the home side who made a dream start to proceedings, netting the opening goal inside three minutes. Rhys Oates broke down the right-hand side before delivering a low cross which allowed Keillor-Dunn to fire the Stags into an early lead.
As County searched for a way back into the game, Will Evans showed some great footwork outside the box prior to being denied by a great block from defender Aden Flint. At the other end, a long ball from Lewis Brunt picked out the on-running Oates, however, he was denied by a smart save from Nick Townsend after 16 minutes.
Midway through the first half, the Stags had a great chance to double their lead after they were awarded a penalty. Scott Bennett was adjudged to have brought down the advancing Oates inside the box but Townsend pulled off a magnificent save to deny the forward from the spot.
With the half-time whistle fast approaching, Coughlan’s men produced a late charge, with Nathan Wood coming the closest for County in the minutes that remained. The winger showed neat interchange play with Bogle before flashing an effort just wide.
The second half began with County on the front foot, with Evans going close immediately after the restart. After a smart attacking move which saw County move the ball from front to back well, the forward found himself in behind the Stags backline but failed to find the cutting edge to beat the advancing Pym.
Despite Newport’s early pressure though, at the other end, Townsend was called into action just moments later, after he was forced to deny a fierce strike from former Exiles Aaron Lewis from distance.
On 51 minutes, the Stags were rewarded for their pressure when they doubled their lead through Keillor Dunn. After a smart delivery towards the far post, the attacker beat Matt Bondswell to the ball to tuck home his second of the afternoon.
Midway through the second period, Coughlan deployed a double change in the hope of changing County’s fortunes in attack, as Seb Palmer-Houlden and James Clake entered the fray.
Following the switch, the Exiles came close to clawing back a goal back through Evans, once again, who found space inside the box. He showed great skill to beat Reed but was foiled by Pym from point-blank range.
With 20 minutes remaining of the contest, County created another good attacking move through Bogle again. The striker threaded a lovely pass into the path of Evans but yet again the forward was denied via the outstretched Pym.
In the final stages, Newport threw bodies forward in attack in the hope of securing a consolation goal, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to defeat in Nottinghamshire.
The Exiles return to league action next weekend as Stockport County make the trip to Rodney Parade in Sky Bet League Two (3pm).
Mansfield Town: Pym, Johnson, Flint (C), Brunt, Cargill, Reed, Lewis (Quin 80), Maris (Boateng 80), Keillor-Dunn (Gale 89), Oates (Atkins 74), Bowery (Swan 89).
Subs not used: Flinders, Williams.
Newport County: Townsend, Payne, Delaney (C), Evans, Morris, Bennett, Waite, McLoughlin, Bogle, Wood (Palmer-Houlden 49), Bondswell (Clarke 54).
Subs not used: Maxted, Thomas, Young, Sanca.
Attendance: 6,877 (223 Away)