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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Crawley Town head to Rodney Parade for Friday night football

18 January 2018

The Exiles start a spell of three successive home games when Crawley Town head to Rodney Parade on Friday. County will be looking to rise into the play-off positions for the first time since 21st October by playing a day before their rivals, while the away side will be looking to avenge County’s 2-1 win in West Sussex back in September.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 fixture.

 

Last six league matches

Like County, visitors Crawley Town will head to Rodney Parade boasting a 100% record so far in 2018.

That comes as part of a remarkable turn in form for the West Sussex side, which sees them sixth in the current League 2 form table, following four wins and two defeats from their last six league matches.

Somewhat surprisingly with their upturn of form, that run starts with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra.

Callum Ainley and Chris Dagnall had put the Alex two goals to the good at Gresty Road, before Crawley were sent down to nine men following the dismissals of captain Jimmy Smith and Jordan Roberts.

Dagnall then got his second to complete the victory deep in added time, as Crawley suffered a first defeat since 18th November.

And the Red Devils certainly made up for that defeat in their next game, as they stunned play-off contenders Accrington Stanley with a 3-2 away victory.

Crawley were three nil up after just 41 minutes at the Wham Stadium following an own goal and two from Enzio Boldewijn, although Billy Kee got Stanley back in the game during first-half added-time.

Ben Richards-Everton then really made a game of it with a shot from the edge of the area, but the Red Devils held on to secure a first away victory in League 2 since 7th October.

The other defeat from their last six matches then comes on Boxing Day as Colchester United completed a 2-0 victory at the CheckaTrade.com Stadium. Mikael Mandron and Sammie Szmodics scored in either half for the away side, with Crawley dropping to 18th as a result.

But the Red Devils ended 2017 on a high as Boldewijn struck again in a narrow 1-0 home victory over Stevenage. That win became even more impressive with the fact that the Red Devils had to spend 55 minutes with ten men, following Josh Payne’s straight red card for a late challenge on ex-Exile Alex Samuel.

And the club’s start to 2018 certainly didn’t go without its drama as Thomas Verheydt struck deep into added time to secure a 2-1 win at Yeovil Town.

The Glovers were the side to strike first at Huish Park, Sam Surridge the scorer, before Connor Smith was sent off.

Ex-Exile Mark Randall then equalised for Crawley, only for Yeovil to then be sent down to nine men after a dismissal for Omar Sowunmi. That set the stage for Verheydt to strike in the 98th minute to secure the victory and give Crawley back-to-back wins for the first time since early September.

In their last game, two goals in the final 15 minutes from Boldewijn secured a 2-0 victory over bottom-club Barnet, taking Crawley up to 14th in the League 2 table. That leaves the Red Devils just six points behind County ahead of their visit to Rodney Parade.    

 

Team-News

The Red Devils have a clean bill of health in terms of injuries for their trip to Rodney Parade.

However, midfielder Josh Payne will miss the trip to South Wales, as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension for a late challenge on ex-Exile Alex Samuel in Crawley’s 1-0 win over Stevenage in December.

After making a host of changes to his side over the Festive period, manager Harry Kewell has stuck with the same starting side that have played for the last two matches.

And it is expected that Kewell will stick to this side again at Rodney Parade, with no new signings being made by the club in the recent week, as the club look for their fourth successive League 2 win.

 

Crawley Town team vs Barnet (3-4-1-2): Morris, Young (Camara 89’), Connolly, Lelan, Yorwerth, Evina, Randall (Sanoh 59’), Bulman (McNerney 72’), Smith, Roberts, Boldewijn

 

One to watch – Josh Yorwerth

Defender Josh Yorwerth has been a pivotal part of Crawley Town winning three successive league games for the first time in two years as the Red Devils have only conceded one goal in that time.

Those two clean sheets come as part of the nine that the club have kept this season in all competitions, with the Red Devils conceding the least amount of goals in the division outside the top eight.

The 22-year old has yet to add a goal to his statistics for the season, however, although did get three goals in his debut campaign last year, including one against County in Crawley’s 3-1 home win.

Crawley are Yorwerth’s third permanent club, as the Bridgend born player started out with Cardiff City. 

He joined the club’s academy set-up in 2008 before stepping up to the U21 side. A loan spell with Hereford United soon followed but Yorwerth left the club in the summer of 2015 in search of more first-team football after failing to register an appearance with the Bluebirds.

That saw Yorwerth sign a two-year deal at Ipswich Town. But he could only register three appearances in the League Cup, although did score on his debut, so joined Crawley after a successful loan spell.

He struggled originally with the Red Devils, joining Merthyr Town on a short-term loan, before making the position his own after a host of injuries at the club.

Yorwerth has also been capped by all age grades with Wales, going on to captain the U16 side. He also scored on his debut with the U21s, one of two international goals he has to his name so far.

 

Last time out

Crawley Town 1 – 2 Newport County AFC

Tuesday 26th September 2017 (CheckaTrade.com Stadium)

A stunning pair of headers from Mickey Demetriou ensured County made it back-to-back wins in League 2 with just a second away victory in League 2 following a 2-1 success at Crawley Town.

It was, in fact, the home side who took the lead at the CheckaTrade.com Stadium as Mark Connolly bagged his first of the season with his own looping header.

The goal came after a sustained spell of pressure from the home side in West Sussex, Ibrahim Meite firing wide on two occasions with the goal at his mercy, before the opener on the half-hour.

Enzio Boldewijn whipped an inviting delivery into the area, which Connolly got his head to 15 yards out and looped a header over a helpless Joe Day and into the far corner.

Lewis Young had a chance to double Crawley’s lead just four minutes later, although elected to pass instead of shoot, and County ensured they made the home side rue that missed opportunity by grabbing an equaliser just 30 seconds later.   

Demetriou sensed home goalkeeper Glenn Morris’ hesitancy to come out and punch a Sean Rigg corner, leaving the centre-half with the simplest of tasks to head home from all of four yards.

Robbie Willmott hit the post as County looked to take the lead before half-time, Sean Rigg also coming close, before Demetriou scored another header on 51 minutes to turn the game completely on its head.

More hesitancy from Morris again afforded Demetriou with an opportunity to head home from close range, this one in-front of the 75 away fans who made the trip to the game.

Josh Yorwerth hit the post for Crawley with 60 seconds remaining as the home side threw everything at the Exiles in order to try to force a point, but County held firm to secure a deserved away victory.

Mike Flynn said of the victory: “It was a very hard battle and a pleasing win. We went 1-0 down and the boys just responded like they have done 99% of the time previously. They’ve been outstanding, and they are showing how much they are fighting for their shirts.”

Harry Kewell added: “I'm baffled I won't lie - I don't get baffled a lot in football but I'm struggling to understand what happened this evening. We had a great performance at the weekend, and then made a great start this evening - but then we disappeared, and I don't understand it.”

 

Officials

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Assistant Referee 1: Ian Smedley

Assistant Referee 2: Ravel Cheosiaua

Fourth Official: Samuel Allison

Sarginson is currently embarking on his 11th season as a Football League referee having been promoted from the National League at the start of the 2007/08 campaign.

He has refereed 29 matches thus far this season, the last of which came on 13th January as Carlisle secured a 1-0 home victory over Crewe Alexandra.

Sarginson produced three yellow cards during that fixture, taking his tally for the season to 100 yellow cards and five red cards from the 29 matches. Three of those dismissals actually came in the same match, as Yeovil beat Stevenage 3-0 at Huish Park.

That follows on from his record last season which reads as 121 yellow cards and seven red cards from 41 league and cup fixtures.

 

County Connection

 

Sarginson has officiated County on eight previous occasions in both League 2 and the Emirates FA Cup. He is not one of the luckiest omens for the Exiles, however, as County have only won two of those matches.

He has already refereed County this season when Joss Labadie scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner in the 2-1 success at Cambridge United. Three yellow cards were given out to County at the Abbey Stadium, Ben White, Labadie and Frank Nouble the offenders for the Exiles.

Sarginson also refereed County once last season and it wasn’t without it’s drama. The date was 4th February 2017 and a Janaai Gordon goal deep into injury time in-front of over 800 County fans rescued a point in the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town. Gordon was also booked in that fixture.

The 2015/16 season also saw Sarginson officiate two County matches.

Yan Klukowski and Scott Boden scored in the 2-2 draw at Accrington Stanley, as Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Alex Rodman were cautioned.

Mark Byrne was the only player booked as County lost 1-0 to Northampton in the other game that season as the Cobblers all but sealed the League 2 title.

In 2014/15, another two County games were officiated by Sarginson.

Goals from Chris Zebroski, Darren Jones and Lee Minshull lifted the Exiles to a 3-2 victory over Northampton Town in the first game, as Kevin Feely and Joe Pigott were both booked.

Sarginson first refereed County on the road against Luton Town on 8th November 2014 in the Emirates FA Cup. The Hatters secured a 4-2 victory in the First-Round clash, as Lee Minshull and Chris Zebroski were both shown yellow cards.

That just leaves the first two County games that Sarginson officiated, both coming in the 2013/14 season.

The first of those matches came way back on the 14th September 2013 as a penalty from Padraig Amond helped Morecambe to a 3-2 victory at Rodney Parade. Billy Jones scored on his debut and Robbie Willmott also found the net for County, as Harry Worley and Tom Naylor were both booked.

The next game refereed by Sarginson that season came in the 0-0 draw with Bury at Rodney Parade. This time four yellows cards were given out to the Exiles – Adam Chapman, Chris Zebroski, Aaron Holloway and Lee Minshull all cautioned.

 

Other League 2 matches that weekend (All Saturday 3pm kick-offs)

Accrington Stanley vs Port Vale

Barnet vs Lincoln City

Colchester United vs Grimsby Town

Coventry City vs Swindon Town

Crewe Alexandra vs Wycombe Wanderers

Forest Green Rovers vs Cambridge United

Luton Town vs Morecambe

Mansfield Town vs Cheltenham Town

Notts County vs Exeter City

Stevenage vs Carlisle United

Yeovil Town vs Chesterfield

  

Can’t make the match?

 

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook, Snapchat (OfficialExiles) 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 Charlie Brown and Richard Shepherd can also be found at the Match Centre from 2.45pm.


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