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Match Previews

Preview: Newport (H)

19 February 2019

Notts County host Newport on Tuesday looking to record a third straight win in Sky Bet League Two.

The Magpies have beaten promotion-chasing Mansfield and Forest Green in their last two matches after drawing with table-topping Lincoln the week before.

And a win against the Exiles would see them climb out of the relegation zone.

Standing in the way are a side who saw their Emirates FA Cup run come to an end at the weekend as they were beaten by Premier League champions Manchester City in round five.

Their league form has been inconsistent in recent weeks with two wins, two draws and two losses in their last six and they occupy 15th place in the table.

Newport are only nine points off the play-offs, though, and they have two games in hand due to their cup commitments.

Neal Ardley says…

“We go in as favourites but it will be our toughest and most important game because of the expectations.

“If we win it’s another one on the list ticked off and that will give us more leeway at the end of the season when it’s crunch time – all that matters is being out of the relegation zone on 4 May.

“Newport will come here with the right attitude and it’ll be a tight match. Fine margins can win and lose games and we need to fall on the right side like we have recently.

“They went so far in the FA Cup because they ask a lot of questions of you – if we don’t answer them our unbeaten run will be over.”

Team news

Ardley has suggested he might make changes following his side’s efforts in the Nottinghamshire Derby victory, so Kane Hemmings and Lewis Alessandra may fancy their chances of a start after coming off the bench at the weekend.

Late decisions will be made on the fitness of a few players as Notts play their second of three matches in seven days.

Newport’s Padraig Amond has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season and is likely to start up front alongside Jamille Matt, who’s got 15 himself.

Former Notts man Joss Labadie is expected to line up in the centre of the park for the Exiles.

We’ve met before

Notts recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory the last time the sides met at Meadow Lane with Jorge Grant netting a brace and Shola Ameobi scoring the other.

Hemmings and Kristian Dennis both hit their first goal for the Magpies in August when Matt’s late strike earned Newport a 3-2 win, with Fraser Franks and Mark Harris also on target for the Exiles.

Elsewhere in League Two

It’s a big evening in the division’s relegation battle with four of the bottom seven in action.

19th-placed Cheltenham will hope to avoid a third straight defeat when Cambridge, who are 20th ahead of kick-off, visit the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Port Vale will look for their first win since 19 January as they host Tranmere, while Morecambe – who beat the Valiants at the weekend – visit Paul Scholes’ Oldham.

The evening’s officials

Referee: Simon Hooper

Assistants: Scott Ledger and Derek Eaton

Fourth official: Darren Drysdale


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