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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles look to get back on track against Grimsby Town

5 February 2021

Newport County AFC will be looking to rediscover the form that took them up the Sky Bet League Two table, when Grimsby Town visit Rodney Parade.

The Exiles are still hunting for that elusive first win of the new year, with Grimsby also hoping to end a poor run of results.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Sky Bet League Two fixture...

The opposition - Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town currently sit 23rd in the Sky Bet League Two table, with 21 points from 26 matches. This season has been a struggle for the Mariners, having managed just five wins in the league.

Grimsby’s victories this campaign have come against Cheltenham, Leyton Orient, Barrow, Crawley and Scunthorpe, while they remain winless in their last eight.

Town’s form and results this season led to the resignation of manager Ian Holloway, who was replaced by Paul Hurst.

Team news

The Exiles' team sheet will have a different look to it after the January transfer window closed on Monday night. The incomings include Dom Telford, Nicky Maynard, Aaron Lewis, Priestley Farquharson, as well as the other new faces that were brought in earlier in the window. The Exiles have also seen Robbie Wilmott and Tristan Abrahams both leave on loan.

Elsewhere in the squad, Josh Sheehan can return after serving his suspension, while Joss Labadie and Liam Shephard will be absent.

For Grimsby, they made four deadline day signings to bolster their survival hopes. Jake Eastwood, Joe Bunney and Joe Adams all signed at Blundell Park, as well as former County striker Lenell John-Lewis. In terms of injuries, only Filipe Morais remains sidelined.

One to watch – James Hanson

Grimsby’s most identifiable danger man is striker James Hanson. The 33-year-old has had a frustrating season with injuries, but his return could be the boost needed to fire Town towards safety.

The Englishman returned to action two weeks ago, having been out since the end of October. With his minutes now racking up, it surely won’t be long before Hanson finds full fitness and starts scoring the goals.

Hanson is most well-known for his time at Bradford City, where he made 283 appearances and scored 77 goals between 2009 and 2017. This spell included a famous League Cup final appearance in 2013 against Swansea.

Manager – Paul Hurst

Paul Hurst has returned as manager of Grimsby for a second spell, taking over from Ian Holloway who resigned in mid-December. Hurst has been accompanied by Chris Doig, who he has worked together with since 2014.

Since re-joining the club, Hurst is still waiting for his first victory, having taken one point from the four games he has been in charge of.

During the 46-year-old’s first spell in charge at Blundell Park, he achieved promotion from the National League through the play-offs in 2016, where they beat Forest Green Rovers at Wembley. Town also finished runners up in the FA Trophy in the same year.

Last meeting between the sides

The last meeting between the sides came in December at Blundell Park, as County started a run of three long away trips with a win.

A goal after 25 minutes from Scott Twine and a penalty from Padraig Amond gave the Exiles a 2-0 half time lead. There were signs of a Grimsby fightback in the second half as they struck the bar, but the damage was done in the first 45, ensuring Newport headed back to south Wales with the three points.


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