Swindon Town will look to get back to winning ways as they take on Newport County at SN1 this evening in their re-arranged fixture.
In our look ahead to the showdown, we focus on this evening’s opponents in our pre-match preview.
The Exiles have had a tough start to the campaign this term, but produced one of the performances of the season at the weekend as they defeated league leaders Leyton Orient in their own backyard.
Today’s visitors also find themselves in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup, where there’ll face Premier League opposition in the shape of Leicester City, courtesy of 3-2 victories over both Luton and Portsmouth in the earlier stages.
Formed in 1912, The Exiles gained promotion to the second division just before the Second World War.
As football resumed after the conflict, they suffered a 13-0 defeat to Newcastle United - a joint football league record.
In the 1970-71 season, County set another unwanted title as went winless in their first 25 games in the division.
The eighties then brought both the brightest and darkest moments in the club's history. In 1980 they secured promotion to the Third Division and enjoyed a fruitful Welsh Cup campaign, and three seasons later they achieved their highest post war finish by coming fourth in the league.
After successive relegations, Newport failed to complete their first season in the Conference as they went out of business and suffered expulsion from the competition. In 1989 the club was reformed by 400 supporters, spending a short time playing in Gloucester.
A 2-0 win over Wrexham in the Play-Off Final would see County return to the Football League in 2013/14.
Under Michael Flynn, Newport miraculously retained EFL status following an extraordinary escape in 2017. Cup runs and play-off finals would follow before James Rowberry replaced the departing Flynn last season. After an eleventh place finish last term, this will be the current bosses first full season at the helm.
County play their home games at Rodney Parade, and ground owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union.
It’s located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre, and is also home to the Dragons rugby union team.
It’s the second-oldest sports venue in the Football League, after Deepdale, as at full capacity, it can hold 7,850 fans.
Did you know? Newport Squash Club has four courts at Rodney Parade.
The last five previous meetings…
The last five match ups between the pair have only seen wins for either side, with three going the way of tonight’s visitors and two for Town.
They last met back in April last season in League Two, with Newport defeating Swindon on home turf by the single goal – running out 1-0 winners.
The earlier meeting last term saw Swindon take all three points with a 2-1 win at Rodney Parade. Jack Payne scored a late winner that day after Finn Azaz had put through his own net.
That result was part of a league and cup double-header with the two playing each other twice in the space of eleven days, as Jordan Lyden scored the only goal to beat The Exiles 1-0 in the EFL Trophy.
The two ties before that during the 2020/2021 campaign saw Newport do the double over Town, with 2-0 victories in both the home and away clashes in September 2019 and January 2020.
Newport this season…
The Exiles currently lie sixteenth in the table, moving up two places after stunning league-leaders Leyton Orient at the weekend with a 2-1 victory away from home.
But it has been a mixed campaign for the Welsh side so far this term.
Saturday’s win was their first in five in all competitions having suffered four straight defeats before a draw at home to Carlisle.
However, this disappointing run of form had come after four straight wins in the league, EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup.
And it’s their impressive cup form that will see them travel to Premier League giants Leicester City in the third round of the League Cup next month.
Growing up a small distance away from Rodney Parade, James Rowberry was a mascot for Newport aged just five.
The Welshman played youth football for Bristol City and Newport before deciding to pursue a career in coaching at the tender age of 21.
He became one of the youngest UEFA pro licence holders when he completed his badges at 29.
Now 37, he coached at Newport before joining fellow Welsh side Cardiff City. Rowberry worked as a First-Team Coach for the Bluebirds under several managers, including Neil Warnock and Mick McCarthy.
The Newport gaffer landed the role in October last year.
Transfer business this term…
Newport have made some astute signings this season to build a side capable of challenging in the higher echelons of the division.
Striker Omar Bogle arrived from Hartlepool to give them some more firepower upfront, while Sam Bowen (Cardiff City), Aaron Wildig (Morecambe) and Declan Drysdale (Coventry City) have all come in.
Bournemouth-loanee Nathan Moriah-Welsh has made an immediate impact at Rodney Parade.
Adam Lewis (Liverpool), Chanka Zimba (Cardiff City), Hayden Lindley (Aston Villa) and Thierry Nevers (West Ham United) have also come in on loan.
Just the two departed, although they were key personnel, with Courtney Baker-Richardson heading to Crewe and Dominic Telford joining Crawley.