GOAL hero Padraig Amond insists Newport County AFC deserved to peg back Mansfield Town as the League Two play-off semi-final first leg ended in a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade.

Amond’s 83rd-minute penalty was saved by Mansfield goalkeeper Conrad Logan, but the Exiles’ top scorer netted from the rebound to cancel out CJ Hamilton’s first-half opener for the visitors.

It leaves the tie intriguingly poised ahead of Sunday’s second leg at Field Mill and keeps both sides’ hopes of making the Wembley final alive.

“We didn’t start well, but we came into it a lot in the second half and got the deserved goal in the end,” Amond told Sky Sports.

“Thankfully the ball jumped back out to me. The keeper made a good save.

“It probably wasn’t a great penalty but it came back out and I was relieved to have the chance to knock it in.

“We’re ready to go again on Sunday,” added the Irishman, who was about to be substituted before the penalty.

“I had an idea [about the imminent substitution], but I’ll step up and take penalties all the time.

“If there is one at the weekend, I’ll do it again if the manager wants me to.”

South Wales Argus:

Stags striker Tyler Walker said: “This is a really tough place to come.

“I thought we held our own in the first half and caused them a lot of problems.

“In the second half they got on top a bit more so 1-1 is probably a fair reflection.

“You can say we have the advantage but Newport are a good team and we’ll prepare well for it.

“It’s a massive, one-off game now and we’ll be ready to go.

“We’ve got the bad run out of our mind, we’ve forgotten about and training has been really good. We’ll give Sunday a real go.”

Read more: Newport County 1 Mansfield Town 1 - match report from Rodney Parade