Captain joins exclusive club ahead of Newport County test
Mark Connolly will join Jimmy Smith and Lewis Young in a very exclusive club if he lines up for Reds in Friday night’s Sky Bet EFL 2 game against Newport County at Rodney Parade.
The defender is set to become only the fourth player to play 150 games for the club in the Football League era.
Skipper Jimmy Smith reached the landmark on Saturday, when he led Reds to victory in the 2-0 win over Barnet, while Lewis Young, who was man of the match against the Bees, played in his 154th game for the club.
The only other players to pass 150 appearances during the seven seasons Reds have been in the Football League is Dannie Bulman, who reached the land mark in the 0-0 draw with Luton earlier in the season, and is now up to 159. The midfielder has also played 184 games for Reds in non-league.
Sergio Torres played 148 games in the League for Reds and Josh Simpson 138.
Jimmy said: “It’s a nice milestone to reach, although I have to admit it wasn’t something I was aware of.
“I just about remember my debut. We won 1-0 up at Barnsley when John Gregory, who signed me was manager, with Izale (McLeod) scoring. A lot has happened since then!”
Reds won three in a row for the first time since 2015 when they beat Barnet but the skipper acknowledges that two tough tests await Reds as they bid to extend that run, with a trip to high-flying Notts County next Tuesday to follow Saturday’s trip to South Wales.
Jimmy added: “They’ve been flying this season and obviously have got a massive Cup tie against Spurs to look forward to as well.
“It just shows how big momentum is in this division. They stayed up on the last day and have taken that into this season. They beat us at our place when we got caught out at two set pieces but other than that I didn’t think there was much to choose between the teams.
“We’re confident at the moment and there is a real togetherness there but all we can do is take each game as it comes.
"There is a good spirit in the camp and we saw on Saturday when we wore Barnet down that we are a fit side too. We’re looking forward to games at the moment and believe that we can get something out of every match we play.”