STAGS manager Duncan Russell didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after seeing his side go 3-0 down in an extraordinary first half before roaring back to take a point off 10-men Newport County in a sensational 3-3 live TV draw at Field Mill on Saturday night, reports John Lomas.
“It feels like two points lost tonight, but I have to be happy with a point after being 3-0 down,” said Russell.
“Sometimes teams with 10 men are very, very difficult to break down. We had a go at them but sometimes our delivery was not quite what I wanted.
“At 3-0 down it was really important that we got something out of this game and a few weeks back I don’t think we clawed out way back like that.
“Chasing the game at the end we could have got beaten on the counter-attack right at the end. Then Keigan Parker had a great chance to win it in stoppage time but didn’t have time to get the ball down.
“But I have got to be happy with our performance. We showed a lot of character to get back into the game.
“I am not happy we are still giving silly goals away, even though we work hard on it. But we won’t give up on the play-offs.
“We can still chase a spot as we are not mathematically out of it.”
Newport manager Tim Harris said: “That second half was true grit.
“The boys have got to take a lot of credit for the way they stood up to Mansfield. I don’t think Glyn Garner had a lot to do in that second half.
“You earn your own luck in this game. I told the players at half-time that we had to get at them. We couldn’t just sit back.
“We had to sacrifice Robbie Matthews, who was playing well, and I had to calm it down and get ourselves
“In the last three games we should have ended up with more points on the board that we have got.
“To go 2-0 up in the first three minutes was just unbelievable. I hadn’t even got to my seat when we were went 1-0 up.
“All in all I have to be positive and move on. I have to be pleased to get something out of the game tonight though you have to be disappointed not to have won it after being three up.”