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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

12 September 2020 Venue Sands Venue Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles begin 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with trip to Scunthorpe United

11 September 2020

Newport County AFC kick off their 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with an away trip to the Sands Venue Stadium to take on Scunthorpe United.

Both sides will have their own aspirations for the new season, with Saturday going a long way to determining how each team has settled into their new empty-seated surroundings.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of the fixture...

The opposition - Scunthorpe United

This will be Scunthorpe’s second successive season in League Two after five seasons in League One, with United finishing in 20th place last time around.

The Iron’s season has not got off to the most ideal start, with two cup defeats to Port Vale and Lincoln City, but they will be hoping for better fortunes in the league on Saturday.

There is also a new manager at the helm in Neil Cox, who took over at the beginning of August after leaving his assistant role at Notts County.

Team News

Last season saw an injury nightmare break out at Rodney Parade, something that the Exiles manager Michael Flynn will be hoping to avoid this season.

With the opener on the horizon, County have just the one injury concern in new signing David Longe-King.

Scunthorpe will be without last season's top scorer Kevin van Veen and defender Emmanuel Onariase, who requires surgery on a hernia problem. Captain Jordan Clarke and Harrison McGahey both missed out on United’s cup matches due to fitness concerns.

One to watch - Ryan Loft

Ryan Loft signed for Scunthorpe on a season-long loan from Leicester City and has already made an impression. The forward marked his debut for the Iron with a goal against Port Vale in the EFL Cup.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Carlisle where he scored six goals in all competitions, including the winner against Scunthorpe.

Loft will be hoping he can cement a starting place and fill the void left by the injured Kevin van Veen.


Manager – Neil Cox

Neil Cox took over at the Sands Venue Stadium in August after Paul Hurst left the club.

The job is Cox’s first managerial position since 2011, when he was in charge of Leek Town. He has since been assistant manager at AFC Wimbledon and Notts County.

Born in Scunthorpe, the 48-year-old, incidentally, played for United 17 times in 1990/91, scoring once. The Englishman would go on to represent Watford 219 times, and play for County’s south Wales rivals Cardiff City.

Last meeting between the sides

The last time the sides met, it was County who came out on top at the Sands Venue Stadium.

The Exiles went behind late in the first half to an Abo Eisa strike, before goals in the 72nd and 76th minute from Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond provided County with a much needed win.

Newport also won 2-1 in the home tie in October, thanks to goals from Amond and Josh Sheehan.

Watch the live action

Supporters can watch Saturday's clash for £10 on iFollow Exiles.

Click here to purchase your first league match pass of the new season.

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You can now test yourself against fellow County supporters by playing for FREE to win a share of a £500 prize pool.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles begin 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe United

12 September 2020

Ryan Taylor tapped home his first Newport County AFC goal as the Exiles began their 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with a 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe United.

The former Plymouth Argyle striker, who joined the Exiles on a one-year deal last month, put the visitors ahead in the first half before Ryan Loft's thunder strike in the second period earned the Iron a share of the spoils at the Sands Venue Stadium.

Michael Flynn made nine changes from County's EFL Trophy defeat against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night, with two survivors - Ryan Haynes and his namesake Taylor - named in the starting line-up against the Iron.

Nick Townsend, who kept Swansea City at bay last weekend, was given the nod to start between the sticks in a County side who lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

County had created plenty of chances in mid-week against Cheltenham and continued in the same vein against the Iron, with the first opportunity of the afternoon arriving through a well-worked set-piece from the visitors. After Matty Dolan's short corner was played to Liam Shephard, the defender's cross found the head of Kyle Howkins, who leapt high and nodded marginally wide of the post.

Townsend, meanwhile, had to be alert to deny Ryan Loft from putting the home side in the lead after he broke through before forcing a strong save from County's shot-stopper.

Scunthorpe's goalkeeper Rory Watson produced a fine save of his own minutes later when County surged up the opposite end, with Dolan firing a strong effort at goal from 30 yards.

In a period which saw both sides enjoy chances, the Exiles again had Townsend to thank after he made a reflex save from close range to deny Abo Eisa's volley.

County then thought they should have had a penalty when Abrahams was brought down in the penalty area under the challenge from Watson. The Exiles striker apperard to have reached the ball before the home goalkeeper but the referee Benjamin Speedie waved away County's protests.

But it didn't take long for Abrahams to play a part in another move from the visitors which resulted in the opening goal. Scott Twine and Josh Sheehan looked lively for the visitors, and it was the latter's low ball across goal which was skilfully diverted goalwards by Abrahams before Taylor produced the finishing touch to tap the ball home.

And there was still time for Taylor to enjoy another opportunity to grab his second before the break when he guided Haynes' cross narrowly wide of the near post.

Townsend, unlike last Saturday's clash against Swansea City where he was rarely tested, endured a busy afternoon between the sticks and kept out Eisa's shot in the early stages of the second half.

Loft had brought several saves out of the County goalkeeper in the opening 45 minutes and it was the Scunthorpe striker who drew the home side level just before the hour-mark. Myles Hippolyte's header found the path of the Iron's number 9, who rifled his effort beyond Towsend, leaving the Exiles goalkeeper helpless.

County looked to respond and a well-worked move, which started with a goal-kick from Townsend, presented the visitors with another opportunity with 17 minutes left on the clock. The Exiles swiftly moved the ball from their own penalty area to the opposite end of the pitch before Haynes tested Watson with a low drive.

Flynn's men searched for a winner as Howkins guided his effort over the crossbar in the final stages but the home defence held firm to ensure the spoils were shared.

County return to action on Tuesday evening when they take on Cambridge United in the second round of the Carabao Cup at Rodney Parade.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Matty Dolan (Brandon Cooper 45'), Kyle Howkins, Mickey Demetriou, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie (C), Josh Sheehan, Scott Twine (Robbie Willmott 90'), Ryan Taylor (Saikou Janneh 65'), Tristan Abrahams.

Substitutes: Tom King, Ashley Baker, Padraig Amond, Lewis Collins.

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