Lenny Pidgeley enjoyed the perfect 31st birthday yesterday as he helped Mansfield Town to a clean sheet and their first win in seven games in yesterday’s crucial 1-0 home win over Stevenage.
The Newport County keeper, who also includes Chelsea among his former clubs, arrived on loan this week until the end of the season and made an immediate impact.
“I half-sarcastically tweeted this morning that all I wanted for my birthday was three points for the team today and it came true really,” he smiled.
“I got a clean sheet as well so I couldn’t ask for more on my debut and my birthday. It’s been a good day.
“They did have a half-chance in the second half, too, but we have worked hard this week and we really nailed their set plays.”
He added: “The manager brought in the youth team to be Stevenage in training and showed us what they would do. He had done his homework on them well. We were well prepared and knew exactly what was going to happen.
“We played a high line and when balls came into the box I came and dealt with them.
“It was quite easy to play behind these boys. I thought the back three were really solid.
“It doesn’t matter how you win where this club is – an ugly 1-0 is perfect for us as long as we take points on board.”
Pidgeley continued: “I was told I wasn’t in Justin Edinburgh’s plans so I was looking to get out and get some games to the end of the season.
“I had a couple of offers. But it was a no-brainer once I knew Mansfield were interested. It was a chance to play League football for a big club.
“I got a call on Sunday and by Monday night I was up here and it was signed and sealed. And I was ready to go.
“All week I have been looking forward to this and I am glad it went well.
“The boys were all fired up for this and there has been a real intensity in training with everyone focused and putting their bodies on the line to stop the ball going into the net.
“I understand Mansfield have been playing quite well but conceding sloppy goals due to a lack of communication.
“At my age that is something I pride myself on. I know what I want. It can go unnoticed but I like to keep defences organised and come for crosses.
“We have started with a clean sheet so I know I am doing something right.”
Newport lost boss Justin Edinburgh to Gillingham this weekend and Pidgeley admitted he didn’t want to suddenly find himself recalled by the Exiles once they get a new boss installed.
“I don’t really want to go back and play second fiddle at Newport like I have the last couple of months,” he said.
“I am happy here and if I am called back it won’t be from my end.”
Reggie Lambe’s 52nd minute volley was enough to win Stags the game yesterday and haul them out the drop zone to 20th in League Two.