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Match Previews

The Opposition - Newport County

We take an in-depth look at Michael Flynn's side ahead of Town's Sky Bet League Two clash with Newport County at Rodney Parade on Saturday (3pm).

23 August 2018

Dave Shopland/ BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Michael Flynn

Grimsby Town travel to Rodney Parade to face Newport County in Sky Bet League Two this Saturday (3pm).

The Mariners will be hoping to build on their strong performance in the 1-1 away draw at MK Dons on Tuesday, while the Exiles will be looking to continue on from their midweek 3-2 win over Notts County.

Michael Flynn’s men will be aiming to improve on their 11th-place finish in 2017-18 after their play-off hopes were dashed towards the end of last term, and they’ve started this season in encouraging form as they sit in eighth-place on seven points after four games.

After a disappointing opening-day 3-0 away defeat to Mansfield Town, the Exiles beat Crewe Alexandra 1-0 before picking up a convincing 4-1 away win over Cambridge United in the Carabao Cup.

They then drew 1-1 with Exeter City before picking up a dramatic win over Notts County on Tuesday as ex-Town striker Jamille Matt scored in the 95th minute to secure the victory for the Exiles, who extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions.

Transfer activity

Flynn has done plenty of business in the transfer market this summer, bringing in 10 new faces for the 2018-19 campaign at Rodney Parade.

Newport’s key signings are arguably 34-year-old experienced central-midfielder, and new captain, Andrew Crofts from Scunthorpe United, 26-year-old winger Keanu Marsh-Brown from Forest Green Rovers, and 27-year-old centre-back Fraser Franks from Stevenage.

Other notable additions include 28-year-old striker Jamille Matt – who spent last season on loan at Town – from Blackpool, and 23-year-old goalkeeper Nick Townsend from Championship outfit Barnsley.

The Exiles also brought in a handful of youngsters on loan ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, including 21-year-old midfielder Charlie Cooper from Forest Green Rovers – who is son of Rovers boss Mark Cooper.

But there were also a number of departures from Rodney Parade this summer – most notably 26-year-old striker Frank Nouble, who joined fellow-League Two side Colchester United.

Midfielder, and former captain, 27-year-old Joss Labadie left the club this summer and is still a free agent, while 28-year-old defensive-midfielder Ben Tozer made the move to Cheltenham Town.

Ones to watch

The Exiles have a very strong squad and, having scored nine goals in their first five games in all competitions this season, have plenty of goal threats all over the pitch.

Newport County striker Padraig Amond

Ex-Town striker Padraig Amond is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Newport’s most dangerous threat to the Mariners this weekend. The 30-year-old has scored three goals in five games in all competitions so far this season, including a brace in the Exiles’ 4-1 win over Cambridge in the Carabao Cup.

Amond is a fox in the box and will be alive and alert should any potential chances arise in the Town box on Saturday.

The Irish striker, who scored 35 goals in all competitions for the Mariners in the 2015-16 season as Town secured promotion from the National League back to the EFL, has scored 14 goals in 46 league games so far for Newport since his move from Hartlepool United last year.

Attacking-midfielder Matt Dolan will be hoping to build on his decent debut season at Rodney Parade last year, in which he scored three goals in 43 league appearances, and he has played in all of the Exiles’ games this season.

The 25-year-old creative midfielder moved to Newport last summer after scoring seven goals in 77 league appearances for Yeovil Town between 2015 and 2017.

Strong centre-half Mickey Demetriou could prove difficult for the Mariners to break down in the Exiles’ defence this weekend.

But aside from being a solid centre-back, the 28-year-old also boasts an impressive goalscoring record – finding the net 11 times in 67 league appearances for Newport since his move from Shrewsbury two years ago.

And he’ll be looking to add to that tally, and score his first goal of the 2018-19 season, against the Mariners this weekend.

It will be a good test for Town, who will be hoping to stretch their unbeaten league run to four games and put in another fine display, as they take on Newport County at Rodney Parade on Saturday.


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