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PREVIEW | Exiles conclude Papa John's Trophy campaign against Plymouth Argyle

9 November 2020

Newport County AFC return to Papa John’s Trophy for the final time on Tuesday evening as they take on Sky Bet League One side Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.

Both teams are searching for their first wins in the competition, despite making strong starts to their respective league campaigns.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Papa John’s Trophy Southern Group F fixture...

The opposition - Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle currently sit in eighth place in the Sky Bet League One table after winning promotion from League Two last season. Argyle have picked up 18 points from their first 10 matches after winning five, drawing three and losing twice.

In their Papa John’s Trophy campaign, the Pilgrims have suffered defeat twice at the hands of Norwich City U21s and Cheltenham Town. Their opener at Home Park saw goals from Klaidi Lolos and Dom Telford cancelled out by Norwich’s William Hondermarck, Tyrese Omotoye and Matthew Dennis in a 3-2 defeat.

This was followed up by an away trip to Cheltenham, who struck twice in the second half through Reuben Reid to seal a 2-0 victory.

Team news

The Papa John’s Trophy has provided Exiles boss Michael Flynn with opportunities for rotation, with several youngsters making their first-team debuts in the first two matches. County’s injury list includes Ryan Taylor, Lewis Collins, Kyle Howkins and David Longe-King, as well as captain Joss Labadie who went off injured against Carlisle.

Tom King, Josh Sheehan, Brandon Cooper and Aaron Lewis are away on international duty and will also be unavailable.

Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe confirmed an almost fully fit squad for his side's trip to Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup on Saturday. The Pilgrims will be without top scorer Luke Jephcott who has been called up to the Wales Under-21s squad for their upcoming fixtures.

One to watch – Frank Nouble

Frank Nouble is someone who will be well-known to County fans having spent the 2017/18 season at Rodney Parade.

The 29-year-old will be fondly remembered by Exiles supporters for his 13-minute hat-trick Chesterfield. The forward was also an integral part of the squad that defeated Leeds United and took Tottenham Hotspur to a replay in the historic FA Cup run.

For the Pilgrims, Nouble has two goals so far this season. His first came in the Carabao Cup in a 3-2 win against QPR before he netted in a 2-1 league victory over Northampton.


Manager – Ryan Lowe

Ryan Lowe was appointed as manager at Home Park in June 2019 after a successful season in charge of Bury. In his first season at Plymouth, Lowe guided the side to third place and promotion to Sky Bet League One.

During his solitary season at Bury, the 42-year-old achieved promotion from Sky Bet League Two, finishing second in the league. Lowe also took Bury to the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy - the furthest the club have been in their history - before losing to Portsmouth.

The Englishman - who scored 185 times during his career - only retired from playing in 2018 after racking up 625 appearances as a striker over 19 years.

Last meeting between the sides

The last time the sides met was in February at Home Park, with Argyle coming out 1-0 winners in a tight affair.

County old-boy Tyreeq Bakinson put Plymouth ahead after five minutes when he nodded in a corner, before Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt enjoyed chances for the Exiles.

Newport were unable to take any of their second-half opportunities, ensuring Argyle, who finished the game with ten men after Gary Sawyer was sent off, picked up all three points.

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