Newport County AFC will be looking to keep their Leasing.Com Trophy exploits alive when they host Exeter City at Rodney Parade tomorrow. Defeat in matchday one leaves County needing two victories to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages, while Exeter won their inaugural fixture so victory would see them basically secure their progression.
Here, find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Leasing.Com Trophy encounter…
How Leasing.Com Trophy Southern Group E is shaping up
Newport County AFC appear to need a victory of some description tomorrow evening if they want to keep their Leasing.Com Trophy adventures going.
The Exiles qualified for the knockout stages of the competition last season for the first time since the revamp in 2016/17 but face an uphill task after defeat to West Ham United U21s in matchday one.
Tomorrow’s visitors Exeter City saw off Cheltenham Town in the other match so a victory for them at Rodney Parade will virtually guarantee their progression from the group stages.
It remains to be seen whether Grecians manager Matt Taylor will shuffle the pack for this Leasing.Com Trophy encounter as he has to balance this competition with mounting a promotion push.
It doesn’t appear that Exeter have any specific injury concerns, but Taylor may look to give some squad players a run out when trying to book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Exeter City team vs Crewe Alexandra (3-4-1-2): Ward, Moxey, Parkes, Sweeney, Sparkes (A. Martin 74’), Collins, Taylor (C), Williams, Law, Bowman (Fisher 81’), L. Martin (Atangana 89’)
One to Watch – Randell Williams
The architect of everything good from Exeter City when they came to Rodney Parade last month, Randell Williams got the assist for Aaron Martin’s goal and has been a key player for the Grecians this season.
He may be rested if Matt Taylor wants to save the 22-year old for League Two action, but sometimes it’s important to keep playing when on form and Williams will be looking to maintain his imperious start to the campaign.
Not particularly renowned for this goalscoring exploits, Williams has spent time with Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and Watford, while his only prior Football League experience came with Wycombe Wanderers.
Manager – Matt Taylor
Another manager to turn down the advances of an unnamed Football League club last month, Exeter City boss Matt Taylor admitted his ambitions for the Grecians was the reason why he turned the vacancy down.
He’s guided his charges to second in the League Two table after the opening 12 fixtures having accrued 23 points and the Grecians were the last team to boast an unbeaten record before defeat to Grimsby Town in matchday 11.
Taking to the hotseat at the start of 2018/19, Taylor heads to Rodney Parade with a 41.8%-win ratio as Exeter manager. He’s won 28 of his 67 matches in charge, drawing 20 and losing 19.
Last meeting between the two sides
Newport County AFC 1 – 1 Exeter City
Saturday 21st September 2019
Tristan Abrahams’ second half penalty ensured Newport County AFC continued their unbeaten record at Rodney Parade in League Two this season with a battling 1-1 draw against Exeter City.
The Grecians – who were top of the league when they came to South Wales – took the lead on 15 minutes when Aaron Martin tapped home a Randell Williams corner kick.
County grew into the game the longer it progressed and when Josh Sheehan was tripped inside the penalty area, Abrahams made no mistake by sending Lewis Ward the wrong way.
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Morris
Assistant Referee 2: Justin Amey
Fourth Official: Daniel Lamport
Swabey is currently embarking on his fifth season as a Football League referee having first officiated a game in League Two on 8th August 2015 as Mansfield Town and Carlisle United played out a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the season.
He has officiated nine matches thus far this season, brandishing 27 yellow cards and one red card, last taking charge of a fixture on September 28th when Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra played out a 1-1 draw.
Those statistics follow on from refereeing 30 games last year, a season in which Swabey awarded 110 yellow cards and eight red cards throughout the entirety of the campaign.
Swabey has refereed a match involving County on eight previous occasions in League Two and the Conference. Interestingly, all those prior matches also came at Rodney Parade and the Exiles have a decent record – having won four, lost three and drawn the other.
He presided over one County match last season and it came on March 15th as the Exiles defeated Cheltenham Town 1-0, the first match in their 17-game unbeaten league run. Will Boyle saw red for the visitors, while Josh Sheehan and Jamille Matt were booked.
In 2017/18, Swabey officiated another two County matches as they picked up a further four points. Mickey Demetriou and Ben White were booked as County stopped Accrington Stanley winning the title on April 24th, while Robbie Willmott and Frank Nouble were cautioned in the six-goal thriller with Carlisle United on December 9th.
The 2015/16 campaign saw a further fixture overseen by Swabey. It wasn’t the best evening, however, as Barnet made away with a 3-0 victory on March 8th. Danny Holmes and Ben Davies saw cards brandished in their direction.
The remaining four matches taken charge of by Swabey came in County’s promotion season of 2012/13. Jake Thomson was the only player booked when County triumphed 2-1 over Lincoln City on August 18th, whilst Andrew Hughes was the sole offender on November 17th when County were stunned 3-1 by Hyde United.
David Pipe and Lee Evans were amongst six players booked in total during a 2-0 reverse to Barrow AFC on January 19th, while the remaining fixture from Swabey saw him give out no bookings in the 2-1 victory over AFC Telford on February 23rd.
Other Leasing.Com fixtures featuring League Two sides that evening
Sunderland vs Grimsby Town
Oldham Athletic vs Accrington Stanley
Mansfield Town vs Crewe Alexandra
Colchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur U21s
AFC Wimbledon vs Leyton Orient
Forest Green Rovers vs Coventry City
Cheltenham Town vs West Ham United U21s
Swindon Town vs Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers vs Stevenage
Cambridge United vs Northampton Town
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.
As the game is a cup match, no live showing of this fixture will occur on iFollow Exiles. However, commentary by Charlie Brown and Richard Shepherd 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.