Match Preview | Salford City (H)

Newport County look to round out the season with a home victory when they welcome Karl Robinson’s Salford City to Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon.

The game is the final home match of the 23/24 season and the players will want to end things on a high. 

Graham Coughlan has made several changes in recent weeks, with several players being rotated in and out of the team. Nelson Sanca was handed a full professional start against Tranmere last weekend, impressing fans and making a strong argument for his place in the team this week. 

Fellow academy stars Corey Evans and Morgan Evans were both given spaces on the bench and could see a little bit of game time this weekend. 

Of course, for some players, especially loanees, Saturday could be their swansong at Rodney Parade, and they will be hoping to receive a warm send-off from the County faithful. 

Pre-Match Thoughts

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Graham Coughlan said: "We’d love to get a win for the fans in the final home game of the season.

“I would love to get beyond our total of last season’s total too. We’re targeting 57 points and we’re currently on 55 points at the mineute.

“I can't get away from how we are limping over the finishing line, I wanted it to be so much better. But tomorrow is a real opportunity for us to get rid of what has gone on over the last few games and really put a show on."

Opposition Form 

After lifting themselves clear of the relegation battle, Karl Robinson’s Salford have slipped into poor form in recent weeks. The Ammies have lost four consecutive games heading into Saturday’s encounter, scoring just three goals. 

One player who has been consistent in what has been an inconsistent year for the Greater Manchester side is Matt Smith. The former Leeds United front-man has bagged 23 goals this season, putting him just three behind leading scorer Macauley Langstaff. His performances this season earned him a spot in this year’s EFL League Two Team of the Year this past week. 

The Ammies have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game but will be without Theo Vassell. The defender served the second of a three-game ban for a red card against Wimbledon two weeks ago. 

After receiving a one-match ban for a red in the same game, Elliott Watt will be eligible for selection again on Saturday. 

Ticket Info 

You can find out about tickets for our clash with Salford City HERE. 

Last Time Out 

Salford City v Newport County Match Highlights

We last met Salford City in October, with the Ammies winning the match 2-1. Despite a strong opening period, we fell behind when Matty Lund headed home a corner at the near-post in the 25th minute. 

County would respond instantly, with Omar Bogle teeing up Bryn Morris to fire a slow strike past Alex Cairns to score his first for the club. 

Unfortunately, the home side would regain their lead on the stroke of half-time, with Declan Drysdale deflected a low-cross into his own net. 

We continued in pursuit of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the Salford defence held strong, securing all three points. 

Head to Head 

Our record against Salford City does not make the best of reading. We have played each other 10 times since they arrived in the Football League and have never registered a league win over them. Our solitary victory in that time came when we defeated them 3-0 in the FA Cup.  The Ammies have defeated us on seven occasions, with two games ending in a draw. 

Played for Both 

Several players have swapped South Wales for Greater Manchester and vice versa in recent years. 

One current member of our squad who has done so is Shane McLoughlin. McLoughlin joined from Salford in July this year and instantly became a staple of Coughlan’s team. The defender made eight appearances for the Ammies. 

He has had a brilliant debut season at Rodney Parade. Not only has he been a defensive powerhouse, but he has also contributed some crucial goals, with his strike against Stockport County being one of the best of the season. 

Another recent player to have spent time at both clubs is goalkeeper Tom King. King spent two seasons with us, making 40 appearances. Of course, he famously set a world-record when playing for us, scoring 96.01 meters against Cheltenham directly from a goal kick. 

He would leave Newport at the end of the 2020/21 season and go on to make over 50 appearances for Salford over the course of two seasons.