Preview: Newport County vs Exeter City

City ended up, like most of League Two, having a blank weekend due to the ongoing freeze putting paid to the trip to Oldham, but with the temperature set to rise Matt Taylor will be hoping Tuesday night’s visit to Wales goes ahead having already been postponed once. Having not played now since last Saturday City’s squad will have welcomed the rest, with the added bonus of players having the opportunity to rest their niggles. Taylor’s selection rests partly on whether the usual loan convention of players not being available against their parent club, which would rule out Robbie Willmott after his impressive showings so far – if Taylor decides to go with a 4-4-2 this would mean starts for Caprice, Key, the fit again Randall and either Sparkes or, fitness-permitting, Page at left back. Elsewhere Sam Stubbs is said to be close to being ready to make his City debut, but Taylor has confirmed Nicky Ajose isn’t being considered for selection as City have been training on artificial surfaces which, presumably due to his long-standing knee issues, has ruled Ajose out of training on the surface.

Newport remain in promotion contention, but a run of just one win (against bottom of the table Grimsby) since early December has seen Mike Flynn’s side fall away from the top of the table and the Exiles are currently one point and two places ahead of City in the table. The January window was a busy one in South Wales, with a number of players coming in and leaving – aside from Willmott, former City loanee Tristan Abrahams returned to his former club Leyton Orient on loan. Amongst those coming in include Maltese international Luke Gambin, and Dom Telford from Plymouth. One player set to miss Tuesday night’s match is Scot Bennett, the former City utility player having been sent off for a horror tackle in the win over Grimsby, but another former City loanee, Ryan Taylor, will hope to play some part. With Abrahams and loanee Scott Twine no longer with them, Newport will rely on Padraig Amond for the goals, Amond is their top scorer with eight across all competitions, while Kevin Ellison, who continues to play into his 40s, will look to feature off the bench and has a good record against City.

Having met three times last season, City and Newport have yet to cross swords so far this time due to this fixture’s postponement just after Christmas. The league fixture last season at Rodney Parade finished 1-1, Lee Martin’s first half goal cancelled out in the second from the spot by Abrahams. Lee Martin was again on the scoresheet in City’s 1-0 win at the Park, a result that levelled the league head to heads with four wins apiece, while six matches have finished level. Information on 18 recent matches can be fund at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9735

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Tom Nield
Assistant Referees: Dean Treleaven and Andrew Hendley
Fourth Official: John Flynn, John

Tom Nield has taken charge of four Exeter games https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=Nield



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