Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft says his side dealt well with Newport County’s constant pressure throughout Thursday night’s 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet League Two Semi-Final first leg at Rodney Parade.
CJ Hamilton opened the scoring for the Stags before Padraig Amond struck back in the 83rd minute, despite initially missing from the penalty spot, and Flitcroft said he was proud of his players despite the draw.
“I am proud of my players because this is a difficult place to come, the supporters make it that way and it has been like that all season.
Mansfield started the game brightly, gong ahead early on but it didn’t take Newport long to settle and threaten to score on numerous occasions, which they did eventually do late on.
“They are passionate about football here in Newport and they get behind their team with every single action they do, and you have to withstand that pressure.”
“We set off at an electric pace, every single man and really hurt them down the left-hand-side, CJ Hamilton’s goal really deserved to win any football match.”
Newport County make the 166-mile journey north on Sunday looking to progress to the Play-Off Final, but Flitcroft is determined to unsettle the Exiles back on home soil.
He added: “We created some good chances, we unbalanced them really well, first-half and second-half we got in some really good goal-scoring positions.
“When you look at Tyler Walker’s opportunity, that kills the game then at 2-0 and a really difficult place to come back from.
“But it is half-time and the tie is drawn, and we have got one hell of a fight back at the One Call Stadium on Sunday.”
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