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Match Preview: Newport County vs Swindon Town

Find out more ahead of our trip to South Wales this weekend

3 February 2024

Club News

Match Preview: Newport County vs Swindon Town

Find out more ahead of our trip to South Wales this weekend

3 February 2024

The hosts will be looking for a different kind of result to last time out as Town were victorious in a 2-0 win at the start of the season but since then results have changed for the visitors.

The Exiles currently sit in 16th position with 37 points, which matches the same number of points as Town.
A lowdown on the visitors
Newport County, formed in 1912, were nicknamed the Ironsiders due to their proximity to the local steelworks. County began their journey in the Southern League, and reached the Fourth and Third Divisions, narrowly avoiding relegation out of the Football League in the late 1970s.
An eventual drop-down to the Fourth Division did take place for the club at the start of the 1980s, where the club were victorious in the Welsh Cup for the first time under manager Len Ashurst.
Placed in Conference South in 2004, they went on to be crowned champions in 2009/10 and after moving to their current stadium Rodney Parade in 2012, they returned to the Football League following a 25-year absence after winning the Conference National play-off final in 2013, with a 2-0 win over fellow Welsh club Wrexham under manager Justin Edinburgh.
In October 2015, the Newport County Supporter’s Trust took over ownership of the club, which cast a tricky spell for the Welsh side, before ex-Swindon Town boss Michael Flynn joined and led a drastic recovery for his hometown team.
Flynn was appointed with 12 league matches to go in the 2016/17 season, with ex-Town Assistant Manager Wayne Hatswell. 
A remarkable turnaround in fortune saw Newport avoid relegation, sealed by a 2-1 victory on the final day of the season at home against Notts County.

Iconic Match: Newport County 1-2 Swindon Town 
Mark Cooper made several changes to the starting line-up. In came Tyrell Belford for Wes Foderingham, while there were also starts for Andy Williams, Jake Reeves, Josh Lelan and Jack Barthram. 
The visitors had the better of the first half chances and Andy Williams spurned a chance early on when he couldn’t quite react quickly enough to a low ball across the face of the six-yard box. 
The striker continued to work and fashioned a chance for himself midway through the half. Turning away from the defender, he tried to replicate his effort against Oldham a week ago, but this time could only skew his effort over the crossbar. 
At the other end, Belford was largely untroubled but Christian Jolley could only drag his effort wide after good work by his teammate on the touchline. 
Jake Reeves thundered a shot off the crossbar while George Barker’s effort was heading in before it was hacked clear off the line as the Town continued to probe for the opening goal. 
The breakthrough eventually arrived right on half time. Andy Williams’ run took him from left to right across the edge of the area. He then checked his run, looked up and lifted the ball into the danger zone where Jon Obika was perfectly placed to head home from six yards. 
After the break, the striker almost picked up where he had left off, turning his man on the edge of the area before sending a low drive narrowly wide of the right-hand post. 
Shortly afterwards, the hosts missed their best chance of the night when a deep cross from the County right found Aaron O’Connor unmarked at the far post. The striker made firm contact with his head but steered his effort just the wrong side of Belford’s left-hand post. 
On 62 minutes, Andy Williams grabbed the Town’s second of the evening. A delightful lofted through-ball by Jack Barthram picked out the striker as he burst into the area. With Joe Day racing off his line to confront him, Williams lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and watched as it landed in the back of the net. 
George Barker blazed over while substitute Anton Rodgers saw his effort kept out by Joe Day. 
With nine minutes to play, the hosts gained a foothold thanks to Yan Klukowski. Town couldn’t deal with a cross into the box and when the ball was fed back into the area, Klukowski was in the right place to tap home from close range. 
Moments later, Town raced away on the break and after Andy Williams had played him in on the left, Barker thundered a shot off the woodwork before it was cleared to safety. 
In injury time, Belford twice had to save late on to book Town’s place in the next round.

18/19: Newport County 0-0 Swindon Town

19/20: Swindon Town 0-2 Newport County

21/22: Newport County 1-2 Swindon Town

22/23: Swindon Town 1-0 Newport County

22/23: Newport County 2-1 Swindon Town

23/24: Swindon Town 2-0 Newport County

Manager: Graham Coughlan
Graham Coughlan is an Irish professional football manager and former player who played for 10 different clubs in his senior career, with over 450 appearances and has managed four different clubs to date. He was once named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2001-02 for the Third Division.
Coughlan first began his managerial career in the 2018/19 season with Bristol Rovers, where he first joined as a defensive coach, but was later appointed caretaker manager in December 2018 following the departure of Darrell Clarke and Marcus Stewart. He was appointed permanently after picking up ten points from a possible fifteen throughout his caretaker spell.
In December 2019, Coughlan accepted an offer to become the new manager of League Two club Mansfield Town but later parted ways with the club after a poor start to the season. In March 2021, Coughlan joined Sheffield United U23s as a coach until the end of the season.
His current club, Newport County, the Irishman joined in October 2022 on a two-and-a-half-year contract after 14 league matches of the 2022-23 season. Newport finished that very season in 15th position.

Player to watch: Will Evans
Newport’s Will Evans has scored 15 league goals so far this season, who joined from Welsh side Bala town to play for former Newport boss James Rowberry in May 2022.
Born in the Welsh village of Llangedwyn, Evans progressed bizarrely through the youth system at Shrewsbury Town, and then joined Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2016, making 107 appearances and scoring 20 goals.
The 26-year-old made his Football League debut for Newport back in July 2022, in a 1-1 draw against Sutton United. Evans went on to make 52 appearances in his first professional campaign, with four goals to his name.
The winger has also made his international debut for Wales C team at the start of April 2022, scoring twice in a win against England’s C team.
This season, the Welshman has been deployed in a more attacking position under the current management of Graham Coughlan and sits as the leading top goalscorer for the club by some way.

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