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16 October 2021 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 The Exiles Angle: Caitlin Bennett- Her Game Too

The Newport view on Saturday's game

16 October 2021

Today's game against Newport County will be an enticing fixture. Who better to get the County Point of View than Exiles fan, ex-media assistant at Rodney parade and co-founder of Her Game Too, Caitlin Bennett.

Cait studied Sports Journalism at the University of Gloucester and is one of the leading student writers in the country. This year, Caitlin featured on the final shortlist for the Football Writers Association Student Awards. Before this, she worked for the FA as a reporter before joining Newport County as a media assistant in June last year. 

In the off-season, Caitlin was contacted by fellow County fan Izzy Perry to take part in the first #HerGameToo video which ammassed over 1.5m views. Now Cait works as a junior Social Media executive at Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing and has thankfully taken time out of her busy schedule to chat to us about her love of Newport County. 

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Hiya Caitlin! Thanks for chatting to us! 

What are your first memories supporting Newport?

My first memory of supporting Newport County is actually the fact that I didn’t want to go. It was the 2009/10 season and my mum was working away, so I had to go over Spytty Park with my dad and my brother, and I instantly fell in love. I remember asking my dad if I could go to the next game with him before 90 minutes was even up.

What have been your highlights in this time? Favourite Game?

My favourite game has to be the 2012/13 Conference Play-Off Final at Wembley. We beat Welsh rivals Wrexham 2-0 with David Pipe as captain and the heroic Justin Edinburgh as manager. Everything about it was magical and I’ll always call it one of the best days of my life.

You were one of the co-founders of Her Game Too, how did that come about and how important has the campaign been for yourself and other women in football?

I got asked by fellow County fan Izzy Perry and Her Game Too founder Caz May if I was interested in being part of a social media video against sexism in football. I immediately though it was a brilliant idea and it all went from there. What started off as 12 girls in a Twitter group chat has grown into a global campaign and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s such an important campaign, because sexism is still so prominent in the game, whether casual or blatant and we’ve heard so many cases in which women and even young girls have been put off watching or playing football because of their experiences of sexist abuse. Education and awareness are key and I think we’re doing an excellent job of both of them. 

You must be proud that your club are being part of the first dedicated EFL fixture to the cause?

The campaign being so well received by my childhood club was one of the best feelings ever. To see the Her Game Too perimeter board over Rodney Parade brought a tear to my eye, as it really confirmed to me how successful this campaign has been (it’s been challenging to take it all in with everything moving so quickly - it’s been surreal). Exeter have been incredibly supportive throughout this whole journey, so for both clubs to come together and dedicate an entire EFL fixture to Her Game Too is huge and really special to me.

How would you sum up County’s season so far?

This season so far for Newport County has been a bit of a mixed bag. Coming into it off the back of losing the Play-Off Final in the manner we did was always going to be difficult. We knew that we had a rebuilding job on our hands, with a number of our best and most established players leaving, but the young talent we’ve brought in has been promising. Michael Flynn leaving has hit hard for a lot of supporters because he’s all we’ve known for so long and we achieved so much under his management. I think there is an heir of uncertainty around the club at the moment, but on the pitch I believe we’ve showed bursts of real potential.

What are your expectations come the end of season?

My expectations coming into the season were that we would do a lot of rebuilding and there would be a fair bit of change, which would probably mean we end up sitting mid table at the end of the campaign, claiming a mixture of results, and that expectation hasn’t changed for me.

Which players should Exeter be wary of?

Ollie Cooper has really stood out to me so far, he brings a lot of energy to the game. I think he’s been a great addition to our midfield as such a young player. He likes to get on the ball and play clever football.

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How would you expect the Exiles to set up against Exeter?

It really is anyone’s guess how we line-up on a matchday. I think we’ll set up with three at the back, five in the middle and two up top. I hope we do, anyway.

What kind of game are you expecting? Open? Cagey etc…?

Games between County and Exeter are often very close, cagey games, but there’s never usually a lot of goals.

And finally, what’s your score prediction for Saturday?

I always stand by the fact that I never make predictions, but 1-1 is my initial thought.

All the best Cait, thank you!     

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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Exeter City 2 Newport County 2

Sponsored by Tracks Suzuki

16 October 2021

Exeter City twice came from behind to record their third draw in a row, at the hands of a strong Newport County side.

Matt Jay cancelled out Robbie Willmott’s opener with a side-footed finish and Sam Nombe expertly guided in his fifth goal in as many games from the edge of the box, as honours were shared.

The boss made two alterations for our dedicated #HerGameToo fixture. Owura Edwards-Owura and Colin Daniel both made their first league starts for the Grecians.

Before kick-off St James Park rose to applaud the lives of Adrian Lazarus and Pete Edwards who sadly passed away this week. Thank you for all your hard work for the club and the City of Exeter!

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Manager-less Newport came with a point to prove and within 12 minutes had the lead.

The Exiles worked the ball down the left with Oliver Cooper. The winger was able to cut the ball back to Robbie Willmott and the former City-loanee fired low past Cam Dawson, to open the scoring for the visitors.

Owura Edwards had the measure of his defender down the left and looked bright in an otherwise slow first 20 minutes for the Grecians. Archie Collins had City’s first effort, with  a speculative effort which daisy-cut its way wide.

That was the momentum lift City needed and Captain Fantastic found himself on the scoresheet again.

The skipper received the ball in the middle of midfield and danced his way forward. From the edge of the box, Jay went for goal. There were murmurs of a deflection as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and drew his side level.

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The next five minutes saw wave after wave of City pressure but out of the blue, County bizarrely were back in front.

Courtney Baker-Richardson cut in from the left and what seemed like a routine stop for Dawson, uncharacteristically squirmed past him.   

Undeterred City pushed on. on 38 minutes, Tim Dieng found Jevani Brown cutting inside. Brown went to finesse into the top corner, though it only troubled the fans behind the goal and the first half dwindled out.

Exeter came out fighting, and a passage of precise and inch perfect passes allowed MJ to creep in behind. His whipped ball took a nick off a Newport foot and was diverted wide.

Archie Collins was caught in possession up the other end but Newport piled bodies forward. Alex Hartridge was on hand to force the ball wide. From the resulting corner, Dawson was able to pick the cherry.

After soaking up the pressure, the Grecians were emphatic in their response.

Sam Nombe continued his exemplary form. Owura Edwards found the City number 10 on the left-hand side. Nombe jinked and turned onto his stronger right foot and buried his effort with power into the opposite corner- as the Big Bank erupted.

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Exeter mounted another charge down the left. Jay, Nombe and recently introduced Jake Caprice exchanged superbly. As the captain went for goal, Joe Day ensured the low sun didn’t impede his catch.

Josh Key almost single-handedly created City’s third of the afternoon. The right back battled his man down the wing on 68 minutes. Instead of shooting, which was the more favourable option, Key’s unselfishness looked for MJ, who couldn’t quite find his feet.

Newport captain Matt Dolan’s driven, but deflected, shot was calmly parried by Dawson as both sides searched for a winner.

Dawson made a big save as the game entered the final ten minutes. Cooper found himself one-on-one with the City shot stopper, who stayed big, and Hartridge swept up the danger.

Ed Upson hooked a ball into the away end and Kyle Taylor could only find the gloves of Day though neither threatened a real chance.   

Exeter City: Dawson, Daniel (Grounds 55’), Hartridge, Sweeney, Key, Dieng, Collins, Brown (K. Taylor 85’), Jay, Edwards (Caprice 55’), Nombe

Subs: Lee, Atangana, Ray, Coley

 

Newport County: Day, Norman, Haynes, Upson, Clarke, Willmott, Dolan, Baker-Richardson (Fisher 60’), Telford (Azaz 60’), Demetriou, Cooper (Cain 85’)

Subs: Townsend, Lewis, Abraham, Ellison

 

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 5078 (614 away)

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