Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough delighted with clean sheet against Newport County after fifth win in a row sends Stags second

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough Photo Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough Photo Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger

The Stags won a fifth game in a row and made it 17 games unbeaten as a Davis Keillor-Dunn brace lifted them up to second in the table.

“To still be unbeaten is brilliant,” he smiled.

“That is 17 games now – or 18 if you include last season.

“That is five wins in a row and we have to do that - if we're going to keep pace with the other sides up there we have to keep churning out the wins.

“After Tuesday at Burton we then have two massive games against Swindon and Tranmere before we have that 10 day break.

READ MORE: Stags v Newport full match report

“It was a good solid three points and a clean sheet. These are the ones that are very important come the end of the season – and it wasn't straightforward today.

“We caused ourselves problems at times, giving the ball away and not being sharp enough.

“Newport came back out for the second half and changed their tactics. They came at us rather than sitting back and they had a couple of moments in the second half, as did we. So I was most pleased with the clean sheet today.”

Keillor-Dunn put them in front after four minutes, but then Rhys Oates missed a penalty on 21 minutes, Nick Townsend saving his low central kick, before Keillor-Dunn scored agin just after half-time.

“The penalty miss was a huge point in the game as if we'd got the 2-0 lead after half an hour we'd maybe go on and win a bit more comfortably,” said Clough.

“I don't watch penalties. I watched the crowd and turned round straight away and I thought we had a brilliant chance with the rebound.”

He added: “When Newport did have their moments, the blocks and the desire to keep a clean sheet is what got us a result today.

“It would have been nice to have got that third goal at some point to make things a bit easier.”

Clough was pleased to see Keillor-Dunn net twice after his goal at Salford City last weekend.

“I said to Andy Garner in training because of the confidence he got in scoring last week, after seven games without one, I felt he would score today on the back of that,” said Clough.

“It had been getting him down a bit – which it shouldn't. They were two good finishes.”

Stags welcomed back injured pair Lucas Akins and Stephen Quinn and both came off the bench late I the game.

“Neither could have started today but it was brilliant to get them back on the pitch, though we have to be careful with them,” said Clough.