Mansfield host Newport County in crucial League Two play-off semi-final


It’s all to play for in Sunday’s play-off semi-final as Mansfield host Newport County in a battle to claim a trip to Wembley to play for a spot in Sky Bet League One.

Mansfield enter the home second-leg level with their visitors after a draw at Rodney Parade; however, the Stags may have the upper hand in this fixture as they play in front of their home crowd to act the vital 12th man role.

The first leg of the play-off semi-final at Rodney Parade ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

CJ Hamilton put the Stags ahead on 12 minutes, firing high into the top corner, before Padraig Amond equalised late on from the rebound of a controversial penalty.

From the dug-outs

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft called Thursday night’s draw as a ‘cruel’ result for Mansfield after conceding a soft penalty late-on.

“CJ’s goal deserved to win a football match. We were on the wrong side of two decisions that are just wrong.

“The sending off [Mark O’Brien foul on Tyler Walker which only received a yellow card] is as blatant as I’ve seen.

“Tyler has got in front with brilliant movement and he’s dragged him down. It’s not going through to the ‘keeper.

“It’s early in the game, but you still need him [referee]to make the right decision, and he’s not done.

“I’ve seen the penalty save, and Logan has come out and made the save – it’s hit his hand. He’s made the save and got ball to hand.

“So it’s big decisions that he’s got wrong. It’s a travesty because you prepare and work really hard for these games.

“It’s been a bit of a cruel night, but now we’ll just get ourselves ready [for Sunday]. We’ll prepare for one hell of a game on Sunday.”

Newport County manager Michael Flynn says all the pressure is now on Mansfield Town this Sunday after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final.

“All the pressure is on them,” he affirmed. “We finished the game the strongest and we’ll have to pick a team who I think can cause them problems.

“In an ideal world, we wanted to be taking a lead to Mansfield. But, it’s another 90 minutes of football and we’re going to give it our best shot.

“When Newport last got promoted through the play-offs, they won at Mansfield on the first day of the season. Now we’re going to have to win there on the last game.”

Team News

The Stags will be without long term absentees Hayden White and Bobby Olejnik for the match.

Defender Matt Preston is also likely to miss the game, following the concussion he suffered at Stadium MK last Saturday. Forwards Craig Davies and Jordan Graham will also be absent.

The Exiles have a clean bill of health for Sunday’s game.


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