Preview: Newport County v Crawley Town

Newport County players celebrating. Image courtesy of Newport County AFC

by Robert Jones

NEWPORT County will be hoping to build on their recent good form when they take on Crawley Town tomorrow night at Rodney Parade. 

The Exiles moved back into the automatic promotion spots after Saturday’s home win against Scunthorpe, while Crawley will look to bounce back after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Bradford City.

Newport go into the game with only 14 goals scored, but possess one of the best defences in the league which could be vital to their success as the Red Devils are the only side to score in every game this season.

Padraig Amond will be relied on heavily for the home side as the Irishman has been responsible for five of the team’s goals this campaign. The away side’s top scorer is Beryly Lubala has scored seven goals in all competitions but none in his last eight appearances.

The visitors started the season in imperious fashion with three wins from five, but have struggled in recent weeks which has seen them slip to thirteenth in the standings. County boost the best home record of any club this season with five wins and two draws in their seven games.

Newport’s unbeaten run at home goes all the way back to February, but Amond knows every game is a new challenge: “Every game in this league is tough, regardless of whether you’re playing first in the league or 24th in the league – it’s always going to be a tough game. It’s just about trying to put a string of wins together and try to keep the run going.

“That’s what we’ve done since losing at Northampton, we’ve started a mini-run again and hopefully it’ll keep going for a long time,” he told South Wales Argus.

County manager Michael Flynn will have a full squad of players to choose from with no injuries or absentees for the game which can’t be said for Gabriele Cioffi’s men.

The Italian will likely be without both strikers Ollie Palmer and Ashley Nelson, alongside defenders Joe McNerney and George Francomb who are all expected to miss out.

Newport leads the head-to-head 8-7 heading into the game with the last meeting producing a 0-0 draw at Rodney Parade, however the last win between the two sides was a convincing 4-1 victory for Crawley last season.

Kick-off is 19:45 at Rodney Parade Stadium.