Guess what’s back, back again; football’s back, so, uh, do tell a friend. That said, any friend with an ear to the ground is already up to speed with what matters. The new season is now upon us, almost three months since the last one left us high and dry with a rather grim home defeat to Accrington. That’s behind us now, though. We can’t change the past, but we can shape the future. And what better place to start than indoors against a side who could have so been taking on Dover Athletic this weekend. Hello there, Newport County.
A raft of new arrivals this summer and the fresh momentum behind the North Stand development plans have combined to give off a certain freshness about Boro’. Now into his second full term as gaffer, Darren Sarll has no doubt learned a great deal about what was needed after falling off the promotion pace in the final stretch. Now, we’ve a younger and perhaps more athletic squad; more importantly, we have options across the park. It doesn’t seem as if we’re done with the recruitment drive yet either. Cor! What a time to be alive…
Stevenage v Newport County: The Lowdown
So, what do we have here? With an early entry into this season’s “No shit, Sherlock” competition, Exiles’ gaffer Michael Flynn says he doesn’t “want to be anywhere near where we were last season“. It went down to the last day, but the Welsh side got their reprieve. And we’ll be the first to see how they intend to use it. They must be doing something right. Their flirtation with the drop hasn’t stopped the bookies listing three other sides ahead of them in the relegation stakes. And that they’re here to fight another day is something in itself.
It’s the first day of the season, mate. What can we tell you? After a decent enough pre-season, we look in good nick. But we’ve all been there, crowning ourselves 2001-2 Nationwide Conference champions because we held Tottenham Hotspur at 1-1 for about 10 minutes. The seven goals that followed for Spurs in that game were, of course, purely incidental. Last week’s win at the Daggers was all well and good, but we’d trade it for a win this weekend if the deal was on the table. We have this thing for league points, you see. It’s a cruel vice.
No need to be shy, Martin Coy. Even if this is the first time it seems we’ve met…
P6 W4 D1 L1 F11 A7; last result: Stevenage 3-1 Newport County, 07/01/2017
The FIFA Verdict:
For the sanity of all involved, we’re parking our FIFA Verdict until the new game is out. You may not like it, but – come on – we’d only be able to pick from half a squad.
• BoroGuide’s Newport County club profile: It won’t cost £6.70 to enter; not for much longer, anyway…