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Posted Fri 01 Jan 16

Preview: Newport County v Hartlepool United

Newport County v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 2nd January 2016
Kick-off: 3pm

The Story So Far
Newport County began the new campaign in sluggish form and just one win in their opening nine League Two outings saw John Sheridan replace Terry Butcher in the Rodney Parade hotseat.

And Sheridan made an almost immediate impact and a run, making The Exiles more difficult to beat and earning excellent victories over Wycombe Wanderers, Bristol Rovers and Luton Town.

County were rooted to the bottom when he arrived but he’s injected a new spirit in to their young squad and they currently lie above Pools on goal difference ahead of Saturday’s meeting.


One To Watch
Midfield star Mark Byrne is the only outfield player to have appeared in every league game so far this season, underlining his important to the John Sheridan’s outfit.

After arriving in South Wales on a short-term deal last summer, the former Nottingham Forest youngster quickly earned an extension and is now wearing the captain’s armband at Rodney Parade.

Last Meeting
Tuesday 18th August 2015
Hartlepool United 1 (Fenwick 51)
Newport County 0

Hartlepool United: Bartlett, Magnay, Harrison, Bates, Carroll, Featherstone, Woods (Walker 86), Duckworth, Bingham, Paynter, Fenwick (Oates 76).
Subs not used: Denton, Jones, Nelson-Addy, Smith, Oyenuga.

Newport County: Day, Holmes, Barrow, Ofori-Twumasi, Poole, Elito, Klukowski (Owen-Evans 73), Parselle, Byrne, Boden, Collins.
Subs not used: Taylor, Hayden, Bamford, Angel, Shephard, Jones. 

Head To Head
Since Newport County returned to the Football League in 2013, Pools have crossed paths with them on five occasions – and they’ve won two and only lost once.

The 1-0 win over The Exiles in the opening month of the campaign was part of Pools’ stunning start and this weekend offers Ronnie Moore’s men the first chance to complete a double this term.

The only time County have got the upper hand was when they met back in November 2013 when goals from then Newport man Harry Worley and Conor Washington secured a 2-0 triumph at Rodney Parade.

Team News
Ronnie Moore is waiting on the fitness of Carl Magnay (groin) but Michael Duckworth (stomach), Billy Paynter (Achilles) and Harry Worley (ankle) are all definitely ruled out.


Referee
Brendan Malone will take charge of only his third Pools game this weekend when he officiates our game against Newport County at Rodney Parade.

The Wiltshire whistler is in to his sixth season as a referee having spent a decade running the line in the Football League and last took charge of a Pools game last August when we won at AFC Wimbledon.

His most recent outing came at Loftus Road on Monday when he was the man in the middle for Queens Park Rangers’ 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town.

Ticket Information
Tickets are available to Pools fans on the day at Rodney Parade by reporting to the Mobile Ticket Unit which is located close to the away turnstiles.


Live Commentary
Fans all over the world will be able to enjoy full live online commentary of Saturday’s game by logging-on to Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.


Betting
Pools are rated a 5/2 shot for three points in South Wales this weekend, while hosts Newport are 11/10 favourite and the draw is priced at 12/5 with Sky Bet right now.