Spectacular volleys from Craig Westcarr and Mal Benning kept in-form Mansfield Town in the play-off places in League Two as they saw off bottom club Newport County 3-0 this afternoon.
Adi Yussuf was also on the scoresheet for the second successive week in stoppage time to round of a fine afternoon for the Stags.
It was a third win on the bounce for Adam Murray’s men and reward for the patience they showed after a scoreless first half.
Westcarr finally broke the deadlock with a superb goal five minutes after the break.
But those at the ground will be talking for years about the second as Benning scored one of the best volleys you will ever see from outside the box on 70 minutes, a week after scoring a similar goal at Dagenham.
Newport rarely threatened, but when they did, Brian Jensen was in fine form, his 68th minute block when Alex Rodman had gone clear particularly crucial with stags only 1-0 up at the time.
Mansfield were unchanged for a third game on the trot, and there was a welcome return from injury on the bench for midfielder Chris Clements.
Newport, playing away under new boss John Sheridan for the first time, included new loan signings Scot Bennett, from Notts County, and Zak Ansah, from Charlton.
After a tentative start, Mansfield began to play some neat stuff and, from a clever Chapman pass, Benning zipped in a low shot that Day took at the near post.
Lambe and Benning then had shots blocked after Newport struggled to clear a long Jack Thomas cross that was played back into the middle by Green.
But the visitors won the game’s first corner on 16 minutes and when skipper Byrne sent it over from the left, Donacien rose well to flick a header just over the bar.
On 20 minutes Taylor almost put through his own goal, stretching to cut out a dangerous Benning cross, Day having to dive to his right to keep out the stooping header.
Newport continued to soak up the pressure though on 37 minutes Stags might have broken through.
Tafazolli headed a long Benning free kick into the middle where Lambe met it from 10 yards but shot straight at Day.
Then Hunt cut in from the right by-line and thundered in a low finish that was blocked as the home fans again raised the noise levels.
Green almost broke the deadlock against his old club on 43 minutes as he sent a diving header on target at the far post, as he met a Jack Thomas cross from the left, only to see Day keep it out with his legs.
Newport broke quickly from that and Ansah warmed Jensen’s hands from 20 yards.
On 45 minutes Green leapt to meet a long Benning cross, but the ball skimmed off his head for a goalkick and Newport had survived the first 45 minutes.
However, within five minutes of the restart the home side were finally ahead.
Benning sent the ball in from left and Jack Thomas superbly cushioned the ball invitingly into the path of Westcarr who met it on the volley with a rising right foot rocket that gave Day no chance from five yards.
Newport hit back with two corners, but they were soon under the cosh again as Day had to tip over a deflected Green shot on the turn, that almost dropped over him, and then claw away Tafazolli’s header from the corner.
Klukowski was booked for a late lunge at Benning on 64 minutes at which point Newport made a double change with Klukowski and John-Lewis replaced by Boden and Rodman.
The subs almost made an immediate impact as om 68 minutes Boden sent Rodman through one on one and Jensen did well to get down and block his finish.
However, Stags settled the nerves with another stunning Benning volley on 70 minutes.
Jack Thomas saw him in space 20 yards from goal and picked him out with a long ball from the right that Benning met to perfection and crashed a superb finish under the far angle with Day helpless.
Jensen did have another stop to make on 76 minutes as he saw a deflected Ansah shot come at him through a defender’s legs late but still managed to push the ball away for a corner.
Ansah then tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful shot that Jensen was happy to tip away.
Clements was given the last six minutes in place of Jack Thomas to big applause, then Yussuf came on for Green in the final change and soon drilled a low finish across the face of goal.
But he was on the scoresheet again in the first minute of added time as Rose found him with a square pass and Yussuf turned 18 yards out to slot a low finish inside the right post.
STAGS: Jensen; Hunt, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning; Lambe (Rose 77), McGuire, Jack Thomas (Clements 84), Chapman, Westcarr; Green (Yussuf 87). Subs not used: Shearer, Collins, Nathan Thomas, Blair.
NEWPORT: Day, Holmes (Ofori-Twumasi 26mins), Barrow, Matt Taylor, Elito, Klukowski (Rodman 65), Ansah, John-Lewis (Boden 65), Donacien, Bennett, Byrne. Subs not used: Rhys Taylor, Blackwood, Partridge, Parselle.
REFEREE: Stephen Martin of Staffordshire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,278 (119 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Mal Benning.
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