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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles host fellow promotion chasers Carlisle United

25 January 2021

Newport County AFC will be looking to kickstart their 2021 with the visit of Carlisle United to Rodney Parade on Tuesday evening.

The sides are separated by a solitary point in the Sky Bet League Two league table, with County looking to achieve their first win of the new year against their promotion rivals.

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

The opposition - Carlisle United

Carlisle United currently occupy fourth place in the Sky Bet League Two table, having gained 39 points from their 21 matches.

The Blues, who finished 18th last term, have certainly improved their fortunes and have been thoroughly impressive this season, losing just six times so far. Chris Beech’s side went on a run in December of four successive wins, propelling them towards the top of the table.

Their season has been temporarily halted of late, due to a number of positive Covid-19 tests which has led to their last three games being postponed. Tuesday will be the Cumbrians’ first outing since January 2nd.

Team news

The early signs for County’s new loan signings look promising, with Jake Scrimshaw and Luke Gambin both finding the net on Saturday. The Exiles will still be missing Josh Sheehan, and will now be without captain Joss Labadie through suspension.

Carlisle, meanwhile, have completed the signings of defender Morgan Feeney and striker Ethan Walker, who has returned for his second loan stint with the club.

One player they will be without is full-back George Tanner, who continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

One to watch – Jon Mellish

Jon Mellish has been United’s bright spark in front of goal this season - scoring 12 times in all competitions - with seven coming in the league. He scored three goals in two Emirates FA Cup appearances and also bagged a brace in the Papa John’s Trophy.

The English midfielder has only been playing this position since February after being converted from a defender. This switch of positions looks to be a masterstroke with the goals he is now providing the squad.

Manager – Chris Beech

Chris Beech was appointed at Carlisle in November 2019 on an 18-month contract until the summer of 2021. After leading the Blues to safety last season, his side have kicked on with the hopes of playing League One football next term.

The 46-year-old had previously been caretaker boss at Rochdale in 2011, before taking up an assistant role with the Dale until 2019. His appointment at Carlisle is his first as a head coach.

The Englishman made 279 appearances in his playing career as a midfielder, turning out for the likes of Blackpool, Hartlepool and Huddersfield, before finishing his playing days at Rochdale.

Last meeting between the sides

The last time County met Carlisle was in November at Brunton Park, where the Exiles fell to a 3-2 defeat despite a late fightback.

Carlisle took an early lead through a Lewis Alessandra penalty, which was added to in the second half by a Jon Mellish double.

Two goals in the final 10 minutes from Jamie Devitt and Josh Sheehan gave the Exiles hope of a point, but United held on to claim the victory.

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