County Downing

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Nick Hewer, Countdown

Nick Hewer, Countdown

Now then, wasn’t it deeply satisfying to grab the win late on against Plymouth indoors? Not only did we put them to the sword with a bang on display of counter attacking football, but we’ve gone and rubbed John Sheridan up the wrong way again – that’s worth three points in itself if you were asking us for a vox pop on the television news.

“[Stevenage] are ugly the way they play,” laments our old mucker Sheridan, of course renowned for the stylish way of play that saw his former Chesterlona side promoted as League Two champions in 2011 and dumped back down the very next year. Now, however, we must turn our attention towards Boro’s next task in hand and Newport County.

Our first meeting with the Exiles came at Dave Parade back in December and, for us, was one of the “least-best” performances we’d seen from a Boro’ side in some time. But we’re an entirely different proposition these days, right? And recent results have shown how resolute we are. Who’d have thunk a point at Wycombe would prove disappointing?

We roll into this fixture with the fifth best home form in the division and without the “wrong sort of result” in five now. On the other side of the fence, our guests come to us with a patchy run of form that has seen them pick up seven points from 18. Don’t get too excited yet; Newport’s last two on the road were at Wycombe and Burton. Both were wins.

A travelling County side is one to be wary of. Now managed by our old pal Jimmy Dack, the side are fourth best on the road in League Two this term – even if they’ve won as many as they’ve lost. And a quarter of their away games have ended 1-0 in their favour. And that’s a pickler, given that we’re not averse to a 1-0 win on our home patch either.

The signing of Keith Keane should give us a good old heave in the right direction as far as personnel goes. He’s just as likely to be given a debut at left back in place of Roarie Deacon (who we think has a knock) as he is to in midfield. But then you have to ask yourself who makes way from a midfield unit that looks fairly settled at this moment in time.

It’s a tough one to call, with the bookmakers siding with us this weekend – but only just. You can bag a home win at 29/20 at BetVictor, with 11/5 the best price on the away side coming out on top. Paddy Power is offering you 4/5 on Under 2.5 Goals – that’s what we reckon, at least. And a mere threes on Ken Bennedy to score any time? Why not…

And with that, there’s nothing left but to see how this one pans out. We’ve shown in the past few outings that having the best away form in the division doesn’t necessarily get you over the line at the Lamex. And who knows, we could be sitting pretty in seventh and looking down on John Sheridan after this weekend’s digs – and wouldn’t that be a laugh?

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