Mansfield Town boss John Dempster happy with a point from opening game

Nicky Maynard takes his second-half penalty which was well saved by Tom King.
Nicky Maynard takes his second-half penalty which was well saved by Tom King.

John Dempster was delighted to have taken a point from his side's opening day 2-2 draw at Newport County on Saturday.

Stags were 2-0 down at half-time but recovered to level within four minutes of the break and then went on to miss a penalty before seeing Jacob Mellis sent off in a dramatic encounter.

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And overall, Dempster was left satisfied with a hard-earned point.

He said: "I'm delighted with the players and pleased with a point.

"When the fixtures came out I looked at this game and thought an away point wouldn't be a bad one as plenty of teams will get nothing here.

"In the end, the game couldn't have been more eventful.

"We started really well and were giving them lots of problems but they then dished out a sucker punch in taking the lead, and when the penalty goes in a lot of people will have thought we were dead and buried.

"But we had a great reaction in the second-half. My assistant Lee Glover had made a few tactical points which helped, then once we got level we had a couple of chances to win it and it was a shame the red card affected our momentum as then we had to park the bus a bit and battle for a point."

Dempster felt the changes made at half-time were necessary for more than just tactical reasons, but was pleased to see them pay off.

He said: "Ryan Sweeney was on a yellow and we felt a back four would be better as we could get more width from people like Otis Khan, which showed when he set up the goal.

"Newport didn't know what had hit them in the second-half."

The Stags boss added that he felt the red card Mellis received was harsh, commenting: "I've watched it back and Jacob's fallen on Labadie and there's no stamp there, which is what the referee had said. So if there's the option to appeal it we may well do that."

For his first game in management, it was a baptism of fire for Dempster but he says he felt calm throughout.

He said: "At half-time I knew we'd done well but things had gone against us. After the game, I feel that we've got a really good point knowing there is more in the tank.

"There are only positives to take from the game and we'll have a day off tomorrow and get back into it on Monday."