LOMAS ON STAGS: Can Mansfield Town shackle Dom Telford in big promotion showdown at Newport County?

Mansfield Town could do their automatic promotion hopes a power of good if they can shackle Dom Telford and win at Newport County this Saturday.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 4:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 4:32 pm
Skipper Ollie Clarke up against the deadly Dom Telford when Newport visited Stags last season.
Skipper Ollie Clarke up against the deadly Dom Telford when Newport visited Stags last season.

Both sides drew last weekend, so Stags remain one place and one point ahead of the Welsh club in sixth place but with two games in hand over the Exiles.

Stags remain on a high after 11 games unbeaten and will have had a full week's rest with no midweek game while Newport have had a bit of a wobble recently with two defeats followed by being held at home 3-3 by relegation-haunted Oldham on Saturday.

But Newport away has never been much of a happy hunting ground for the Stags and it's six visits back and five and a half years since they last won there.

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Clough will always want his side to be on the front foot from the off and look to win.

But they will have to keep a close eye on League Two's top scorer Telford.

Many people thought the 25-year-old would be the subject of bids during the January window, but he remains an Exile and has now hit 22 goals this season, 21 in the league.

He has just shaken off a calf injury to score three times in his last two games.

This will be the second of Stags' three successive tough game games with a 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers last weekend followed by the trip to Bradford.

Nigel Clough had to shuffle his tired pack at the Memorial Stadium with Ryan Stirk and George Maris rested to the bench and Stephen McLaughlin not risked in the end after a bang to the head.

McLaughlin should be back for Newport but the bigger worry is that top scorer Rhys Oates limped off with a thigh strain.

With so much football ahead in such a short space of time if he is not 100 per cent fit Stags are unlikely to risk him – and he will be a massive miss.

Stags' new signings Lucas Akins, Jamie Murphy and Matty Longstaff all showed signs of not being 100 per cent fit with not much recent football under their belts before arriving at Mansfield.

So, all in all, the point was definitely a good one and a blank week is a bonus ahead of such a big game.

With the squad trimmed down, everyone has a huge part to play in what could be a milestone season.