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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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27 February 2024 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Newport County Preview - Town looking to bounce back on Tuesday night

26 February 2024

Town have an immediate chance to rebound from Saturday’s home defeat to Walsall when they face Newport County tomorrow evening at The EnviroVent Stadium.

And with a game in hand on a number of sides around them the opportunity to move back into the playoff positions is one they will be looking to seize upon.

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Our opponents

Like Town, County suffered a blow to their playoff ambitions this past weekend when they fell to a 3-0 defeat away to red-hot MK Dons. Heading into the game they sit in 16th position, but sit just two points behind Town and five points back from the playoff spots.

Prior to defeat they had lost just once in nine games, a run that saw them progress up the table into the pack of sides harbouring playoff ambitions.

During the run they also ran Manchester United close in the FA Cup fourth round, levelling at 2-2 before being defeated 4-2.

On the road the Exiles are averaging a point per game, having picked up five wins from 16 fixtures away from home.

Previous meetings

Earlier this season goals from George Thomson and Anthony O’Connor gave Town an advantage before Will Evans pulled a goal back but it wasn’t enough to stop Town running out 2-1 winners.

At The Envirovent Stadium the spoils have been shared in the three meetings to date. Last season it was a horror show for Town as an Omar Bogle brace, Kayne Ramsay own goal and a Thierry Nevers strike in the first-half wrapped up a 4-0 win for the visitors.

In 2021/22 Town twice trailed to strikes from Scot Bennett and Robbie Wilmott but Jack Muldoon and Luke Armstrong earned a 2-2 draw.

In Town’s first season in League Two Josh March and Aaron Martin overturned Jake Scrimshaw’s early lead to see Town take the points with a 2-1 win.

The man in charge

Graham Coughlan is the man in the dugout, in his second season in charge since replacing James Rowberry.

Coughlan had a long career in English football after arriving from the Irish League, most notably playing for Plymouth, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Shrewsbury and Southend.

Prior to taking the Newport job Coughlan had brief spells in charge at both Bristol Rovers and Mansfield Town.

Ones to watch

Will Evans has lit up the scoring charts, netting 19 goals and is behind only Matt Smith and Macauley Langstaff as the division’s top scorer. Omar Bogle has added seven goals in support.

Seb Palmer-Houlden has shown promise since arriving from Bristol City, netting five times, with Bryn Morris also adding five goals from midfield in an ever-present campaign.

Long-time Exile Scott Bennett will anchor the midfield with Shane McLoughlin and Ryan Delaney part of the defensive unit.


Initially founded in 1912, County were re-formed in 1989 and worked their way back through the non-league set up to reach the Conference Premier for the 2010/11 season before a further promotion to League Two was earned following the 2012/13 season, where they have remained since.

One of their most famous seasons came back in 1980/81 when they reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup before being defeated by Carl Zeiss Jena 3-2 on aggregate.

County subsequently slipped down the divisions though and found themselves relegated from the Football League in 1987/88 and were declared bankrupt the following season.

Team news

Simon Weaver continues to be without long term absentees Lewis Thomas, Rod McDonald and Sam Folarin, though everyone came through Saturday’s clash with Walsall unscathed.

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Match Reports

TOWN 1-4 Newport County - Town fall to home defeat

27 February 2024

Town fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to Newport County this evening as two goals either side of half-time did the damage.

After a quiet opening period Will Evans netted his twentieth of the season when he converted a penalty before Offrande Zanzala scored either side of half-time, with substitute Seb Palmer-Houlden adding a fourth before George Thomson’s late consolation.

Simon Weaver made four changes to the side that was defeated 2-0 by Walsall last Saturday with Warren Burrell, Josh Falkingham, Jeremy Sivi and Josh March coming into the side in place of Matty Foulds, Stephen Dooley, Thomson and Jack Muldoon.

The visitors, beaten 3-0 at MK Dons last time out, brought, Scot Bennett and Kyle Jameson into the side with Shane McLaughlin, James Waite and Seb Palmer-Houlden missing out.

It was an inauspicious start to the game with neither side managing to impose any sort of authority on the game.

In the tenth minute a scramble in the box saw Town fail to clear their lines, finally ending the danger before the dangerous Evans could pounce.

The recalled Sivi provided Town’s first threat of the evening when he drove to the byline before cutting the ball back but he failed to pick out a forward.

Newport’s approach was clear – get the ball wide and early – and it paid off midway through the first-half when Adam Lewis received the ball and whipped in a cross that was not far from picking out an Exile shirt.

Bryn Morris then dispossessed Abraham Odoh, marauding forward to strike an effort that was deflected over, with Evans going close with a purposeful header from the ensuing corner.

The visitors were denied just before half-hour mark when Scot Bennett’s strike looked for all the world like it was goalbound before striking Zanzala and falling to safety.

Moments later though they grabbed a deserved lead when Liam Gibson was penalised for handball and Evans confidently dispatched the spotkick past James Belshaw.

Two minutes later the lead was doubled. Belshaw initially made an excellent save to deny Aaron Wildig but Zanzala was on hand this time to fire home and make it 2-0.

Two almost fell further behind on the stroke of half-time when an O’Connor error found resulted in Lewis Payne crossing for Evans who headed only just over the bar.

Although there were no changes at the break it wasn’t long before Simon Weaver made a change with Thomson replacing Sivi.

Seconds later though Town failed to clear a free-kick deep into the box and Zanzala was on hand to fire past Belshaw.

Falkingham then went into the book for tripping Evans on the edge of the area, before Simon Weaver made a further quartet of changes with Muldoon, Dooley, Levi Sutton and Tom Bloxham replacing March, Cornelius, Falkingham and Odoh.

The changes brought some spark to Town’s play and a neat header from Thomson teed up Sutton but he sliced his effort over the bar.

Town were nearly the architects of their own downfall minutes later when they failed to clear their lines with Belshaw forced into save to keep the scoreline at 3-0.

Sutton then went close again when he strode into the area to fire narrowly wide of the keepers right hand post but it was 4-0 after 70 minutes when substitute Palmer-Houlden cut in from the left to fire beyond Belshaw.

With the game comfortably in hand the visitors made a pair of changes with fifteen minutes remaining when Evans and Wildig earned some time off when they were replaced by James Waite and Luke Jephcott.

With just over ten minutes remaining Town got some reward when Thomson netted his tenth league goal of the season by firing in a low effort from the edge of the area.

There were two final changes for the visitors with just over five minutes remaining when Lewis Payne and Kyle Jameson made way for Harrison Bright and Matt Bondswell.

Thomson went close for Town in added time when he curled a free-kick just beyond the post before the referee brought an end to a disappointing evening.

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