Match Preview: Newport vs Cambridge

Up next for Mark Bonner’s flying U’s is a trip to Newport County’s Rodney Parade…

Cambridge face Newport at 12:30pm on Saturday 17th April 2021, with the early kick-off arranged in-order to prevent a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

With just five games to go in the Sky Bet League Two season, the U’s are nicely poised in second place, one point off top placed Cheltenham and with a five-point cushion over Morecambe in fourth.

Newport are just a few places below that in sixth, once again battling themselves for promotion into Sky Bet League One.

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Despite a loss last time out at home to Exeter City, United are in superb form overall with four wins, one draw and that one defeat from their last six games. The U’s have been in fine fiddle on the road too, with five wins from their last eight outings away and a run of scoring at least once in each of the last 11 games away.

Newport on the other hand have won just one from their last six, including two draws and three defeats. At Rodney Parade the Exiles have won two from eight, with three draws and three defeats in that time. It was a goalless draw for Michael Flynn’s men last time out, on Tuesday night at home to Carlisle.

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The two teams have played each other 34 times in total, with Cambridge narrowly having the better of things, winning on 15 occasions to Newport’s 14. The first time the two club’s played was in the FA Cup back in 1953, when a 2-2 draw was followed up by a 2-1 win in South Wales to see United through to the next round.

The last meeting between the two sides was in October 2020, when a brace from Paul Mullin helped secure a 2-1 win at a rain-soaked Abbey Stadium.

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Speaking ahead of the game, U’s Head Coach Mark Bonner said, “Over the last few weeks other results have given us this opportunity, as well as our own. You go back to pre-Oldham and everyone had games in hand and we went on an excellent run ourselves and Tuesday’s results were favourable to us. It’s provided us with a brilliant opportunity going into the last five games where it is in our control. The main focus needs to be ourselves and getting ourselves to the level that we know we can get to.”

“As long as we do that, it is in our control to some extent and we won’t be heavily reliant on other results. The main thing is when you start a season is you want to get to this point where you can really dictate what happens next and players like responsibility. In this situation, we are responsible for our own performances and destiny and that is a brilliant position to be in and an exciting challenge that we have now got over the next few weeks.”

Following their point at home to Carlisle on Tuesday, Newport Manager Michael Flynn said, "It was a hard-fought point and it hasn’t done us too much damage. It was a nervy, hard-fought game between two teams who maybe aren’t at 100 per cent of their form. We have got another tough one on Saturday and the confidence will be good because we finished on a high.”

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Mark Bonner has confirmed that whilst no long-term absentees are set to return, Aji Alese is back in contention after returning to training this week, whilst Harvey Knibbs is still out as he continues his rehab from an injury to his knee.

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Thomas Bramall is in-charge of Saturday’s fixture and has handed out 67 yellow cards and four red cards across 29 in the EFL this season. His last Cambridge game was on 11th February 2020, for the 2-0 win at Scunthorpe in which no cards were brandished.

He will be joined by Assistants Thomas Harty and Christopher Wade. Kevin Morris is listed as Fourth Official.

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Saturday’s match is available to watch with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost just £10 and are available to buy now. The simplest way to do so is by clicking here and selecting the Newport fixture. Either log-in to your existing iFollow account or create a free account by clicking ‘Register Now’.

Once logged in, follow the process to enter your payment details and on Matchday, simply log-in and visit the fixture's Match Centre page to watch the game live from wherever you are. 

Make sure to stay across the club's website and social media channels in the build up to kick-off, as the Matchday Live Team will once again be on the scene to take you closer to the action at Rodney Parade.