Preview – Away In Some Danger: Newport County v Stevenage (14 Dec 2019)

‘Twas the last away day before Christmas, and we could do with an early present or two at Dave Parade. Keeping back all our goals for the Trophy might get us a date at Wembley next April, but it might also get us two dates with Boreham Wood and Eastleigh next season. With no league goals to our name since defeating Morecambe six weeks ago, we’re in danger of getting cut lose and left running in a two-horse race for relegation.


Newport County v Stevenage: The Preview…

Newport County – who are they?

We’re ending 2019 (almost) as we started it – by taking on the Exiles. And, despite Kurtis Guthrie being sent off that day, we took home the three points thanks to a decisive strike from sub Alex Revell’s. It extended our unbeaten home run against the Welsh side to five matches, with a 3-3 draw on the opening day of the 2017-8 campaign being the only time we’ve not won a head-to-head indoors.

But that’s all irrelevant. We’re not playing this game at home. Nope. We’re hitting the road. Our record at their place isn’t rubbish, nor is it amazing. There’s a pair of wins and a pair of defeats, with a draw in the mix for good measure. Last time at Dave Parade, the hosts won with a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Now, that’s very much the hammer blow we could do without in our current strife. It’s all proving tough enough as it is.

Our Record vs Newport County: P 10 — W 6 — D 6 — L 2 — F 17 — A 12 — Pts 20
Last time out: Stevenage 1-0 Newport County, 01 January 2019

How are Newport County doing so far this season?

Newport are sorta middling around at the moment. And County fans can take that from us with a pinch of salt. We *know* everyone else is doing better than Boro’. We’re not stupid enough to use our own form as a yardstick for everyone else. But it’s true all the same guys. The Exiles sit in 12th, which – out of 24 teams – is middling to us. Yet, things ain’t been all that rosy for ’em of late.

It’s four straight league defeats for Newport. It’s sent ’em plunging down the form table, but even then it’s 10 points from a possible 24 – the same as us. It’s weird, though. Despite an iffy run of late, the side still have the best defensive record in the division; letting in only 15 from their 18 matches played. It’s not much better at the other end of the field, to be fair. In scoring just 17 during that time, only Walsall and – er – us are more toothless? Or less toothy? We’ll look into that one.

So, goals galore here yeah?

Tell us something we don’t know about Newport County

If we’re being pedantic, this is the second incarnation of Newport County after the first – formed in 1912 – went out of business in 1989. It makes this side just over 30-years-old. And the nickname? Well, that’s because the ‘new’ club couldn’t play at the old Somerton Park stadium to start with. And that meant playing their first home games 80 miles away across the border in Gloucestershire.

What’s my age again?

32? You look good for it, however old you are anyway…

What are the bookies’ odds for this game?

The odds could well change between now and kick-off, but it’s almost a shoe-in that you’ll find the hosts in favour at the bookies. At first glance, 19/20 (Marathon) is the best price on a home win. In contrast, we’re 7/2 (multiple) for the win. For two goal-shy sides, could a cheeky little 50p on Under 1.5 Goals be worth a shot at 15/8 (multiple)? And if it’s a question of both teams to score, “no” being the answer is 3/4 (BetVictor).

Don’t forget – be responsible. And when the fun stops, stop.

Which Newport County player should we watch out for?

For a team not exactly bangin’ them in, it might seem odd that our player to watch out for is striker Padraig Amond. But he has nine goals to his name so far this season, which is taking the burden of the scoring duties for the Exiles. Sure, three or four of those came in cup games. And yet he’s still averaging a goal every 195 minutes. He didn’t score in his last outing, which means we’re gonna ride our luck here if he’s sticking to that.

Who is our ref for this match?

Chris Sarginson. Back on the Boro’ beat for the second time this season, Sarge ain’t the ref to help us sort our lives out. Ignore the fact he saw us knocked out of the League Cup at the first time of asking earlier this season. We haven’t won any of our last seven games that he’s been in charge of. GW was in charge the last time we came out on top on his watch – four-and-a-half long years ago. At least we’ve scored a goal in the last three of those seven…

Our Record: P 18 — W 4 — D 7 — L 7 — F 15 — A 26
Last time out: Stevenage 1-2 Southend United, 13 August 2019

And, finally, what do you reckon?

We can’t buy a league goal for love nor money and, at the moment, neither can Newport. You’d think that something had to give at Dave Parade this weekend. But you’d also think it won’t us bucking the trend. Expect a lot of huff and a lot of puff – and then for the Exiles to blow our house down in the 94th minute. It’s how it goes when you’re in our situation…

Newport County v Stevenage scorecast: 1-0