Newport County AFC will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when they make the long trip to Bury FC on Tuesday night. The Exiles fell out of the automatic promotion places in League Two for the first time since August 25th on Saturday and will want to regain that spot amongst the league’s elite, whilst the Shakers ascended into the play-offs last time out and will be hoping to keep their positive form going in Greater Manchester.
Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League Two encounter…
Last five results in League Two
Having only lost one of their previous nine league matches, Bury FC will be a formidable opposition for County on Tuesday night after the Greater Manchester outfit were able to put a topsy-turvy start to life back in the fourth tier behind them.
Looking specifically at their five most recent outings in League Two, the Shakers are unbeaten and have picked up nine points since 29th September, starting with a 2-1 away success at play-off occupying Colchester United. Luke Norris' penalty gave late hope to the hosts but earlier goals from Byron Moore and Chris Dagnall were enough to seal the win for Bury FC.
A trio of draws somewhat halted the Shakers charge towards the Legaue Two play-off places and after they were held to a stalemate at Northampton Town in Keith Curle’s first game in charge, Bury FC were then held to a 2-2 home draw with Mansfield Town.
It will be a game that Shakers shot stopper Joe Murphy will want to forget as Danny Rose profited when he dropped the ball in his area, before his blushes were spared by Nicky Maynard’s exquisite scissor-kick equaliser. Matt Preston headed Mansfield back in-front, but Maynard popped up again in stoppage time to secure a share of the spoils in his first start for the club.
The run of draws then continued as they battled to a 1-1 stalemate at Crewe Alexandra. Charlie Kirk put the Railwaymen in-front at the break, but Maynard’s purple patch continued as he came back to haunt his former side when netting in the second-half and levelling the scoring.
On Saturday, Bury FC ascended into the top-seven for just the second time this season when they dismantled Notts County in a 4-0 home victory. Maynard again scored when sliding in to convert a Callum McFadzean cross, before Dominic Telford tapped home, Jay O’Shea converted a penalty and Nicky Adams scored a brilliant fourth – lifting the Shakers into 7th position in the League Two table.
Bury FC manager Ryan Lowe has the luxury of having virtually a full squad to choose from when he welcomes County to The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.
He will only have to check on the fitness of Eoghan O’Connell ahead of the game as the defender has missed the last four matches due to a hamstring complaint.
Lowe made one change to his side for Saturday’s game with Notts County, but it's expected that the 40-year old will keep to the same side after they destroyed Harry Kewell’s team by four goals to nil.
Bury FC team vs Notts County (3-5-2): Murphy, Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Nicky Adams, Mayor, McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns (C) (Barjonas 84’), Telford (Dagnall 75’), Maynard (Joe Adams 89’)
One to Watch – Nicky Maynard
After only signing a short-term deal with the Shakers on 29th September that will keep him at the club until January, vastly experienced striker Nicky Maynard has probably already done enough to earn himself a longer stint.
The 31-year old former Premier League striker has netted on four occasions from three starts and two further substitute appearances – netting a double against Mansfield Town and against Crewe Alexandra and Notts County as well.
All of those goals have come this month and have accrued the Shakers two points – with Maynard looking to reinvigorate his career after it has stalled in recent seasons.
A player that has commanded around £6.4 million in respective transfer dealings, the attacker started his career at Crewe Alexandra and after a short loan spell at Witton Albion, went on to score 35 goals for the Railwaymen.
Bristol City broke their transfer record to bring Mayard to the club in the summer of 2008 and after making a difficult start to his spell, he made an explosive start to his second season and scored 21 goals – his record for a single season.
A further 18-months were spent at Ashton Gate before Maynard was transfer listed and sold to West Ham United, who were then in the Championship. He helped the Hammers get back to the Premier League at the first-time of asking, scoring three times including in the play-off semi-finals but remained an unused substitute for the final victory over Blackpool.
The team he helped knock out in that two-legged semi-final, Cardiff City, then signed him for a reported fee of £2.75 million but he tore his anterior cruciate ligament soon after and rarely featured as they secured promotion to the top-flight.
Maynard finally played his first game in the Premier League on 17th August 2013 in a defeat to former employers West Ham, struggling to keep a regular place and only scoring three times in 26 appearances in three seasons.
A fruitful loan spell at Wigan Athletic persuaded MK Dons to give him a chance in the Championship ahead of the 2015/16 campaign but he could only score nine times in two years as the side first got relegated from the second-tier and struggled in the subsequent season.
Last season was spent in Scotland with Aberdeen, but Maynard failed to score from 25 appearances – moving to Bury FC last month and beginning to get back to his best form.
Manager – Ryan Lowe
It’s certainly been an interesting start to life in management for Ryan Lowe as he looks to re-instill belief into a club that he once appeared for during his playing days.
Returning to the Greater Manchester outfit for a third spell in January 2017, Lowe took up the role of player/coach with the club and featured sparingly that season.
In October of that year, manager Lee Clark was dismissed after a poor run of results and Lowe was placed in temporary caretaker charge for six matches.
It wasn’t the most fruitful of spells, however, as the Shakers could only limp to a draw with National League outfit Woking in the FA Cup before losing the replay at home 3-0.
One League One win from three attempts – against Shrewsbury Town on 21st November 2017 - and a further success in the CheckaTrade Trophy saw Lowe end his temporary spell with a record of two wins, two draws and two defeats.
Chris Lucketti’s appointment was quite frankly a disaster as the Shakers spiralled even further towards League One relegation and he was sacked within two months, putting Lowe back in-charge until the end of the season.
The 40-year old wasn’t able to preserve the Shakers’ status in the third-tier, however, but he did at-least give it a real good go – doing enough to lead the side again this season.
The Shakers have CheckaTrade Trophy qualification in their own hands leading into the final group fixture, they were only knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties to Nottingham Forest, and they currently occupy a play-off spot in League Two.
Stadium – The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane
Potentially a new stadium for many County supporters, the Exiles have only ventured to The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane twice since reformation of the club in 1989.
It has been an all-seater stadium holding 11,840 supporters since the mid-1990s – to coincide with the Taylor Report – and the record attendance since that conversion from partial terracing comes on 12th September 1997 when the Shakers drew 1-1 with neighbours Manchester City in-front of 11,216 supporters.
When there was terracing, the official capacity was obviously a lot higher and the record ever attendance was set at 35,000 when Bury FC drew with Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup on 9th January 1960 before losing the replay.
A multi-functional stadium, The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane has been used on occasion to host Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers reserve matches, as well as being home to FC United of Manchester between 2005 and 2014.
The stadium has also been used for many sports other than football, such as rugby league, cricket, baseball and lacrosse.
Newport County AFC supporters are encouraged to buy their tickets on the day. More ticket information can be found here. On matchday, County fans will be housed in the Manchester Road End where up to 2,000 tickets will be available behind one of the goals.
The two previous visits to Greater Manchester since the club’s reformation has seen County fans make the long trip in numbers and the Exiles are unbeaten from those last two visits.
A 0-0 draw was played out in-front of 226 County supporters on 5th October 2013, while Aaron O’Connor’s delightful hat-trick was witnessed by 160 away fans on 22nd November 2014.
Newport County AFC have met Bury FC on 22 occasions, although only four of those matches have been since the reformation of the club in 1989.
Those meetings came in back-to-back seasons of 2013/14 and 2014/15 – with nothing to separate the two sides following a 0-0 draw at Gigg Lane on 5th October 2013 and the same scoreline on 25th March 2014 at Rodney Parade.
There were goals in the following campaign, however, as both sides rather interestingly registered away victories.
Aaron O’Connor virtually gifted County the victory all on his own when his hat-trick secured a 3-1 victory at Gigg Lane on 22nd November 2014, Danny Rose scoring for the Shakers with a superb 25-yard strike.
Ryan Lowe and Daniel Nardiello found themselves on the scoresheet when Bury triumphed at Rodney Parade on 11th April 2015 – a result that helped them squeeze into 3rd position and secure themselves automatic promotion.
Looking a little further back in history, both sides have secured 4-3 victories against each other – County in 1973 and Bury in 1986, as-well as a 5-0 win for the Shakers in 1974.
Referee: Martin Coy
Assistant Referee 1: Craig Taylor
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Atkin
Fourth Official: Richard Wigglesworth
Coy has been the man in the middle for 12 matches so far this season as he embarks on just his second season as a Football League referee.
From those 12 matches, Coy has given out 28 yellow cards and one red card, including two yellows in his inaugural game of the campaign as Forest Green Rovers stormed to a 4-1 away victory at Grimsby Town on the opening day of the season.
Two matches have occurred without Coy having once had to go for his pocket, those coming in the League One draw between Barnsley and AFC Wimbledon on 18th August and the CheckaTrade Trophy draw between Sunderland and Stoke City U21s which the Black Cats won on penalties on 4th September.
His record number of yellow cards brandished came on 22nd September when Doncaster Rovers beat Bradford City 2-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium, while the sole dismissal this campaign went to Lincoln City’s James Wilson.
Those statistics follow on from his debut season in the Football League which reads as 69 yellow cards and three red cards distributed from 34 games. In his final season in the National League, Coy brandished 84 yellows and one red from 25 matches.
Coy has refereed a match involving Newport County AFC on just two previous occasions and they have both come in League Two. The Exiles have a great record from those previous matches, having taken four points from the six available.
This season, Coy has already refereed County on one occasion and that came on 1st September 2018 as the Exiles secured a 2-1 away victory at Port Vale. No yellows were awarded to County players as the unlikely lads of Scot Bennett and Dan Butler found themselves on the scoresheet.
The other game came last season and was coincidentally Coy’s debut in the Football League during the 3-3 draw with Stevenage on 5th August 2017.
Shawn McCoulsky struck in added time to salvage a point for County, while the game also featured a goal on debut for Frank Nouble and Mickey Demetriou’s thunderbolt that won ‘Goal of the season.’ Watch that strike here.
Stevenage’s goals on that occasion came from Tom Pett, Danny Newton and Dale Gorman – with Coy brandishing no cards of any colour at the Lamex Stadium.
Other League Two matches that night (All 7:45pm kick-offs)
Crawley Town vs Exeter City
Forest Green Rovers vs Tranmere Rovers
Grimsby Town vs Colchester United
Lincoln City vs Carlisle United
Macclesfield Town vs Northampton Town
MK Dons vs Notts County
Morecambe vs Mansfield Town
Oldham Athletic vs Cheltenham Town
Stevenage vs Port Vale
Swindon Town vs Cambridge United
Yeovil Town vs Crewe Alexandra
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.
This match will be available to watch live on iFollow Exiles for just £10 with the majority of the fee going straight back to Newport County AFC. You do not need to be an iFollow Exiles subscriber to purchase this one-off match pass. For £10, you will be given access to Newport County AFC match commentary by Tim Thraves and single camera coverage of the game. Find out more here.
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.