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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Second home game of the week as County host Crawley Town

22 October 2019

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Second home game of the week as County host Crawley Town

22 October 2019

Newport County AFC will be looking to continue their imperious home form when hosting Crawley Town tomorrow night at Rodney Parade. The Exiles moved back up into the automatic promotion spots with all three points on Saturday, while visitors Crawley will be looking to arrest some recent poor form which has seen them slip just outside the play-off positions.

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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Newport County AFC have set numerous records this season during their fantastic start to the season, but they’ll be trying to end one of Crawley Town’s streaks tomorrow as the Red Devils are the only side to have scored in every league fixture thus far.

They’ve made a positive start to the campaign when sitting in 13th position with 19 points, securing five victories against Salford City, Leyton Orient, Cheltenham Town, Mansfield Town and Colchester United.

The Red Devils will be concerned by the fact they’ve lost three of the last four outings although they have had an extremely difficult run of fixtures when facing teams in or around the play-offs lately.


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Crawley Town manager Gabriele Cioffi could be without a quartet of players as he prepares to bring the Red Devils to Rodney Parade on Tuesday night.

Strikers Ollie Palmer and Ashley Nadesan, alongside defenders Joe McNerney and George Francomb are all expected to miss out despite being close to a return.

Crawley Town team vs Bradford City (4-2-3-1): Morris, Doherty, Dallison-Lisbon, Tunnicliffe, Young, Ferguson, Camara, Lubala, Grego-Cox, Allarakhia, Bloomfield


One to Watch – Bez Lubala

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Signed over the summer to reunite with Crawley Town manager Gabriele Cioffi who he once worked with at Birmingham City, Bez Lubala made an imperious start to life in League Two when he scored in the opening four fixtures.

He’s got seven goals overall from 16 appearances in all competitions but the goals have began to dry up recently, it’s been eight games (September 14th) since the 21-year old last hit the target so he’ll be looking to put that right at Rodney Parade.

A Birmingham City scholar, Lubala signed his first professional contract in October 2016 but only made five appearances in all competitions so decided to leave in the summer in pursuit of more regular first team minutes.


Manager – Gabriele Cioffi


A potentially surprise appointment when joining Crawley Town 13 months ago, Italian Gabriele Cioffi has made a great start to his first full campaign in English football by leading the Red Devils to the cusps of the play-offs and they’re still in the Carabao Cup.

His overall record at the helm of the West Sussex outfit is relatively good from the inaugural 60 matches, winning 20, drawing 13 and losing 30. That comes in as a win percentage of 31.7%.

More renowned for his coaching work, Cioffi has only had one other managerial position but it wasn’t exactly the best spell where he was sacked by Lega Pro Seconda Divisione club Gavorrano after only securing one win from his first ten matches


Meetings between the two sides in 2018/19

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County certainly struggled against Crawley Town last season when only picking up one point from both meetings, so they’ll be looking to put that right this campaign.

The Exiles suffered their first away defeat of last season at Broadfield Stadium, going down 4-1 on October 20th. Jamille Matt cancelled out Joe Maguire’s opener after 59 seconds, before Crawley got the victory they deserved through goals from captain Filipe Morais, Ollie Palmer and Ashley Nathaniel-George.

Read the full match report.

In the reverse fixture at Rodney Parade, both sides concluded 2018 with a point during a 0-0 stalemate on December 29th. Padraig Amond saw two headers saved but that was about it from an otherwise uninspiring contest.

Read the full match report.



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Referee: Darren Drysdale

Assistant Referee 1: Thomas Harty

Assistant Referee 2: Grant Taylor

Fourth Official: Steven Plane

A highly experienced referee, Drysdale is currently embarking on his 16th full season as a Football League referee having first taken charge of a game in League Two on August 7th 2004 as Rushden & Diamonds drew with Kidderminster Harriers.

He has taken charge of 14 matches thus far this campaign, brandishing 54 yellow cards and one red card, last refereeing a match on Saturday as Cheltenham Town won at Walsall.

Those statistics follow on from refereeing 38 games last year, a season in which Drysdale awarded 129 yellow cards and six red cards throughout the entirety of the campaign.


County Connection

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Drysdale has officiated a match involving Newport County AFC on five previous occasions in League Two and the Emirates FA Cup. The Exiles don’t exactly have the best of records in the prior contests, winning just once, alongside a draw and three defeats.

It’s been nearly two years since County were refereed by Drysdale, who covered two matches in the 2017/18 campaign. He was the man in the middle for the 1-1 draw at Accrington Stanley on November 18th, Ben Tozer booked, while Mickey Demetriou saw yellow in the 2-1 defeat at Morecambe on September 16th.

Drysdale presided over a further fixture in the 2014/15 campaign as County were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at Luton Town. No players received a card from an Exiles perspective.

He was also the man in charge as County made the perfect return to the Football League after a 25-year hiatus during a thumping 4-1 victory over Accrington Stanley. Chris Zebroski was booked.

The final game came way back in the 2011/12 campaign as County suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Shrewsbury Town at Spytty Park in the Emirates FA Cup First Round. Current assistant manager Wayne Hatswell and Danny Rose saw cards brandished in their direction on November 12th.


Other League Two fixtures that evening (All 7:45pm kick-offs)

Bradford City vs Port Vale

Cambridge United vs Grimsby Town

Carlisle United vs Northampton Town

Cheltenham Town vs Macclesfield Town

Crewe Alexandra vs Colchester United

Mansfield Town vs Salford City

Morecambe vs Forest Green Rovers

Oldham Athletic vs Walsall

Plymouth Argyle vs Leyton Orient

Scunthorpe United vs Exeter City

Swindon Town vs Stevenage


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 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 #iFollowExiles.

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