The key personal battle crucial to the outcome of Newport v Mansfield: Opinion

Newport County host Mansfield Town tonight in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final.

It is a fascinating tie that pits a side that missed out on automatic promotion on the last day against a team that produced a scintillating late-season run of form to secure a top-seven finish.

In a tense, tight game, there will be personal duels all over the pitch, but perhaps the most important will be how Newport stalwart Mickey Demetriou deals with the goal threat of Stags hotshot Tyler Walker.

Demetriou has had a brilliant season, making an incredible fifty-five appearances across all competitions and has been a central figure in the Exiles late run of ten games undefeated in which they have conceded only three goals.

He will come up against twenty-two-year-old Tyler Walker who has netted twenty-six times for the Stags in a successful season-long loan from Nottingham Forest. Like Demetriou he is in good form, having been directly involved in six goals in his last seven outings with five goals and one assist.

The winner of this personal battle will more than likely be taking a lead back to Field Mill on Sunday and be in pole position for a visit to Wembley on 28 May.





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