Mansfield 0-0 Newport: County reach play-off final after dramatic shoot-out
Newport to face either Forest Green or Tranmere Rovers in play-off final on May 25 - live on Sunshine Golf Football
Last Updated: 12/05/19 10:04pm
Newport are into the League Two play-off final after beating Mansfield 5-3 on penalties following a goalless draw (1-1 on aggregate) at the One Call Stadium.
In a game full of goalscoring opportunities but none converted, the match took a shoot-out to decide the winner with Tyler Walker's penalty in the shoot-out, saved by Joe Day, proving pivotal.
Newport will face the winner of Forest Green vs Tranmere from the other League Two play-off semi-final at Wembley on May 25 - live on Sunshine Golf Football.
Mansfield: Logan (8), Pearce (6), Turner (7), Sweeney (7), Jones (6), Tomlinson (6), Macdonald (6), Hamilton (6), Mellis (6), Rose (6), Walker (5)
Subs: Benning (7), Atkinson (6), Ajose (6), Grant (N/A)
Newport: Day (9), Butler (6), O'Brien (7), Demetriou (7), Poole (6), Sheehan (7), Bennett (7), Labadie (7), Matt (7), Amond (7), Willmott (7)
Subs: Azeez (6), Dolan (N/A), McKirdy (N/A),
Man of the match: Joe Day
How Day led Newport to Wembley
Newport fired the first warning shot in the 12th minute with Josh Sheehan's driven strike parried away by Conrad Logan. Ten minutes later and the midfielder missed a glorious chance, volleying a near-post shot wide.
And just two minutes later, Newport made another opening when Jamille Matt slipped through Padraig Amond, but his near-post strike hit the woodwork after getting the better of Logan.
In the 39th minute, Joss Labadie's looping header from close range hit the crossbar before Amond nodded over, despite being unmarked, on the stroke of half-time.
Neal Bishop missed out with a calf injury following Thursday's 1-1 draw and was replaced by Willem Tomlinson.
Matty Dolan dropped to the bench and Joss Labadie took his place.
Mansfield improved in the second half, but Newport came close again through Scot Bennett in the 59th minute, whose thunderous 30-yard strike cracked off the bar. Two minutes later, Sheehan's dipping volley was parried by Logan.
Day was called into action to make a string of fine stops to deny Ben Turner and Walker, and the latter missed arguably the chance of the game five minutes from time when he dragged his half-volley wide.
The game went into extra-time with Hamilton blazing a shot over the bar, and a goalmouth scramble resulted in Regan Poole being forced to clear a rebound off the line.
With the two sides still tied, it went to a shoot-out with Day proving the hero as he denied Walker from the spot to secure Newport's route to the final.
Michael Flynn: "They were unbelievable in the first half and we should've been three or four up but missed some good chances.
"We've got to give Mansfield credit as they came back into the game in the second half and it became end to end.
"You start to wonder if it's going to be our day when we hit the bar but I've got belief in these players and my staff. I just knew we would keep going to the end, and if it had to penalties, so be it."
David Flitcroft: "First of all congratulations to Newport, it was one hell of a tie between the two games.
"There wasn't much between us. Someone had to win and someone had to lose. When it goes to penalties you are hoping that in those big moments you step up.
"But what I said to them before the penalties was the lads that have stepped up have already been courageous by stepping up so just go with your conviction and they did.
"Now it will be picking the players and supporters up but that is my job as manager."
Man of the Match - Joe Day
Day made a number of crucial saves during the match to keep the game goalless and then stepped up to provide the heroics in the shoot-out to send Newport through to the play-off final.