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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles travel to Forest Green Rovers for play-off semi-final second leg

21 May 2021

Newport County AFC aim to book their place at Wembley for the Sky Bet League Two play-off final, heading to Forest Green with a two goal advantage.

Like the first leg, there will again be fans in attendance at the match. It represents the first time that the Innocent New Lawn will host fans since December.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final second leg...

The first leg - County 2-0 Rovers

Tuesday evening saw the Exiles take the initiative in the tie, taking a 2-0 lead at the halfway point, in front of 900 members of the Amber Army.

Matty Dolan, one of the Exiles’ standout performers this term, gave County the lead after half an hour with a strike into the top corner from 25 yards.

The lead was doubled just before the hour, with Lewis Collins cooly slotting past the Forest Green 'keeper after being played through by Aaron Lewis. This means County go into the second leg with the upper hand.

Team news

Manager Michael Flynn will be hoping Lewis Collins will recover after sustaining a knock in the first leg.

The first leg saw a return for Priestley Farquharson after his injury, while captain Joss Labadie could recover in time for the match at the Innocent New Lawn.

Rovers were boosted by the return to the squad of top scorer Jamille Matt and midfielder Dan Sweeney, both making appearances from the bench at Rodney Parade.

One to watch – Jamille Matt

A very well-known figure to the County faithful, Jamille Matt finished the season as Forest Green’s top scorer with 16 goals in the league. After a spell on the sidelines, the striker made his return from injury off the bench in the first leg.

The Jamaican forward signed for Rovers from County in the summer after two seasons at Rodney Parade. Matt has already netted twice against Newport this season, as well as hitting a hat-trick away to Scunthorpe earlier in the season.

During his time with the Exiles, the 31-year-old scored the first goal in County’s famous 2-1 FA Cup victory over Leicester City, and was also an integral part of the squad that reached the Sky Bet League Two play-off final two years ago.


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