Evans happy as Stags right the wrongs

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Manager Steve Evans hailed Mansfield's response to losing at Swindon as Alfie Potter's hat-trick inspired a 5-0 "battering" of Newport.

The Stags’ 1-0 defeat on Saturday ended a nine-game unbeaten run but they roared back against the Exiles with their best display of the season to stay hot on the heels of the top three.

Evans said: “That was young men willing to put a wrong right from Saturday. We don’t think we should have lost at Swindon and that hurts.

“In spells in the first half tonight it was as good as we’ve had here.

“I’ve always maintained that at this time of the season big players come to the fore.

“Many times a manager will stand here at five and think it could have been 10, and it should have been.

“But I’m never going to criticise a player for missing a chance as they’ve never stopped going in there.

“Credit to Newport, they never stopped despite, it has to be said, a bit of a battering. They showed character in the second half.

“Sometimes you see an opposition fold, but their lads never stopped running for their club and they go away with a lot of plaudits for me.”

Danny Rose netted his 16th goal of the season after only six minutes from Krystian Pearce’s pull-back, and when Potter blasted home after good work from CJ Hamilton six minutes later the writing was on the wall.

Newport’s Joss Labadie had a 22nd-minute finish disallowed for offside but Potter powerfully followed up a Rose effort that hit the bar before Alex MacDonald blasted home number four from a half-cleared corner on 34 minutes.

Stags hit the woodwork three times and keeper Joe Day twice saved with his legs but Potter fired across him from Hamilton’s low cross on 61 minutes to complete the rout.

Newport boss Michael Flynn admitted: “Let’s not dress it up. Six nights ago I was probably the proudest manager in the country and I am ashamed tonight.

“If I could go back, maybe I’d do something a bit different with the team selection – none of us are blameless.

“It’s the first time and the last time that the players let themselves down professionally this season.

“It was the worst performance of the season. But we are in it together and they’ve given me everything in just coming up to a year.

“Now we’ve got to get back to basics and be tough to beat as that wasn’t a Newport performance tonight.

“I am not going to make any excuses tonight, but Joss Labadie wasn’t offside and goals change games. That would have been 2-1.

“But we were poor tonight as a whole group. I feel sorry for the fans who travelled up.”

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