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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles travel to Johnny-Rocks for first away fixture of 2021

18 January 2021

Newport County AFC’s first away trip of 2021 sees them travel to the Johnny-Rocks Stadium to take on Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening.

County will be hoping they can re-establish a lead at the top of the table with a win on Tuesday, but know they will be coming up against a Robins side also hunting for promotion.

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

The opposition - Cheltenham Town

Cheltenham Town were one of the most impressive sides in Sky Bet League Two last season, reaching the play-off semi-finals. They have certainly overcome their play-off disappointment and are fighting for promotion again this season.

Michael Duff’s side have picked up 36 points so far this season, putting them in sixth position. A fine run of form at the beginning of the season propelled the Robins to the top end of the table, seemingly picking up where they left off last season.

However, Town are now without a win in their last six fixtures and have drawn four in that period.

Team news

County will be without Josh Sheehan for Tuesday's fixture after his red card during the Exiles' goalless draw against Salford City. The Exiles could also potentially be without Ryan Haynes, who was forced off early against the Ammies following a head injury.

Cheltenham, meanwhile, look set to be without Chris Hussey, although they are monitoring the defender.

One to watch – Alfie May

Alfie May has been one of Cheltenham’s main threats in front of goal this season, with seven goals and three assists in all competitions. His partnership with Andy Williams has provided the Robins with 13 goals already this term.

The 27-year-old is currently on top form, having scored in his last two outings. He scored the equaliser against Bolton Wanderers in their last match and also netted in Town’s Emirates FA Cup encounter with Mansfield Town. That was May’s third Emirates FA Cup goal of the season after his double against South Shields.

The Englishman signed for Cheltenham in January 2020 from Doncaster, and only turned professional in 2017 after a five-year spell in the lower leagues.

Manager – Michael Duff

Michael Duff has been in charge at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium since September 2018 and has a proven track record in the division.

In his first season, the Northern Irishman guided Town to comfortable safety, before taking them to the play-off semi-finals the year after. The progression has certainly continued, with Cheltenham now just three points off the Sky Bet League Two summit.

The 42-year-old also enjoyed an accomplished playing career, making over 300 appearances for Cheltenham and Burnley, as well as earning 24 caps for Northern Ireland.

Last meeting between the sides

The last time the sides met was in the Papa John’s Trophy earlier this season. The match ended with a 1-0 win for the Robins at Rodney Parade in a tight encounter.

Both sides were much rotated, with not much to separate them throughout the 90 minutes. The breakthrough came on 70 minutes, with Rueben Reid heading home the only goal of the game.

It was a stark contrast to the previous game in the competition between the two, when they shared 11 goals in a 7-4 victory for County.


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