A short hop to South Wales awaits for City this weekend as the Grecians take on Newport.
Here’s a recap on the County.
- Founded: 1912
- Nicknames: The Exiles
- Honours: Division 3 South (1938/39), Welsh FA Cup (1979/80), Conference South (2010/11)
- Home Kit: HUMMEL Amber shirts with Black trim, black shorts and amber socks.
- Away Kit: HUMMEL Light blue shirt with dark blue sleeves, light blue shorts and socks.
- Form: WWWLD (5th in League Two)
In 1912 Newport County were formed following a meeting at the Tredegar Arms Hotel as a replacement for the deformed Newport FC (1907).
The South Welsh city lies just off the Severn Estuary and is Exeter’s nearest League away trip this season. The city was founded after the Norman Invasion and in the height of the industrial revolution was Wales’ leading coal port. In 1963, Newport Rugby Club beat the touring New Zealand All Blacks. Newport was given city starts in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
The first season as Newport County was in the second division of the Southern League. In 1920, Newport were elected as founding members of Division Three. In 1938/39 Billy McCandless guided the Welsh outfit to their only Football League honour as the Exiles won the Division 3 title.
In 1980 Newport beat Shrewsbury Town 5-1 on aggregate to win the Welsh Cup after seeing off Cardiff City and Wrexham en-route. This qualified Newport for the European Cup Winner’s Cup where they were edged out in the Quarter Finals by East German side Carl Zeiss Jena.
Just seven years later Newport were relegated out of the Football League, and in 1989 went out of business all-together and from the ashes Newport AFC were born. Starting down in the Hellenic League they eventually gained promotion to the Conference in 2011 and beat Wrexham in an all-Welsh tie in the 2013 play-off final.
After a play-off spot last season, Newport are eyeing a similar or better finish this term, going into the game in fifth- just five points behind Exeter.
A local boy, James Rowberry took the reigns of his hometown club in October 2021 and has elevated them into a positive position going into the tail of the season. A distant relative of Tony Pulis, Rowberry decided to go into coaching at the age of 21 and gained his UEFA Pro licence in 2014.
After a brief spell coaching the Cardiff City first team with Russell Slade, Rowberry would go on to work with Paul Trollope and Neil Warnock. After Michael Flynn’s departure in October, there was no hesitation in the 36-year-old’s mind when he took to the touchline at the stadium mere minutes from his childhood home.
- Name: Rodney Parade
- Capacity: 8,700 (7,850 for football)
- Year opened: 1877
- Record Attendance: 9,836 (vs Spurs, FA Cup Third Round 2018)
- Address: Rodney Road, Newport, South Wales, NP19 0UU
Owned by the Welsh Rugby Union, County moved into the multi-purpose Rodney Parade in 2012 and groundshare with Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC.
The second oldest sports venue in the Football League (after Preston’s Deepdale), in the 1800’s the Parade was the Welsh Rugby home ground- and the stadium has hosted South Africa and New Zealand in Rugby Union matches early in the 20th Century.
In 2007 plans were drawn up and accepted to extend the stadium to 15,000 capacity though the capacity remains just under 9,000.
One To Watch
There’s little surprise as to who City will have to keep quiet to heighten their chances of getting a result this weekend.
Top scorer in League Two with 24 goals this season, Dom Telford is averaging a goal every 104 minutes, including an eleven-goal spell in just seven games between October and November.
History against City, Telford headed the equaliser at Rodney Parade in this fixture last season but take his recent goalless form (6 games) with a pinch of salt. Telford is a constant presence in the attacking half and with Newport having netted 62 times this season, he’s not the only one able to threaten the scoreboard.
It is even readings for Exeter City against all variations of Newport County. This will be the 128th meeting between the two clubs and almost 350 goals have been scored in that time.
Exeter City are unbeaten in the last five meetings and both go into this game knowing the so-called permutations.
Exeter City wins: 44
Newport County wins: 45
Exeter City 2 Newport County 2 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | October 16, 2021
Managerless Newport held the Grecians at home, as Matt Jay and Sam Nombe were on target for the reds.
Exeter City 0 Newport County 0 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | April 24, 2021
Honours ended even as both play-off chasing sides cancelled each other out.
Newport County 1 Exeter City 1 | Sky Bet League Two | Rodney Parade | February 16, 2021
The 9-men Grecians showed proud resilience to pick up a point at Rodney Parade. Ryan Bowman netted and saw Red as Newport’s late equaliser stripped Exeter of a memorable victory.
Although most club’s chose to kick off Saturday games at 3pm, after floodlights were fitted at Somerton Park, Newport would start games at 3:15 to allow steelworkers to attend. It was only following relegation to the Conference in the mid-80’s that County switched to three o’clock kick offs.