CJ Hamilton Stunner Not Enough as Mansfield Town Held by Newport County

CJ Hamilton Stunner Not Enough as Mansfield Town Held by Newport County  - FootyNews.co.uk
NEWPORT, WALES – MAY 09: CJ Hamilton of Mansfield Town celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet League Two Play-off Semi Final First Leg match between Newport County and Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade on May 09, 2019 in Newport, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The League Two play-off semi-final between Newport County and Mansfield Town is finely poised going into Sunday’s second leg after Mansfield Town were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Newport County. CJ Hamilton put the Stags ahead after 12 minutes with a stunning finish, but Padraig Amond finished up his saved penalty to level with seven minutes remaining.

CJ Hamilton Stunner Not Enough For Mansfield Town Against Newport County

CJ Hamilton Opens the Scoring After Controversial Decision

Mansfield made by the far brighter start to the game, perhaps in a bid to rid their minds of the slow start they produced against MK Dons that meant they were in the play-offs in the first place. They looked like they were going to go on and dominate against a Newport side that nobody expected to make the play-offs and they could have had a man advantage after just five minutes when Tyler Walker was brought down by Mark O’Brien, but they ere left incensed when referee Charles Breakspeare issued just a yellow.

That fast start was consolidated after 12 minutes, though, when Jacob Mellis released Hamilton down the left, and the speedy winger produced a stunning finish high into the roof of Joe Day‘s net. That was Hamilton’s 14th goal of the season.

Conrad Logan Goes From Hero to Villain

As the game wore on it looked as though Mansfield were going to be indebted to their goalkeeper, Conrad Logan. The Irishman produced a number of stunning saves throughout the game that kept his side in front but proceeded to concede the penalty that led to Newport’s equaliser.

It was another big decision in the game as replays seemed to suggest that Logan got a touch to Adebayo Azeez’s attempt to take it around him before clattering the former Cambridge United man, but Brakespeare pointed to the spot.

Logan looked to have redeemed himself when he saved the initial effort from Amond, but his fellow countryman showed his goalscoring instinct and followed up to slow home the rebound and level the scores.

The Second Leg

The second leg of this semi-final will start all square, just as the first leg did tonight. Newport travel to the One Call Stadium knowing that they will be up against it, but after a week where footballing miracles have been a regular occurrence, who says they can’t do it? Kick off is it 6.00pm this Sunday.