Plymouth Argyle preview

Newport County AFC will be looking for their first league victory of the 2019/20 campaign when attempting to upset early pace setters Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims head to Rodney Parade on Saturday boasting a perfect record in league and cup, but the Exiles have a formidable home record and will be hoping to continue that in South Wales.

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


How they’ve started the League Two campaign

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Early pacesetters Plymouth Argyle are one of just three teams to have picked up a maximum of six points from the first two League Two fixtures to start the 2019/20 campaign.

On opening day, the Pilgrims made a statement to the rest of the division with a convincing 3-0 victory at Crewe Alexandra – a side who had one of the best home records last season. Callum McFadzean’s double on debut plus Joel Grant’s strike eased them to victory against the Railwaymen.

They backed that performance up with another impressive display in a 1-0 home victory over Colchester United. Midfielder Antoni Sarcevic’s second half low strike was enough to secure all three points at Home Park, meaning they sit atop of the league by goal difference to Swindon Town and Exeter City.


Team News

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Plymouth Argyle should be able to bring virtually a fully fit squad down to South Wales for Saturday’s fixture at Rodney Parade.

Striker Callum Dyson is still troubled by an ankle injury sustained last season while Will Aimson continues to battle a pelvic problem.

Tuesday’s team vs Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup (3-1-4-2): Cooper, Grant, Canavan, Sawyer (C), Edwards (Baxter 61’), Riley, Grant, Mayor (Randell 74’), McFadzean, Telford, Taylor (Moore 61’)

Last Saturday’s team vs Colchester United in League Two (3-1-4-2): Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer (C), Edwards (Baxter 71’), Riley, Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean, Moore (Taylor 75’), Grant (Telford 34’)


One to Watch – Callum McFadzean

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One of five summer recruits from manager Ryan Lowe’s former employers Bury FC, Callum McFadzean has hit the ground running at his new club when scoring three in as many matches, including a stunning overhead kick at Crewe Alexandra on opening day.

At just 25 years of age, the midfielder has already gained a whole host of experience at various clubs having broken into the professional game with hometown team Sheffield United in the 2012/13 campaign.

During his time with the Blades, McFadzean spent time on loan in League Two with Chesterfield, Burton Albion and Stevenage, before spells with Kilmarnock, Alfreton Town and Guiseley came ahead of a move to Bury FC for the 2018/19 campaign.


Manager – Ryan Lowe

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Still a relatively new manager on the scene in terms of experience, Ryan Lowe did his CV no harm whatsoever last season by masterminding a remarkable promotion out of League Two for Bury FC – in spite of all the off-field problems.

Similar to County’s own Michael Flynn in that he took over a club he played for in three different spells during his playing days, although Lowe couldn’t quite replicate Flynn’s version of the ‘Great Escape’ when Bury FC were relegated from League One at the end of 2017/18.

Lowe had already spent two spells in caretaker charge before his permanent appointment in January of that fateful campaign and, to their credit, Bury FC stuck by their manager and allowed him to get them back to the third tier at the first time of asking.

Praised by colleagues such as Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez for his attack minded approach to the game, Lowe was tempted to drop back a division over the summer to start another rebuilding project at the Pilgrims.


Most recent meeting

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Newport County AFC 2 – 0 Plymouth Argyle

CheckaTrade Trophy Group Stage

Newport County AFC secured qualification from the CheckaTrade Trophy group stages for the first time since the revamp of the competition in 2016 thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle.

Already knowing they were eliminated regardless of result; the Pilgrims rested several first-team players and County took full advantage to achieve a safe passage into the knockout rounds with victory at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles couldn’t quite get the five-goal margin to secure top spot in the group – that went to Chelsea U21s – but they set up a trip to fellow League Two outfit Cheltenham Town thanks to first half goals from Antoine Semenyo and Mark Harris.

Read the full match report.

Read what Wayne Hatswell and Charlie Cooper made of the contest.

Watch the highlights.



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Referee: Peter Wright

Assistant Referee 1: Grant Taylor

Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Howick

Fourth Official: Ollie Williams

Wright is currently embarking on just his second full season as a Football League referee having taken charge of his first League Two fixture on the second weekend of last season as Stevenage won 3-1 at Crawley Town on 11th August 2018.

He has refereed one League Two and one Carabao Cup match thus far this season, starting on the opening day of the campaign as Sunderland and Oxford United played out a 1-1 draw at The Stadium of Light. Five yellow cards were awarded.

On Tuesday night, Wright was the man in the middle for arguably the shock of the Carabao Cup First Round as Lincoln City stunned Championship outfit Huddersfield Town with a 1-0 away victory. Just the three yellows.

That follows on from Wright’s debut season as a Football League referee in 2018/19, where he brandished 103 yellow cards and seven red cards from 36 matches across the entirety of the campaign.


County Connection

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Peter Wright has refereed a match involving Newport County AFC on two previous occasions in League Two. The Exiles had vastly contrasting results in the two contests having won one and lost one.

First comes the defeat and it was a difficult one to take as Yeovil Town became the first away team of the 2018/19 campaign to win a league game at Rodney Parade. Robbie Willmott was sent off nine minutes from time, while Josh Sheehan saw a yellow card brandished in his direction on 15th September 2018.

The second game was a much better performance and result as the Exiles brushed aside second placed Bury FC at Rodney Parade in a 3-1 success on 19th April 2019. Mickey Demetriou, Dan Butler and Matty Dolan were shown yellow cards in the Good Friday fixture.


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

Bradford City vs Oldham Athletic

Carlisle United vs Mansfield Town

Colchester United vs Cambridge United

Crewe Alexandra vs Walsall

Exeter City vs Swindon Town

Forest Green Rovers vs Grimsby Town

Leyton Orient vs Stevenage

Morecambe vs Cheltenham Town

Northampton Town vs Macclesfield Town

Salford City vs Port Vale

Scunthorpe United vs Crawley Town


Can’t make the match?

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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.

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 #iFollowExiles.