Mansfield Town defender Ben Turner expects Newport County to try to draw Mansfield Town into a battle in Sunday’s League Two Play-Offs semi-final second leg at the One Call Stadium.
Mansfield’s football went up against Newport’s direct style in a 1-1 draw in tonight’s first leg at Rodney Parade and Turner said: “I expect a similar game on Sunday.
FLITCROFT LASHES REFEREE AFTER NEWPORT DRAW
READ THE FULL MATCH REPORT
“We are very capable of having our quality moments. But, just because we are at home, I don’t think Newport won’t stick to their game plan and put a lot of balls on us and ask questions of us.
“They will want us to fight and scrap and turn into into a right good tear-up. That’s what they’ll try and do.
“It’s all to play for and we’ve got to be absolutely bang on.”
Mansfield went ahead through CJ Hamilton after 12 minutes tonight only to be undone seven minutes from time after Conrad Logan saved a contentious penalty but could not stop Padraig Amond tucking away the follow-up.
Stags were also angry that Mark O’Brien was not sent off for hauling down Tyler Walker as last man early in the game.
“Until they scored near the end we were happy with where we were in the game. We wanted to take a lead back to our stadium,” said Turner.
“I think we feel a bit hard done by. We’ve not had many rubs of the green recently.
“Tonight was definitely a better performance and we deserved the win – no two ways about it.
“We scored a good goal and we should have been playing 10 men if I’m honest. We’ve looked back at it and it’s just bizarre.
“We don’t want to be shouting and swearing at refs, but he’s cost us on two big decisions as it wasn’t a penalty either.
“Tyler was pulled down when you’d have backed him to score.”
Then Stags were rocked by a penalty decision against Logan that replays suggest should not have been given.
“Conrad didn’t deserve that with the way he played and the saves he made,” said Turner.
“He got two hands on the ball from what I could see. “All their players knew it wasn’t a penalty. But it is what it is. It’s a good result and we take it back to Mansfield.”
Logan’s first half save has been compared with the famous Gordon Banks save.
“Conrad’s save in the first half was top drawer – he’s dived low and he’s got it over the bar,” said Turner.
“But Newport’s will to win is huge and you have to fight for every ball. That’s why they are in the play-offs.
“They are not one of the best football teams in the league by any stretch of the imagination but they put it on you and keep going – they are relentless, so massive respect to them.
“I think we did pretty much everything right for an away first leg and we take something back to Mansfield.”
Turner has found himself in the side due to the concussion suffered by Matt Preston early in last weekend’s game at MK Dons after a long wait for game time.
“I have been patient,” he said. “I’ve had to respect that when I signed for Mansfield they had the best defensive record in our league, and potentially the best outside the Premier League.
“So it would be daft for me to be banging the gaffer’s door down and asking him to break that apart for me. I just told him I was ready when he needed me.
“I am playing for my future. I want to stay in football at a good club. I have really enjoyed it here.
“I am playing for all of the lads to try to get promotion, for myself to get promotion, but also for my future.
“When you are out of contract you need to catch someone’s eye – that’s what I am trying to do.
“I have kept myself very fit and hopefully I will do enough to continue my career.”