Newport County AFC will be looking for their first victory in the CheckaTrade Trophy for 22 months when they travel to Swindon Town on Tuesday night. The Exiles will hope that their recent league form can transpire into the competition, whilst the home side will be looking to keep their qualification hopes alive with victory at the County Ground.
Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this CheckaTrade Trophy encounter…
How they’ve fared so far in League Two
It was certainly a case of Déjà Vu for Swindon Town at the County Ground to start the season as in their opening two home matches, the Robins came from behind to win the game.
Koby Arthur’s double either side of a response from Michael Doughty looked likely to at least give Macclesfield Town something on their return to the Football League, but the Robins completed one of the greatest comebacks ever in the division. In the 96th and 98th minutes, Doughty dispatched two penalties to complete his hat-trick and secure all three points.
In the next game at the County Ground, the Robins came from two goals down after Jonathan Smith and James Norwood put Tranmere Rovers in cruise control. James Harris’ dismissal did help the Swindon cause somewhat, but they still needed goals from Elijah Adebayo, Marc Richards and Joseph Romanski to get the unlikely victory.
Sandwiched between those two dramatic contests in Wiltshire, the Robins suffered their only defeat of the league campaign as they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 at Lincoln City. Player of the month nominee for League Two Doughty did at least give the travelling fans something to cheer about with another penalty, but that was about all for them to write home about at Sincil Bank.
In their next match, the Robins did remarkably well with nine men to hold on for a 2-2 draw at Crawley Town. James Dunne both scored and was then dismissed, alongside another red card for Toumani Diagouraga. Keshi Anderson also scored for Swindon on that occasion, but the points were shared after a double from Ollie Palmer.
Swindon made it two successive draws on the road when they shared the points with Forest Green Rovers in the West Country derby at the New Lawn. Newport born Christian Doidge opened the scoring early on for Rovers, but Doughty converted his fourth penalty of the month to earn a draw.
If it wasn’t already apparent that the Robins like to do things dramatically at home, they struck in stoppage time to salvage a draw with MK Dons. Joseph Walsh gave the visitors an early lead, but Adebayo preserved Swindon’s unbeaten home league record with a neat finish in the dying seconds.
On Saturday, Swindon ascended into the final play-off place after they finally secured a triumph on the road and with it, their first clean sheet of the season from any competition. Adebayo kept his recent run of form going with the only goal of the game at Morecambe, the Robins holding on despite Kyle Knoyle’s red card to send the 292 away fans home happy.
How CheckaTrade Trophy Southern Group C is shaping up
Newport County AFC have a real opportunity to qualify from the group stages of the CheckaTrade Trophy for the first time since the competition was revamped before the start of the 2016/17 season.
A victory at the County Ground would virtually eliminate Swindon Town from the competition and would put the Exiles joint top of the group with Chelsea U21s.
Only one game has been played so far in Southern Group C but it’s fair to say that Chelsea U21s strolled to a comprehensive victory in Wiltshire following a 4-0 victory.
The game was virtually over by half-time as the young Chelsea side controlled proceedings, Charlie Brown dispatching Juan Castillo’s cross before Charly Musonda converted a penalty after a foul on Tariq Lamptey.
After the restart, the goals kept on coming as Brown got his second on the hour, slotting home comfortably within the area, and the scoring was complete two minutes from time thanks to a header from Ike Ugbo.
Swindon team vs Chelsea U21s (4-4-2): McCormick, Knoyle, Nelson, Romanski, Conroy, McGlashan, Diagouraga, McCourt, Iandolo, Twine, Adebayo
Always difficult to anticipate what sort of team Swindon manager Phil Brown will name on Tuesday night after defeat in their opening group fixture, but he will definitely have some injury absentees at the County Ground.
Midfielder Kaiyne Woolery is expected to be out of action for another five weeks with a knee injury that has ruled him out since pre-season, with Brown confirming last week that there is a long way to go before he is back for selection.
A recurrence of a knee problem for defender Dion Conroy is likely to keep him out of contention at the County Ground as he has been missing since the start of the month with that problem.
Chris Robertson also remains sidelined, while the Robins will be missing first-choice goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux who is currently away on international duty with Chile. Luke McCormick will likely deputise.
Defender Olly Lancashire only returned from his own injury problem on the weekend at Morecambe, so he will likely be rested in Wiltshire to prevent a recurrence of the injury.
Two players that could come straight back into first-team action, however, are Toumani Diagouraga and James Dunne who have both completed their three-match suspensions.
If you compare the squad named in the previous group game with that elected on Saturday, just four players start in both games, and it is therefore expected to at least be a mixture of the players involved in those games on Tuesday night.
Swindon team vs Morecambe (4-3-3): McCormick, Knoyle, Nelson, Woolfenden, Taylor, Doughty, McCourt, Alzate (Iandolo 79), Anderson (Lancashire 37’), Richards (McGlashan 71’), Adebayo
Swindon team vs Chelsea U21s (4-4-2): McCormick, Knoyle, Nelson, Romanski, Conroy, McGlashan, Diagouraga, McCourt, Iandolo, Twine, Adebayo
One to Watch – Ellis Iandolo
Having impressed off the bench in League Two in recent weeks, it is expected that Ellis Iandolo will be given the nod by Phil Brown on Tuesday night to try and increase his game time for the Robins.
The 21-year old started in the previous round against Chelsea U21s – his only start so far this season – alongside 30 minutes in the Football League split between cameo appearances against Forest Green Rovers, MK Dons and Morecambe.
Swindon Town are the first team that he has been able to settle with, having been released from Gillingham in 2012 without making a senior appearance, whilst he also joined Maidstone United in July 2014 but again failed to make the first-team.
His arrival comes in quite interesting circumstances as throughout his early career, Iandolo played for Maidstone-based academy side Soccer Elite FA.
Iandolo’s early performances in that set-up attracted both Gillingham and Maidstone, although they weren’t the most fruitful of moves for the midfielder, but when he returned he again impressed in the team.
One particular performance against Swindon’s U18 side afforded Iandolo with a trial at the club, and good performances from the bench against Petersfield and Aston Villa saw him snapped up by then manager Mark Cooper.
On 1st September 2015, the midfielder made his professional debut for the Robins coincidentally against County in another tie in this competition, going on to make his Football League debut just over a month later in the defeat to Peterborough United.
He has featured fairly often since then for the Robins in League One and League Two, including netting his first goal for the side on 6th December 2016 in a defeat to Luton Town in this very competition.
Stadium – The County Ground
One of the oldest stadiums left in the Football League, the County Ground was built in 1896 and has been home to Swindon Town ever since.
It has been an all-seater stadium since the early 1990s – around the time that the Robins played their one and only season in the Premier League – and has an official capacity of 15,728.
Before that conversion from partial terracing, the stadium obviously had a much bigger capacity and it’s record stands at 32,000 on 15th January 1972 during the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in Round Three of the FA Cup.
Away from Swindon Town, the stadium has also hosted some England international matches, mostly U17s, but also including the women’s game against the Netherlands in 2007. It is also thought that the County Ground would provide a training base for a selected nation if England wins the right to host a future World Cup.
The County Ground can also be used for non-sporting events. Most notably, Elton John, Lulu and Bryan Adams have performed at the Wiltshire venue.
On matchday, County supporters will be housed in the western corner of the Arkell’s Stand, where up to 1,200 fans could be accommodated. If necessary, a further 2,200 seats are available in the Stratton Bank, behind one of the goals.
The Exiles have only visited the stadium once since reformation in 1989, that coming last season when Ben Tozer scored the winner in a 1-0 victory. A total of 880 County supporters attended that day.
Meetings between the two sides in the 2017/18 campaign
Newport County AFC were only able to amass six points against five opponents in League Two last season, and Swindon Town were one of those teams that County beat both home and away.
That maximum haul starts with the first meeting between the two clubs on 25th November 2017 as Ben Tozer came back to haunt his former employers in a 1-0 victory for the Exiles.
His 78th minute header from Matty Dolan’s corner-kick did the damage at the County Ground as the Exiles capitalised on their best chance of the afternoon to secure all three points.
It wasn’t until County had scored that Swindon started to create opportunities either, with the two teams certainly cancelling each other out for the majority of the contest.
Day got down well to deny Kellan Gordon on two occasions, while they saved their best attack until the end as centre-back Matt Preston rifled a header back off the crossbar.
When the sides did battle again at Rodney Parade on 14th April 2018, it was a long-awaited home victory for the Exiles who hadn’t tasted success at the stadium for nearly three months.
County struck first after just 14 minutes when David Pipe’s delivery into the area was superbly controlled first time by Padraig Amond, the Irishman allowing the ball to bounce before looping a half-volley into the top corner.
That lead was doubled ten minutes before the break when Tozer again found the target against his former employers. The midfielder met Ben White’s cross with conviction and sent a header into the bottom corner from eight yards.
Swindon weren’t about to give up from there and recovered after the break, setting up a tense finale when grabbing a goal themselves on 57 minutes. Donal McDermott ran the channel well before whipping in a fine delivery that nestled into the net without a touch from another player.
Rollin Menayese’s dismissal shortly after that goal nullified the obvious attack from the Robins – and County were able to hold out from there to secure a much needed three points.
Referee: Antony Coggins
Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Kidd
Assistant Referee 2: Justin Amey
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear
Coggins is currently embarking on just his second season as a Football League referee having officiated his first match in League Two on the opening day of last season when Morecambe started the campaign off in perfect fashion having secured a 2-1 victory over Cheltenham Town.
He has refereed six matches so far this season, giving out 24 yellow cards and one red card, including four cards on the opening day as Coventry City lost 2-1 to Scunthorpe United on their League One return.
Only one game in League Two has been presided over by Coggins, that coming as MK Dons secured a 1-0 victory over Bury FC. One yellow card brandished.
He then officiated Sunderland’s emphatic win at Gillingham, giving out three cautions in the process, before awarding a season high seven bookings as Charlton Athletic and Fleetwood Town played out a draw at the Valley.
Two yellows were awarded as Wycombe Wanderers and Forest Green Rovers had to be separated by penalties in the Carabao Cup, while his most recent match as a referee came on 1st September as Shrewsbury Town drew with Bristol Rovers. Seven yellows and a red awarded.
Last Saturday, he was fourth official for Peterborough United’s five-goal thriller at Southend United, a role he has performed as high as Championship level in previous seasons.
That follows on from refereeing a total of 34 games during the 2017/18 campaign, a season in which Coggins brandished 87 yellow cards and six red cards throughout the entirety of the campaign.
Coggins has officiated a match involving Newport County AFC on three previous occasions. He can certainly be considered a lucky omen for the Exiles, as the side are currently unbeaten from those games.
All three matches came last season, starting with the 2-0 victory at Southend United in the Carabao Cup First Round on 8th August 2017. Shawn McCoulsky scored twice on his first start for the Exiles, while Matty Dolan and Ben White were both cautioned.
Coggins also officiated the 1-0 victory over Grimsby Town on 23rd September 2017 as Padraig Amond scored the match-winner for the second successive game at Rodney Parade. No yellow cards were distributed to County players, although Nathan Clarke was booked for the visitors.
The most recent County game in which Coggins was the man in the middle for happened to be the final game of 2017 during the 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town. Mo Eisa cancelled out Padraig Amond’s emphatic header at the LCI Rail Stadium, with Frank Nouble the only County player cautioned amongst four bookings in total.
Can’t make the match?
You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook, and Instagram pages.
As the game is a cup match, no live showing of this fixture will occur on iFollow Exiles. However, commentary by Tim Thraves can be found at the Match Centre from 7:30pm.
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.