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06 October 2018 Venue The New Lawn Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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PREVIEW | Short trip to Forest Green Rovers next up for County

5 October 2018

Newport County AFC will be looking to inflict a first league defeat of the season on Forest Green Rovers when they travel to The New Lawn on Saturday. The Exiles could theoretically go top of League Two with a win and other results going their way, whilst the home side will want to keep their unbeaten start intact whilst closing the gap on the automatic promotion places.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League Two encounter…

 

Last five results in League Two

Only five of the 92 top four division sides in England are still unbeaten this season and Forest Green Rovers help to compose that list alongside Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

Too many draws – seven in total from 11 league fixtures – probably explain why Rovers can remain unbeaten but not be in the automatic promotion spots of the table, and their run in the last five league games starts with back-to-back draws.

The first of those came at The New Lawn when they were held to a 1-1 draw against Port Vale on 8th September. Carl Winchester gave Rovers the lead, but they dropped two points when Tom Pope converted a penalty to level the scores. Farrend Rawson was dismissed for the home side late on so they had to settle for a point.

In the next draw, Rovers had to this time rely on a penalty of their own to get back into the contest. Chuks Aneke gave MK Dons the lead at Stadium MK but Reuben Reid kept his composure ten minutes from time to secure another stalemate for Rovers.

Amazingly, it took Rovers until the ninth game of the season to secure their inaugural home victory of the season and it came when they inflicted Gabriele Cioffi’s first defeat as Crawley Town manager. Reid again found the net for Rovers, seeing his strike deflect in during the second-half.

Rovers certainly like to draw 1-1 and they had to settle for another stalemate when they were held at basement boys Macclesfield Town. Dayle Grubb scored within minutes of the restart to put Rovers in-front, but Scott Wilson netted his first of the campaign to equalise shortly after.

In their most recent game, Rovers survived a scare to preserve their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-1 victory at struggling Cambridge United. Jevani Brown put the U’s in-front, Paul Digby equalised before half-time, while Grubb and Matt Worthington’s clever finish secured all three points for Rovers.

  

Team-News

Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper will have a fully fit squad to choose from after all his players were able to come through Tuesday’s victory at Cambridge United unscathed.

Cooper made three changes to his side for that win at Cambridge having been left frustrated with the draw at Macclesfield Town in the game before, but he may keep faith in his side once again after a positive result.

If he were to make changes, Matt Worthington would be the likeliest player to come in. The defender has put in some stellar performances of late and scored in midweek.

Fellow defender Carl Winchester also came from the bench on Tuesday night, but he has starred this season excellently since moving from county rivals Cheltenham Town and has scored a couple of goals already.

Forest Green Rovers team vs Cambridge United (3-4-1-2): Sanchez, McGinley, Rawson (Worthington 88’), Digby, Mills, Brown (Winchester 62’), James (Gunning 69’), Shephard (C), Grubb, Reid, Campbell

 

One to Watch – Dayle Grubb

Forest Green Rovers attacking midfielder Dayle Grubb has made an excellent start to his first full season as Football League player.

From his 12 appearances so far this campaign, Grubb has found the net on five occasions across three different competitions, including goals on the road in League Two against Notts County, Macclesfield Town and Cambridge United.

He netted in the dismantling job of Cheltenham Town in the ‘El Glosico’ derby in the CheckaTrade Trophy and scored as they were eventually knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties against Wycombe Wanderers.

That follows the five League Two goals he was able to score having joined Rovers in the January transfer window – grabbing two against Cambridge United, alongside further goals against Crewe Alexandra, Mansfield Town and Chesterfield.

Rovers are Grubb’s second club of his career having spent the rest of his time in the Conference South with Weston-Super-Mare. He is also a qualified sports teacher, a role he twinned whilst playing part-time with Weston.

Across eight and a half seasons, Grubb found the net on 88 occasions from 314 appearances, including scoring an impressive 29 goals during the calendar year 2017 – clearly alerting a host of Football League clubs.

Rovers staved off the other competition to secure the agreement for his signature a month before the window opened, with the 27-year old officially joining in time to make his Football League debut on 6th January 2018. 

 

Manager – Mark Cooper

Only Pep Guardiola, Maurizio Sarri, Jurgen Klopp, Kenny Jackett and Mark Cooper can boast teams unbeaten in their respective leagues of the top four divisions, as Cooper continues his good form since taking charge at Rovers.

Joining the club just after their National League play-off final defeat in 2016, Cooper took them up at the first time of asking, winning at Wembley 3-1 against Tranmere Rovers. They had been title contenders for most of the season after patches of good form, but ultimately came up short for the title as Lincoln City completed the campaign with 99 points.

Last season, Cooper bounced back from an awful start to the season, they were in the relegation zone as late as January, and just about managed to preserve Rovers’ stay in the Football League after a 21st placed finish – one point above the drop zone.

This spell at Forest Green is the eighth managerial position for the highly experienced Cooper, who started at a club he once played for in Tamworth in 2004.

Good FA Cup runs couldn’t hide some poor league form at the club, however, so Cooper moved on to Kettering Town in 2007 where he finally managed to find some success.

The Poppies were promoted in his first season having won the Conference North title by a clear 17 points, while he backed that up with an 8th placed finish in the Conference the following season as well as reaching the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

That alerted Peterborough United who appointed Cooper as Darren Ferguson’s successor in November 2009 but that role never really worked out and he was dismissed three months later.

Spells in the non-league with Darlington - where he won the 2011 FA Trophy - Kettering Town and AFC Telford United soon followed, before he returned to the Football League with Swindon Town ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

A debut season that saw the Robins finish just outside the play-offs was soon followed by the desired top-seven finish, although they failed to achieve promotion after a 4-0 play-off final defeat to Preston North End.

He was dismissed early into the 2015/16 campaign after a poor run of results, a short stint at Notts County soon followed but Cooper elected to leave the Magpies and join Forest Green for the following season.

 

Stadium – The New Lawn

One of the closest grounds to Rodney Parade in terms of distance, The New Lawn is a stadium to have been frequented often by Newport County AFC and its supporters.

The official capacity is 5,140. The record attendance for the stadium stands just short of that figure as 4,836 people were there on 3rd January 2009 to see Rovers lose a seven-goal thriller to then Championship side Derby County in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Solely a venue used for football, it’s location within Gloucestershire means it was once shared by Gloucester City during the 2007/08 season.

On matchday, County have been issued with 1,200 tickets. Those tickets are spread across two parts of the stadium, with uncovered standing areas running alongside one side of the pitch, while there is both covered seating and standing found behind one of the goals. More ticket information can be found here.

Saturday’s game will be the eighth time County have visited The New Lawn and they have a good prior record – winning on three occasions, drawing twice and losing the remaining two matches. 

The first meeting in the 2010/11 season saw 505 County fans travel for a 0-0 draw, 389 went the season after for another draw in Anthony Hudson’s final game in charge, while County won an FA Trophy tie there in-front of 80 away supporters. 

The Exiles gave 1,039 away supporters a late Christmas present with a come from behind victory on Boxing Day 2013, while after County’s promotion later that season, they next returned for a 4-3 pre-season defeat ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Last season, Forest Green’s first in the Football League, ended with two visits to Nailsworth for the Exiles. A total of 239 supporters were there to witness the CheckaTrade Trophy defeat on 29th August 2017, whilst 815 attended the dismantling 4-0 away victory just under two months later.

 

Meetings in the 2017/18 campaign

Ten goals in the two league meetings between the sides last season and County had the better of those League Two fixtures when picking up four points.

However, before they could do battle for the first time in the Football League, there was the small job of a CheckaTrade Trophy encounter on 29th August 2017.

Rovers secured all three points on their way to qualifying from the group, defeating the Exiles 2-0 thanks to goals from Dan Wishart and Luke James.

Mike Flynn said after the game: “It’s never nice when you lose a football match, but I think the best team won tonight. We’ve come here, give it a go, come up short but there were some positives tonight.”

Read the full match report from The New Lawn.

The league meetings start with a comprehensive 4-0 victory away from home at The New Lawn for the Exiles on 14th October 2017.

Padraig Amond scored his first away goals in County colours, grabbing a header and a tap-in during the opening 45 minutes, while Scot Bennett and super-sub Shawn McCoulsky made it an afternoon to remember in Nailsworth by finding the target in the second-half.

Mike Flynn said after the game: “Arguably it is the best performance under me, yes. That was a solid performance, we played some good football, created lots of chances, set-play delivery was good, defending was good, talking was good and like I said, the boys were faultless today.”

Read the full match report from the New Lawn.

County and Forest Green Rovers were then due to meet for the reverse fixture on 10th February 2018 but that encounter was called off before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch.

It was worth the wait, however, to see the two sides do battle again as they shared a six-goal thriller at Rodney Parade on 6th March 2018.

Paul Hayes and Dan Butler combined for every single County goal, the left-back also hooking a cross into his own net, while replies from Gavin Gunning and Lee Collins ensured the away side took a point back with them to Gloucestershire.

Mike Flynn said after the game: “I see it as two points dropped. We conceded three poor goals and we missed too many chances at 2-2 and 3-2. We should have definitely been 5-2 up at that point and out of sight. We showed the character in getting back in-front and we should have killed the game off. Simple as that really.”

Read the full match report from Rodney Parade.

 

Officials

Referee: Tim Robinson

Assistant Referee 1: Ian Cooper

Assistant Referee 2: Graham Kane

Fourth Official: Tom Reeves

Robinson is currently embarking on his seventh full season as a Football League referee having first taken charge of a fixture in League Two on 18th August 2012 as Accrington Stanley secured victory away against Southend United at Roots Hall.

A highly experienced referee at this level, Robinson has spent most of his time in recent seasons in the Championship, and this will be his first League Two fixture of the 2018/19 season.

Eight of his previous 12 games this season have come in the second-tier, giving out 49 yellow cards and five red cards, including five yellows and a red on the opening day as Wigan Athletic started off their stint back in the Championship with a thrilling victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

There has only been one occasion where Robinson hasn’t gone to his pocket this season, that coming as West Bromwich Albion secured a comfortable victory at home to Millwall.

His most recent game came on Tuesday night as Brentford were held at Griffin Park against Birmingham City. A season high eight yellows and one red card were given out during that fixture.

All that follows on from refereeing a total of 47 games during the 2017/18 campaign, a season in which Robinson brandished 150 yellow cards and 11 red cards throughout the entirety of the campaign.

 

County Connection

 

Robinson has refereed a match involving Newport County AFC on eleven previous occasions across League Two, the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the Conference Premier. He is not one of the luckiest omens, however, as County have won just twice from those previous matches – drawing another two and losing seven.

Interestingly, its been over a year since he took charge of a County fixture and that came on 25th March 2017 as Portsmouth strengthened their grip on promotion by securing a 2-1 victory at Fratton Park. Sean Rigg, Joss Labadie and Jennison Myrie-Williams were all booked.

In the 2015/16 season, Robinson officiated two County matches and they were identical score lines against the Exiles. Unbelievably, Medi Elito was sent off in both as well, the Exiles losing 2-0 at Barnet on 26th December 2015 and then Crawley Town on 1st March 2016.

Another two County matches were presided over by Robinson in 2014/15, starting with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Swindon Town on 23rd September 2014. Chris Zebroski, Yan Klukowski and Aaron O’Connor all cautioned.

He was also the man in the middle when Zebroski struck a dramatic stoppage time winner against Dagenham & Redbridge on 18th October 2014. Three yellows for County – Kevin Feely, Andy Sandell and Lee Minshull the offenders.

In County’s debut season back in the Football League, Robinson again took charge of two County fixtures, with Harry Worley booked in the draw at Dagenham on 24th August 2013. No bookings were awarded to County players during the defeat to AFC Wimbledon on 25th February 2014.

The remaining four games come during the 2011/12 season in the Conference. No bookings were awarded as Danny Crow won the game for Luton Town in stoppage time on 26th November 2011, while Tom Doherty was cautioned during the defeat to Bath City on 3rd January 2012.

Lee Minshull and Nat Jarvis were both cautioned as County beat Mansfield Town 1-0 on 18th February 2012, whilst there was again no bookings on 17th April 2012 as County were held at home against Darlington.    


Click here for information on travel

and tickets for tomorrow's match

 

Other League Two fixtures that day (All 3pm kick-offs)

Bury FC vs Mansfield Town

Crawley Town vs Cambridge United

Grimsby Town vs Port Vale

Lincoln City vs Crewe Alexandra

Macclesfield Town vs Notts County

MK Dons vs Cheltenham Town

Morecambe vs Tranmere Rovers

Oldham Athletic vs Carlisle United

Stevenage vs Colchester United

Swindon Town vs Northampton Town

Yeovil Town vs Exeter City 

 

Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Tim Thraves and Charlie Brown can also be found at the Match Centre from 2.45pm.

An on-the-whistle match report of this match will be provided on the Club website upon the end of the game. Michael Flynn’s post-match analysis will appear on the website the day after the game, while you can watch all of Flynn’s post-match press conference as-well as two County players by subscribing to iFollow Exiles.

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Match Reports

REPORT| Amond's equaliser secures draw with Forest Green Rovers

6 October 2018

Newport County AFC remain in third position of the League Two table after fighting back to take a 1-1 draw at unbeaten Forest Green Rovers.

Scot Bennett’s early own-goal put Rovers in command, but County again fought back resiliently to take something from the contest and Padraig Amond finished neatly in the area after 38 minutes.

County could have been the first team to defeat Rovers in the league this season but Mickey Demetriou blasted a second-half penalty over the crossbar.

The home side also had some chances late on so a draw was probably the fair result, County now three points clear of the chasing pack and still inside the automatic promotion spots, whilst the Exiles trail Lincoln City by four points atop of the table.   

Mike Flynn elected to make just the one change to the starting line-up that fought back to take a point in stoppage time against Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night at Rodney Parade.

Charlie Cooper’s loan agreement from the home side didn’t include a clause to allow him to feature against his parent club so he missed out, being replaced by Robbie Willmott, who came back in after suspension for his inaugural League Two start of the campaign.

That change saw a slight formation alteration for the Exiles, as Flynn decided to match up with the home side and play a 4-1-2-3 system from the first whistle.

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper made two changes to his 4-1-2-3 formation compared to the side that came from behind to preserve their unbeaten start to the campaign at Cambridge United in midweek.

Carl Winchester came back in after starring from the bench last time out, while captain Gavin Gunning also returned to replace Lloyd James and Nathan McGinley respectively.

County were certainly implementing a high pressing game to start proceedings at The New Lawn and under pressure, home goalkeeper Robert Sanchez could only hit a clearing kick at the onrushing Jamille Matt within the opening five minutes.

More pressure from Matt saw him intercept a pass from Gavin Gunning on the right-side, rushing towards the line and forcing a corner-kick. Robbie Willmott’s delivery found Padraig Amond in the area, but Farrend Rawson blocked it on the way through.

Rovers were also forcing County to move the play through the phases quickly in a high-tempo contest, and they were the first side to find a sight at goal.

Good interchange down the left-side saw Dayle Grubb bring it back inside and find Carl Winchester, the midfielder turning his man Fraser Franks before hitting the base of the post with a curling 25-yard drive.

That started a good spell of possession for the home side and they made the breakthrough in Nailsworth after 18 minutes of action.

County were caught napping at a quick throw-in on halfway, Liam Shephard quickly getting the ball back into play for Reece Brown who instantly smashed the ball over to the far side for Grubb to chase. The midfielder reached it and got past Tyler Forbes, drilling a cross along that floor that bounced off Scot Bennett and into his own net.

The Exiles responded to falling behind at The New Lawn when keeping the ball for a sustained amount of time, but Sanchez was performing well and managed to keep out a header from Matt and another effort from Tyreeq Bakinson.

An equaliser was coming as County continued to come forward in numbers and it almost came on 37 minutes when Amond did well to keep the ball in play, cutting it back for Semenyo who almost skilfully found the net with a backheel, but Sanchez just about managed to keep it out.

The play kept on coming from the Exiles and they finally made their pressure tell when getting their response exactly a minute after the Semenyo chance.

Robbie Willmott and Forbes were working the right channel well and causing Joseph Mills a whole host of problems, this time Willmott managed to get past the full-back, pulling the ball back into the area for an awaiting Amond who found the net with the desired precision from 12 yards.

It was an interesting scenario in Nailsworth, the side who conceded always seemed to then be on the front foot and Brown almost instantly hit back when dragging a shot narrowly wide from 30 yards.

The home side came even closer to regaining the lead during the one additional minute of added time, Reuben Reid – probably on his sixth attempt of the afternoon by this point – rifling one off the crossbar from just outside the area.   

It was certainly an entertaining first-half and that transpired into the second-half as well and both sides had a chance in the 49th minute to take the lead.

First, good build up by Amond and Semenyo saw the latter sting the gloves of Sanchez with a powerful attempt, before at the other end Grubb was first denied by Butler then Day had to get down quickly to keep out the follow up from Shephard.

The game seemed to quieten down from there, but it suddenly perked back up when County were awarded a corner-kick on 64 minutes.

Willmott’s delivery caused pinball in the area, Bennett then Demetriou being denied by vital blocks from Gunning, but when Matt hit it at the third attempt, Reid had no choice but to use his hand to divert the attempt on the goal line.

That gave County a penalty for the third successive game but this time Demetriou couldn’t take advantage as he blasted high over the crossbar into the roof of the stand behind.

Rovers seemed to sniff out some uncertainty after that miss from 12 yards and insisted on playing some neat passes around the County area when keeping possession, and half of the Rovers supporters thought Grubb had scored from a snapshot, but it actually hit the side netting.

Interestingly, no added time was indicated at the end of the contest, but another four minutes were played at The New Lawn according to the scoreboard.

No further chances could be created, however, meaning Rovers kept their unbeaten start to the season intact and County kept their place in the automatic promotion places.  

  

Newport County AFC: (4-1-2-3): Day, Forbes, Demetriou (C), Franks, Butler, Bennett, Bakinson, Willmott (Pring 81’), Amond, Matt (Harris 89’), Semenyo

Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Dolan, Marsh-Brown, Sheehan

 

Forest Green Rovers (4-1-2-3): Sanchez, Shephard, Rawson, Gunning (C), Mills, Digby, Winchester, Brown (Worthington 82’), Campbell (Morris 62’), Reid, Grubb

Subs not used: Montgomery, James, Williams, Archibald, McGinley

 

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 3,081 (964 AWAY)

Next up for County: Stevenage (13th October 2018)

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Ticket News

TICKET UPDATE| Our upcoming away match vs Forest Green Rovers is no longer all ticket

Tickets will now be available on the day for Saturday's match vs Forest Green Rovers

4 October 2018

Forest Green Rovers have informed us that Saturday's match at The New Lawn is no longer All Ticket.

Newport County AFC have been given a ticket allocation of 1,200 for our upcoming away match vs Forest Green Rovers with just over 600 already sold.

Over 800 County fans made the 45 minute trip to The New Lawn last season to watch County’s biggest away win of the season.  Goals from Scot Bennett, Padraig Amond (2) and Shawn McCoulsky gave the Exiles a comfortable 4-0 victory over a struggling Forest Green Rovers team.

It will almost certainly be a different prospect this time with both County and FGR fighting at the top end of the table and a big away following will help the Exiles enormously.

ALLOCATION

Newport County AFC have been given an allocation of 1,200 tickets which includes Covered Seating, Uncovered Seating and Uncovered Standing.

 

HOW TO BUY

In Person

Tickets can be purchased from our Club Shop in the Kingsway Centre at the following times this week:

Monday: 9.30am-5pm

Tuesday: 9.30am-4pm

Wednesday: 9.30am-5pm

Thursday: 9.30am-5pm

Friday: 9.30am-3pm

And will also be available at the Rodney Parade Ticket Office at this time:

Tuesday: 5pm-6.45pm

 

Online

Tickets can be purchased online (with the option of delivery) at any time until MIDDAY Wednesday, 3rd October 2018.  Tickets can continue to be purchased with “box office collection” (i.e. collection from the Kingsway Club Shop) until MIDDAY Friday, 5th October 2018.

Tickets will come off sale at 3pm on Friday 5th October 2018 and Newport County AFC Supporters will no longer be able to purchase tickets for this match.

On the Day

Tickets are available on the day from the Stadium.  Please note, tickets purchased on the day will be subject to a £1 increase on the prices listed below with the exception of U11 tickets which will remain free of charge.

 

TICKET PRICES

  Covered Seating Covered Standing Uncovered Standing
Adult £21 £19 £17
Over 65 £16 £15 £13
Under 21 £10 £9 £8
Under 16 £7 £6 £5
Under 11 Free with a paying adult Free with a paying adult Free with a paying adult

 

GET TICKETS HERE

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