Cards look to extend winning run
9:48am, Thu 14th Feb 2013
Woking v Newport County
3pm on Saturday 16 February 2013
The Cards will be hoping for a big crowd on Saturday for the visit of Justin Edinburghâ€™s and Jimmy Dackâ€™s side. County were the early-season pacemakers but their form has dipped in recent weeks. The Cards meanwhile have been enjoying a fine run, with six wins in their last seven league outings. Can Garry Hillâ€™s side repeat their victory down at Rodney Parade and do the double over the Exiles? Come down to Kingfield for what should be a keenly-contested match.
The Cards have been making great strides towards Garryâ€™s initial target of 50 points and now sit in 12th place in the table after 28 games, with 41 points and a game or more in hand on most clubs. Perhaps rather optimistically, some Cards fans have now begun to look at the gap which separates the team from the play-off places â€“ Kidderminster in 5th place are nine points clear of Woking, having played two games more â€“ rather than glancing over their shoulders at what is now a 12-point gap separating the club from the relegation places.
Garry will be without first-choice keeper Aaron Howe, who injured his wrist ligaments in Wokingâ€™s excellent 3-0 win at Alfreton last Saturday and who is likely to be missing for a number of weeks. Elvijs Putnins, who came off the substitutesâ€™ bench in that game for his league debut, is expected to deputise again.
There will be fierce competition for starting places up front once more, with Jayden Stockley and Brett Williams both hoping to make the starting line-up, having watched Joe McNerney get the nod at Alfreton.
County sit in 4th place in the table with 53 points from 29 games after their encouraging 2-0 home win over in-form Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening. Their record since the turn of the year has been rather patchy, though, with two wins, two draws and two defeats (5-0 at home to Forest Green Rovers and 2-0 at home to Barrow).
Away from home, Newport have won seven league games, drawn one and lost four, with 28 goals scored and 22 conceded.
The Exiles have some money behind them this season and Justin Edinburgh has packed his squad with players with a strong non-League pedigree, including keepers Alan Julian and ex-Card Lenny Pidgeley; top BSP scorer Aaron Oâ€™Connor, formerly with Edinburgh at Rushden; Tony James, the hugely-experienced centre back previously with Hereford, Weymouth and Burton; the ex-AFC Wimbledon quartet of Lee Minshull, Max Porter, Ismail Yakubu and Christian Jolley; Danny Crow, the former Cambridge and Luton striker; and winger Robbie Wilmott, also with Cambridge and Luton on his CV. Two recent signings are Will Evans from Hereford, whoâ€™s been brought in following midfielder Lee Evansâ€™s transfer to Wolves for an undisclosed fee, and Scott Donnelly from Farnborough.
Aaron Oâ€™Connor has missed recent games, having been injured in Countyâ€™s shock defeat by Barrow.
Over 65s/Students Â£10
The Club will be selling, at a bargain price of Â£2, the programme printed for the original fixture on 22 January, which had to be postponed at the last minute when the snow suddenly descended. The programme is a â€˜mustâ€™ for anyone interested in local football, with Bob Cummingâ€™s review of the progress of teams in Surrey and beyond. There is also an interview with John Nutter, an opposing view from a Newport County fan, plus news from the BSP, match reports, previews, superb action photos and much more. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on email@example.com
LAST TIME OUT
Newport County 2 Woking 3
27 October 2013
In one of the biggest shocks of the season to date, Woking, with only one win away from home, inflicted the first home league defeat on leaders Newport County.
The Cards got off to a perfect start as a clever ball from Gavin McCallum in the 6th minute found Kevin Betsy in the area. Betsy made space and finished from the tightest of angles. On the quarter-hour mark it was that man Betsy again, picking up the ball from a corner, beating two defenders and drilling past Lenny Pidgeley once more.
Woking looked worth their two-goal lead but just before half-time a superb Andy Sandell free-kick reduced the deficit. Newport looked much more determined in the second half, although Woking had chances on the counter-attack too. An inspired substitution from Garry Hill saw Bradley Bubb, coming on for Loick Pires, extend Wokingâ€™s lead in the 67th minute.
There was the usual last-gasp drama for Woking as Flynn headed home for County with two minutes remaining but the Cards held firm for a well-deserved victory.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Gavin McCallum (Adam Doyle 90) Loick Pires (Bradley Bubb 65)
Unused subs: Sam Beasant, Dean Sinclair, Brett Williams
Goals: Betsy 6 and15; Bubb 67
Cautions: Ricketts 24
Newport County: Lenny Pidgeley, Andrew Hughes, Tony James, Lee Minshull, Danny Crow, Andy Sandell, Jake Thomson (Jefferson Louis 71), Max Porter, Ben Swallow (Conor Washington 81), Aaron O'Connor, Lee Evans (Michael Flynn 84)
Unused subs: Jake Harris, Joe Perry
Goals: Andy Sandell 45; Michael Flynn 89
The Cards face two long journeys: to Barrow on Tuesday (19 February) and then to Southport the following Saturday (23 February). The Cardsâ€™ next home game is the re-arranged fixture against promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday 26 February.
Come on, you Cards!