As we get closer to Saturday’s clash with Wrexham, we have dipped back into the archives for the second in our special From the Archive series to the 1982/83 season and a dominant display at Somerton Park.
The 1982/83 season is one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in Newport County’s history. Colin Addison’s team were riding high in the third division (now League One), and there was a very real chance of promotion into the second division for the first time since 1947.
A 1-0 win over Cardiff at home in front of 16,052 fans had put us top of the table on April 4th, with just seven games of the season remaining. Unfortunately, three consecutive defeats against Gillingham, Portsmouth, and Walsall had derailed our charge, and we came into our game with Wrexham on April 30th in 4th place.
Promotion was still not impossible, though, and a win against Wrexham would set up a mouth-watering tie away at fellow promotion chasers Huddersfield a week later. First, though, we needed to overcome our Welsh rivals.
The visitors were entrenched in a relegation battle, and defeat would leave them in real trouble with just three games to go. They had experienced relegation from the second division the previous year and were a club on a downward spiral.
With so much on the line, it was a nervy start in South Wales. Both teams were desperate to get their hands on the three points and not slip up. Wrexham had been poor away from home, with their only victory away all season coming at Cardiff.
After a tense opening 20, Tommy Tynan settled the nerves inside Somerton Park, grabbing the opener and beginning what would be quite an afternoon for the striker. He would double his lead in the 34th minute, sending us into the break 2-0 up.
Wrexham defenders Jake King and Steve Jones, both summer recruits, were being torn apart down the wings, and we added a third late in the second half through Steve Lowden, the man who had scored past them three years previously in our Welsh Cup victory at the Racecourse.
There was still time for one more, though, with Tynan stepping up to convert a penalty in the 83rd minute and wrap up a comprehensive 4-0 win.
Unfortunately, we would lose our next two games, including our crunch tie against Huddersfield, and miss out on promotion. Wrexham’s season would get worse as they failed to get out of the relegation zone, confirming their second straight relegation and returning to the fourth division after 14 seasons away.