Cobblers hoping history repeats itself as unbeaten Newport County come to town

Joe Powell celebrates his match-winning strike against Newport in March with Charlie Goode
Joe Powell celebrates his match-winning strike against Newport in March with Charlie Goode

The Cobblers will be hoping history repeats itself on Saturday when they host unbeaten Newport County at the PTS Academy Stadium (ko 3pm).

The south Wales outfit travel to Town sitting in second place in Sky Bet League Two, having won four and drawn three of their seven fixtures to date.

Michael Flynn’s side will in fact be defending a 17-match unbeaten run in the league, dating back to March 12 - when they were beaten by the Cobblers!

Joe Powell’s stunning late strike was the difference between the teams on that occasion at the PTS, but the result sparked a 10-match unbeaten run that saw County book a place in the promotion play-offs, only to lose in the final to Tranmere Rovers.

But Town boss Keith Curle and his players can take heart from that result and performance, as they bid to become the first team to beat Newport in the league this campaign.

And they can also take heart from the fact Newport have lost on all five of their previous visits to Sixfields.

“Newport have an air of confidence about them, and have an understanding of how they play,” said the Cobblers boss, who could welcome fit-again midfielder Alan McCormack into the squad for the first time since the opening day of the season.

“They get the ball forward, they get people in the right areas, they play the numbers game and flood areas.

“They have good ball retention, keep the ball alive, and they get the ball into the box at every opportunity.”

While Newport are unbeaten, the Cobblers slipped to their fourth defeat of the league season on Saturday when they went down 2-1 at Bradford City.

But Curle is upbeat about his side’s chances.

“Every game that we have played we have been very competitive in, and it won’t be any different on Saturday,” he said.

“It will be a tough game, with both teams trying to get on the front foot.

“I think it will be an entertaining game, I think both teams will try to dominate possession, and it’s going to be a case of which team is forced on to the back foot first.”