City’s habit of scoring late in games continued on Tuesday night as eventually they ground Port Vale into submission with two goals inside the final ten minutes to stretch their lead to three points over second placed Crewe. Matt Taylor made three changes in midweek, with Tom Parkes likely to retain his place after an assured display in the heart of defence. Lee Martin and Randell Williams are likely to return on Saturday otherwise Taylor is unlikely to change things too much.
After defying the odds to make the playoffs last season, Newport are expected by the experts to be hovering around the promotion places again this season, and are currently in sixth place to justify the hype, although they have taken a solitary point from their two away excursions in the past week. Mike Flynn who, like Taylor, turned down an approach from another club (possibly Lincoln in both cases), was busy in the summer transfer window, with signings including Dominic Poleon and Tristan Abrahams, who spent part of last season on loan at City. Another former City player, Scot Bennett, returned to the line-up on Tuesday night, but Flynn is without loanee Ryan Iniss, who picked up a five match ban for violent conduct in an EFL Trophy match against West Ham. The main man remains Padraig Amond, whose goal at Macclesfield on Tuesday night took him to five in all competitions.
City haven’t had the best of times at Rodney Parade, a 4-1 win on NYE in 2016 being the only win in six visits. Last season a goal from Jamille Matt was enough to seal the points, while the reverse fixture finished 1-1, Stockley’s goal cancelled out late on by Harris. Newport have a slight head to head lead with four wins to City’s three, five matches finishing level. Those games (including some from the Old Newport) can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9735
The match officials for this game are:-
Referee: Neil Hair
Assistant Referees: Steven Plane and Joe Clark
Fourth Official : Savvas Yianni
Two games for Neil Hair in charge of Exeter games, both wins – see https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=neil+hair