All you need to know ahead of the game with the Exiles
Luton Town v Newport County
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 20th December 2014, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
• Hatters won nine of last 10 at home in all comps
• Newport lost just one of last 17 in League 2
• Head2Head: Town wins: 28, Newport wins: 13, Draws: 14
WHO? Newport County AFC, to give them their full title. The ‘old’ club folded before it reformed in 1989 and began playing in Hellenic and Southern Leagues. They made it all the way back to the Football League two seasons back after winning the Conference Play-Off final in 2013. At the helm is former Rushden & Diamonds manager Justin Edinburgh, who took over with the club languishing in the Conference relegation zone. Last season County finished 14th in League 2 in their first season back in the Football League.
RECENT FORM. County are the form team in the division. They’re unbeaten in nine league matches and have lost just once in their last 17 games in League 2. Edinburgh’s side lost their first three leagues (first four in all, if you include the League Cup) but since the end of August they have been almost unstoppable. However, the Town already have form against County this season – John Still’s side recorded a 4-2 win over the Exiles in an FA Cup first round tie in early November.
TICKET NEWS. Tickets are still available online and from the Hatters’ ticket office at normal matchday prices. The Club are also hosting a special recruitment drive from Vauxhall Motors, and any unemployed supporter wishing to attend the game can sit in the Oak Road end for just £10. Click here for more information.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? Saturday’s meeting will be the 56th meeting between the two clubs and the Hatters will be aiming to maintain a remarkable home record against County which has seen the Town win 20 of the 28 matches on Bedfordshire soil. Furthermore, expect goals. In the previous 55 matches a total of 125 goals have been scored, which works out at an average of three-and-a-half goals per game. Expect a 0-0 now!
TOWN CONNECTIONS. Newport have former Hatters Robbie Willmott, Danny Crow and Aaron O’Connor in their squad, although on Saturday only Crow could be in the matchday squad. Willmott is out injured, whilst leading goalscorer O’Connor is suspended after receiving a red card last weekend. Of the current Hatters squad Fraser Franks once spent a short time on loan with the Exiles.
REF WATCH. Darren Drysdale. The RAF sergeant is the man in the middle on Saturday. Strict? Well, the whistler has sent-off three players in his last four matches. They are three of four red cards he has shown in 13 matches this term. He’s also brandished 44 yellow cards. The last Hatters match he oversaw was an FA Cup replay at Brentford on 27th November 2007, which the Town won 2-0 thanks to goals from centre-halves Jaroslaw Fojut and Chris Coyne. Before that, his last game officiating a Town game was 5-1 defeat at Preston in the Championship in February 2006, in which he sent-off Marlon Beresford. Mr Drysdale’s only visit to Kenilworth Road as a referee came in January 2005 when the Town beat Stockport 3-0.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Town have captain Stephen McNulty available once more after he served a one-match suspension for a red card at Morecambe. The Town do, however, remain without injured quartet Paul Benson, Luke Guttridge, Alex Lawless and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu. Read more about Saturday's team news from John Still here. You can watch the manager's press conference on Hatters Player.
LIVE AND ONLINE.Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from Kenilworth Road. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself. Click here to read more about the advantages of Player – which you can now use on mobile and tablets!
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