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Scouting Report: Newport County

17 July 2013

We continue our summer feature looking at the teams we’ll come up against in League Two next term.

The next object of our attention in our regular summer feature is the team that have returned to the Football League after a 25-year absence – Newport County.

Who’s in charge?
Former Spurs defender Justin Edinburgh is the man charged with the responsibility of leading Newport County back in to the Football League in 2013/14.

Edinburgh has been at the County helm since October 2011 to succeed Anthony Hudson and he quickly set about driving the club away from the Conference relegation zone.

He cut his managerial teeth at Billericay Town before moving on to Fisher Athletic in 2006 and then enjoying spells in charge at Grays Athletic and Rushden & Diamonds.

After celebrating promotion with Newport last season Edinburgh was voted as Blue Square Premier Manager of the Year.

Where do they play?
Newport County play their home games at Rodney Parade, which also plays host to Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons.

The ground was first opened in 1877 but it wasn’t until May 2012 that County became tenants there after leaving their Newport Stadium home.

Rodney Parade has an overall capacity of over 11,000 but this is reduced to around 7,000 for football matches.

Where did they finish last term?
County finished third in the Blue Square Premier Bet Conference last season to qualify for the end of season play-offs.

What’s their story?
It’s a quarter of a decade since Newport County slipped out of the Football League and they went out of business in 1989, before re-forming shortly afterwards.

For a time they had to play their games in Gloucestershire town Moreton-in-Marsh before moving back in to Newport for the start of the 1994/95 season.

They slowly worked their way back up the pyramid and at the start of the 2010/11 campaign they were playing in the Conference once more and on the brink of a return to the Football League.

In 2012/13 they made it to the Play-Off Final where they defeated Wrexham 2-0 at Wembley to end their 25-year Football League exile.

When did we last meet?
It was in February 1988 when Pools last took on Newport County when a Andy Toman penalty and a brace from John Borthwick secured a 3-2 win in Wales.

The new season will give us our 37th and 38th meetings with County, the first coming back in August 1962 with a 3-2 defeat at The Vic.

On the 36 previous clashes, Pools have won just eight and County have celebrated victory on 18 occasions to gain the upper hand in the head-to-head statistics.

What are the connections?
There are not too many playing links between Pools and Newport. Midfielder Steve Tupling did spend some time there after leaving Darlington in the late 1980s, while strikers Alan Waddle and Paul Williams also played for Welsh club, as did 70s Scousers Dave Rylands and Frank Pimblett. 

Current County centre-back Harry Worley had a trial at Pools in 2009 while on Leicester's books. He played once for the Reserves against Leeds.

We didn't start playing Newport in the League until the regional Third Division was abandoned in 1968 and it’s been many years since our last meeting. Consequently, all of the highest appearance-makers are from the early Fourth Division days. Alan Goad tops the list with 12 appearances, followed by John Gill and George Potter with nine each. 

Ernie Phythian scored five times against the Welshmen, with Mally Moore (3), Peter Thompson, Bob Newton and John Borthwick (2 each) the only other Poolies to score more than once.

When do we play them?
Pools will travel to Newport County on Friday 15th November with the Welsh outfit due to make the long trip for the return fixture on Saturday 15th February 2014.

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