John Lomas’Chad Stags Programme notes v Newport County

Hopefully by today my nerves will have stopped jangling from last weekend’s pulsating 4-3 at Dagenham & Redbridge.

On arriving in East London I had a feeling the Stags would build on the midweek win at Stevenage, but no one could have predicted the dramatic way the game unfolded in the end.

Having gone ahead early only to see the Daggers hit back to lead 3-1, last season that would have been game, set and match.

But we know this new-look side is made of sterner stuff and I still felt confident the game was far from over.

Even so, they left it very, very late to grab the equaliser and winner and the relief was palpable.

After only conceding six all season, it was staggering to see Mansfield’s usually immaculate defence let in three in the first half alone with the usually excellent Ryan Tafazolli having a half to forget at both ends of the field.

But after an apparent fuse-blow by a few players at half-time, they came back out in a much better frame of mind and did the job superbly.

I was delighted to see Adi Yussuf bag the winning goal and show the quality finishing Adam Murray knew he was capable of.

He still had a lot to do after Matt Green had created the opening by tussling with a defender, but didn’t he do it well?

Dagenham’s players couldn’t believe what had happened at the final whistle and Stags were suddenly back in the top six.

The manager believes in his squad and his squad believe in their ability. Now the big question is does the town of Mansfield believe in their football club?

Home attendances have been disappointing of late and, while there are always cheaper alternatives than going to see a match on a Saturday afternoon, we also know there are still a lot of floating fans out there waiting to see how this start pans out.

A few more may turn up today after seeing Newport sitting bottom of the table and maybe expect or hope for a goals fest.

But we all know that when a struggling club changes manager, it is never that easy and players will be trying to impress new boss John Sheridan, who of course used to manage up the road at Chesterfield.

It’s a shame Terry Butcher, such a lionheart for England, has failed to find managerial success outside Scotland.

I still have a tee shirt of him with that infamous bloodied head bandage wrapped round his head looking like an extra from ‘The Shining’. His bravery in that game could, of course, could no longer happen with the tightened rules on playing on with cuts.

One of my small claims to fame is that I once had to mark Butcher from a corner on Roker Park.

We used to have a Midlands Soccer Writers team that played friendlies and on this occasion we were up against the North East press side

Towards the end of the game, the home team made a couple of changes before a corner was taken and the guy I had been marking disappeared to be replaced by Sunderland’s Terry Butcher.

There came a cry of ‘mark him John’, which anyone who knows me knows that would necessitate a stepladder, being about three foot tall at full stretch.

But in true Jamie McGuire v Ade Akinfenwa style I was determined to just jump with him and be a nuisance.

Thankfully the corner was sent to the opposite post that I was on and the danger was passed. And he didn’t score!

I can also remember blazing one good chance over the bar in that game and, with boots on, jumping the barrier at the end where there used to be the famous ‘Roker Roar’ to fetch it. Sadly for me the ball carried on bouncing up and over the top and I ended up hobbling all the way down to the turnstiles to retrieve my errant shot to the amusement of everyone else.

Two homes games in succession this week could see Stags start to put together a significant run after the two away wins on the trot and make a serious challenge on the top three automatic places.

Who’d have thought we may be saying that at the end of last season?