Call us crazy, but we’ve this strange feeling the Pools Panel may have to call this one. Storm Callum is rockin’ and a-rollin’ around the South Wales coast; bringing with it an Amber warning for rain that’s due to last until Saturday evening. And let’s face it – Dave Parade ain’t exactly well known for taking the weather well. That’s what happens when you share a home with some egg-chasers. Them lot can’t get enough of the mud.
If you aren’t turning back by the time you’re fannying around for your £5.60 to get into the Principality, what we have is an intriguing game in store. And a cold, wet and grim one. That’s beside the point, however. Them third, us fifth and both making decent starts to the season. We’ve both had our “hiccups” too, although we suppose the classy thing would be to not draw attention to them. We’d eight to look silly now, wouldn’t we?
Newport County v Stevenage: Bits and Pieces
P3 W2 D0 L1 F7 A4; last result: Norwich City 3-1 Stevenage, 14/08/2018
The season is now so long in the tooth that we’re having to recycle referees. Craig Hicks, part deux; this man with a whistle in the middle is taking charge of his 14th match of term and the second that involves us. Now, we’re obvs going to gloss over the fact we lost to Norwich so we can say he’s been good for us so far; two in two in the league, if you will. If card counts tickle your fancy, his stands at 48 yellow and two red so far.
P8 W5 D2 L1 F15 A10; last result: Newport County 0-1 Stevenage, 07/04/2018
Goals aren’t normally a problem for us; our April win at Dave Parade the first time in seven that we didn’t put at least two goals past the Welsh side. It’s all Hamilton Academical in the grand scheme of things, though. Us and them have both seen change over the last six months; Fraser Franks has crossed the floor and goalscorer Chris Whelpdale is gone too. Can we make it eight unbeaten against ’em? Well, it’d beat Tuesday’s eight…
It’s been quite a turnaround in fortunes for Newport. After being a fag paper’s width from naffin’ off back to the Conference, the Exiles are taking steps in an upward sort of way. Third in the table as things stand, they have the second best record over the last eight. And that includes shipping six goals at home to Yeovil. Come on guys – what sort of team lets themselves get dry humped like that indoors? It’s not a good look…
While a tough game awaits us, it seems like a good time to mention that Newport have let in two (or more) in each of their last three home matches. And they’re a bit sleepy too; nearly two-thirds of their goals conceded have been in the first half, more than a quarter of which have gone in during the first 15. Catch ’em early is an obvious piece of advice, but we haven’t scored before the 20th minute yet. So, how this works we don’t know.
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Newport County Club Profile