The Stags welcome Newport County to the One Call Stadium in what will be a tough task against another promotion-pushing side


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Mansfield Town have six games to get enough points on the board and not get dragged into a relegation scrap as Newport County travel to the One Call Stadium in the hunt of solidifying their place in the Play-Offs.

Nigel Clough’s men have a nine-point buffer between themselves and 23rd Southend United as the League Two season enters its final stages.

The Nottinghamshire side will look to keep that gap as they aim to survive in League Two and do so in a convincing fashion.

18 points to play for between now and the final game of the season away at Vale Park against Port Vale and the Stags will be optimistic that they have enough to stay in the fourth tier.

On Easter Monday, the amber and blues travelled to Exeter City with the Grecians’ eyes firmly set on the Play-Offs after their defeat in the Play-Off Final last year.

The Stags had the first chance of the half through George Lapslie as he was able to connect with Stephen Quinn’s cross but sent his effort narrowly wide of the right post.

Mansfield were forced into a mistake by the hosts which allowed Jack Sparkes to carry the ball forward for Exeter. He tried to find Ryan Bowman with the pass but overhit it as the ball ran out for a goal kick.

Quinn took it upon himself to try and find the opener in the 23rd minute but saw his volley go over Jokull Andresson’s goal.

Lewis Page had a shot for Exeter not long after but was unable to direct it at goal as the ball flew over the bar. The best chance of the half fell Sparkes with his header saved fantastically by the diving Aidan Stone who was able to claw the ball away from the goal and kept the scoreline at 0-0 as the teams headed into the half-time interval.

Randell Williams helped the Grecians a lot on the attacking front as he had multiple crosses and shots blocked by the solid Mansfield defence.

Tyrese Sinclair had an awesome game for the amber and blues as he had chances to win it for the Stags. His best chance was saved by Andresson and was booked in the 80th minute after a potential penalty appeal was seen as a dive by Carl Brook.

A point was definitely welcome for both sides as it moved the Stags further away from the relegation zone and Exeter slightly closer to the Play-Offs.

Mansfield’s opponents on Friday, Newport County, were victorious on Easter Monday against an in-form Bolton Wanderers side.

Ian Evatt’s men had double the amount of shots that Michael Flynn’s men had (14 to Newport’s seven) but rarely troubled the Exiles.

On-loan Stags striker Nicky Maynard scored the winning goal in the 63rd minute which moved the Welsh side closer to the automatic promotion places and ended a run of three consecutive defeats.

Luckily for Mansfield, the striker will be unable to play against them due to him not being able to play against his parent club.

In the reverse fixture back in October at Rodney Parade, Newport were victorious after a miraculous comeback in the final minutes of the match.

Stephen McLaughlin gave Mansfield the lead in the 69th minute. The Irishman was able to drive inside and struck a vicious shot from outside the box that ended up in the top corner of Nick Townsend’s goal.

Scott Twine equalised for the Exiles 10 minutes later. Jordan Bowery failed to clear the ball away which allowed the midfielder to slot the ball into the bottom corner and spur his side on to get a late winner.

A penalty was awarded to Newport in the 88th minute after Rollin Menayese handled the ball with his hand. Matthew Dolan stepped up and buried the penalty away giving the hosts the three points after a fantastic comeback.

The last time the Stags were defeated in league action by the Exiles at the One Call Stadium was back in January 1939 as Newport beat Mansfield 2-0.

Not defeated by the Welsh opposition in league action for over 80 years, Play-Offs aside, at NG18 will be encouraging for Clough’s men and they will be hoping to preserve that astonishing record.

Newport will be looking to keep their Play-Off/promotion hopes alive as they are only four points away from automatic promotion and a victory in Nottinghamshire will allow them to close the gap and get closer to reaching their dream of getting up to League One for the first time in their history.

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