Sky Bet League Two match seventeen vs Newport County.
Tuesday, November 23, 19:45 kick-off.
The People’s Pension Stadium, RH11 9RX.
Redz Bar will open at 17:00.
Hospitality will open at 17:30.
Turnstiles open at 18:45.
Newport County currently sit just outside the play-offs, sharing the same points total and goal difference as seventh placed Harrogate Town, but scoring two less goals. The Exiles most recently lost out to Swindon Town 1-2, which dropped them out of a play-off place. They have had a change of manager after their highly successful boss Michael Flynn left his role at the start of October and James Rowberry was appointed in his place two and a half weeks later. Flynn guided Newport to the play-off final last season and picked up four points against the Reds on his way, including a 1-1 draw the last time the sides played at The People’s Pension Stadium. It was a difficult game for Crawley, who mustered up just one shot in the game and secured a goal through Mickey Demetriou’s finish past his own goalkeeper. Tarryn Allarakhia was sent off on the hour mark and Ryan Haynes netted at the right end for Newport.
The Exiles come into Tuesday’s fixture off the back of Saturday’s home defeat to Swindon Town but in their game previous to this they snatched a 1-2 win away at Hartlepool United last Tuesday. Courtney Baker-Richardson opened the scoring for Newport before David Ferguson equalised in the second half. Dom Telford seized all three points for the visitors with a header in the 93rd minute to make the long trip worth it and leave new manager James Rowberry ‘very pleased’ with his side’s performance.
Rowberry has overseen five Newport games so far and is currently undefeated with two draws and three wins under his belt. He joined from Cardiff City where he was a first-team coach. A young manager at just 36, this isn’t Rowberry’s first managerial position at the Exiles; he served as a youth coach for six years until 2013 when he went to Cardiff. Rowberry said his Newport side would excite people and has so far kept that promise, all but guaranteeing his side will provide Crawley with a tough fixture this evening.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Joe Day re-signed for Newport County this summer after a two-year absence and has played 14 of the Exiles 16 league games this season, conceding 18 goals and keeping five clean sheets at the time of writing. Born in Brighton, Day began his career with Crystal Palace but left their ranks in 2007 and joined AFC Rushden and Diamonds to play with their U19s. He spent three and a half years with the Diamonds before earning a move to Peterborough United as a 21-year-old, but he only made four appearances before Posh before a successful loan spell at Newport in 2014 led to the club snapping him up permanently a year later. He spent four years there, making almost 250 appearances before heading down the M4 to play for Cardiff City. However, this wasn’t a particularly successful transfer as he only made two appearances for the Bluebirds and went on loan to AFC Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers during his stint, racking up a further 29 appearances before being released and heading back to his beloved Newport.
Matthew Dolan captains the Exiles and has been on their books since 2017 after joining from Yeovil Town. He joined as a defensive midfielder but has been repurposed as a defender, often playing in the middle of three centre-backs. He learnt his trade in Middlesbrough’s academy where he enjoyed loan spells with Yeovil Town – a member of the side who gained promotion to the Championship in 2013 –, Hartlepool United and Bradford City. The last loan resulted in a transfer in 2014 but he spent just a year with the Bantams before his release and decided to head back down south to join Yeovil Town permanently. He went on to make over 100 appearances for the Glovers, scoring nine times and assisting a further 13 in his two seasons in Somerset. He’s approaching his 200th appearance for Newport and finished as the Exiles top goal scorer last season with seven goals, an impressive feat from a centre back in a play-off making side.
You will have been hard pushed to pay attention to League Two recently and not recognise the name Dom Telford. Newport’s front man currently sits joint top of the league’s goal-scoring charts with ten goals in just nine games and won October’s Player of the Month award that our own Kwesi Appiah was nominated for. The left-footed front man is on a run of eight goals in four games at the time of writing so will take some stopping! He started out at Blackpool, coming through the Tangerines’ academy before moving down to Stoke City in 2015. He spent a season on loan at Bristol Rovers before moving permanently to Bury. He had a successful season there, racking up 20 goal contributions in 48 games but playing 90 minutes just three times. He played against Crawley twice during the 2018/19 season, picking up two assists when the Reds travelled up in August of 2018 and won 3-2 at Gigg Lane. He was signed by Plymouth Argyle for the next season by his former Bury manager Ryan Lowe where he mustered up 47 appearances over his one and a half seasons in Devon, but only netted five times. Newport signed him at the start of 2021 and, after a slow start to his time in Wales, he’s now in the best form of his career so far.
HEAD TO HEAD
Crawley have met Newport County on fifteen occasions since 2010, and both sides have won six of these fixtures, sharing three draws.
In seven home meetings within the last decade, games have averaged 3.7 goals, including our memorable 4-1 victory in 2018, when goals were scored by Joe Maguire, Filipe Morais, Ollie Palmer and Ashley Nathaniel-George.
Last season, Newport proved to be tough competition as the Reds were unable to defeat over two games. The first meeting came at The People’s Pension Stadium on Boxing Day, in a clash that ended 1-1.
Tarryn Allarakhia was shown a red card on the hour mark, as the scoreline was level at 1-1. Ryan Haynes scored a fifth minute opener for the away side but a Mickey Demetriou own-goal levelled the scoreline in the first half.
Crawley failed to register a shot on target in the game, and Newport struck four, with eleven off target, but a magnificent defensive display meant that we finished the game with a well-earned point after suffering a red card.
Our last meeting with Newport was a 2-0 away defeat at Rodney Parade in April. Liam Shephard and Aaron Lewis struck for the Exiles on a tough afternoon for the Reds.