All you need to know ahead of tonight's game...and more!
No rest for the wicked for the Town players as they’re back in action under the Kenilworth Road floodlights when promotion chasing Newport are in town.
Who? Newport County AFC to give them their full name. The club from South Wales who finished 19th in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season but are guaranteed a Play-Off place this time around.
Remember remember Newport are keen to point out that their AFC prefix is included whenever they [Newport County AFC] are mentioned. “It is just as important as the AFC in AFC Wimbledon or AFC Telford,” they tell us.
New records Since County’s reformation in 1989 the Town were unbeaten in four games, winning two and drawing two of the four encounters...until December’s 5-2 hammering at Rodney Parade (let’s not go into that). Last season the Hatters won both fixtures and there’s lashings of irony about them both. A 1-0 win at a wet and windy Newport came thanks to a last-minute winner from a certain Danny Crow whilst Crow and Aaron O’Connor were on target in the Town’s 2-0 win at Kenilworth Road. Both players are now on County’s books.
Old records The Hatters had the upper hand in meetings against the old Newport, winning 20 and of the 40 meetings. The Exiles have never won at Kenilworth Road **insert jinx – send nasty emails to our evil press officer for mentioning this**
X-Factor As well as Crow and O’Connor, Newport also have winger Robbie Willmott among their squad. Willmott, meanwhile, left the Hatters this summer for former club Cambridge having scored 16 goals in 67 appearances. He fell out of favour at the Abbey, though, and signed for County in January.
Just so you know Should you find yourselves talking to the County fans at any point tonight, impress them with these Newport-factoids: the locals are known as Newportonians; Margaret Cornelious is the Mayor; it hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010 and the City’s motto is Terra Marique – which means “By land and see”.
Telly addicts Tonight’s game will be broadcast live by Premier Sports TV. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday 16th February before it was moved to Friday 15th for television coverage. But the Town’s run to the fifth round of the FA Cup meant the fixture needed moving once again.
How they doing? Edinburgh’s side confirmed their place in the Play-Offs last Tuesday night thanks to a 1-0 win over Braintree Town at Rodney Parade. The Exiles currently sit third in the Blue Square Bet Premier following wins over Macclesfield and Alfreton on Thursday and Saturday. If they win all their games they can still reach 90 points which would give them the slimmest chance of lifting the title...but they would need Mansfield and Kidderminster to lose all their remaining games.
On the road County will arrive at Kenilworth Road with one of the best away records in the division having won 12 and drawn four of their 21 away matches. Edinburgh’s team have scored more goals away from home than any other side, having notched 40 times. Their remaining two away games come against the Hatters and Play-Off rivals Grimsby who they face on the final day of the season.
Just the ticket
Remember you can take advantage of two great offers by watching the Hatters tonight. Under-17s can go free when accompanied by a full-paying adult, senior or golden senior, whilst season ticket holders can bring a guest for half-price. Click here for the full details
Talking of tickets Season ticket holders must use league voucher 23 for entry for tonight's game. We know there's one home game left...and for Ebbsfleet on Thursday you need to use special cup voucher A.
Team news Goalkeeper Mark Tyler and midfielder Jake Howells are now back in training and could feature against the Exiles. Ronnie Henry had an operation on a hernia last Thursday and is now out for the remaining five games this season.
Talk of the Town
Remember our official matchday programme won a coveted award
recently and, as ever, it’ll be on sale for £3 from the usual locations tonight. Crammed with the latest from the manager, captain, the boardroom and much more, including some never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia from the Hatters’ history.
Still says: “For a manager, I probably couldn’t have come in at a better time.
“When I got there the play-offs were still a possibility. I saw the game at Braintree and felt we needed to move on quickly, without saying we’re not going to get in the Play-Offs.
“I never picked a team ever that I didn’t think could win. What I did feel was important was to get to this stage of the season knowing the changes I needed to be made.
“I think it’s a perfect time to come in, wherever I’m going, whoever I speak to, it’s the same question, how long will it take?
“When the club first spoke to me, I was quite clear that I don’t know, I really don’t.
“But what I do know is that in my time here, we will get a team that’s capable of getting out of this league and sustain that as well.
“I hope that we’re well on the way to that for next season, I really do. Everyone’s working hard, doing the right things in recruitment, the things I normally do to give ourselves the best opportunity to get a team together for next year that can do the best to do that.”
Live and direct
We’ll have all the news as it happens from Kenilworth Road. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it lutontown.co.uk, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook