Michael Flynn hails ‘unbelievable’ comeback win as Newport sit top of League Two
Newport manager Mike Flynn hailed an “unbelievable” comeback as the Exiles went top of Sky Bet League Two thanks to Matty Dolan’s late penalty against Mansfield.
The Welsh side are yet to lose in the league this season and staged a second-half revival to down Mansfield, who are still without a win.
Stephen McLaughlin’s stunning strike looked like it would give the Stags three points, but Scott Twine equalised and Dolan won it from penalty spot.
Flynn said: “It was a massive win because of the energy we used up against Newcastle.
“Mansfield made it very difficult for us in the second half and they deserved to take the lead.
“As much of the ball as we had, we didn’t create that much but our character and attitude was second to none. Everything went against them, but they stayed together.
“Scott (Twine) scored a fabulous goal and Matty (Dolan) got the winner. It’s still early doors, but there is no doubt it’s been a very good start and we are playing some good football.
“We have a tough game away next week now at Cambridge. I know we have the EFL Cup game with Norwich in the week, but I’m going to have to be very careful with who I play in that game.
“All it is a good start and it’s much better than being at the bottom. We want to be at the top and any footballer who doesn’t want to be there to be shot at is just coasting.
“It was an unbelievable win and they deserved it just about.”
Newport had only lost on penalties to Premier League Newcastle in the Carabao Cup in midweek and they dominated Mansfield in the first half but just could not convert.
It looked like they would pay the price after the break when McLaughlin cut in from the left and found the top corner from 25 yards.
But Twine’s cool finish came following a poor Jordan Bowery clearance and there was still time for Dolan to give County all three points with just two minutes of normal time to go.
Referee Samuel Alisson judged Padraig Amond’s cross to have struck Rollin Menayese on the hand and Dolan calmly slotted home the penalty.
“It was in the box and the referee has given it. It did hit his hand. Sometimes you get the rub of the green and sometimes you don’t,” Flynn added.
Mansfield boss Graham Coughlan fumed at the penalty decision by Allison.
He said: “There is an expectation at this football club and some of my players need to be aware of that.
“There were a lot of positives and things to take from the game, but all I’m seeing at the moment is the negatives.
“How satisfied can you be when you get sucker-punched like that and a referee makes a decision like that? It’s up to the players to reset and regroup.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted. We are looking for a little bit of lady luck and I could go on about refereeing decisions, but it’s not going to help.”