Stevenage v Newport County AFC: PREVIEW

PUBLISHED: 20:55 31 December 2018

Ben Kennedy of Stevenage on the ball. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ben Kennedy of Stevenage on the ball. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

Stevenage host Newport County AFC at the Lamex on New Year’s Day. Read on for Layth Yousif’s preview

Danny Newton of Stevenage celebrates with team mates after opening the scoring in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Mansfield Town at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOODanny Newton of Stevenage celebrates with team mates after opening the scoring in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Mansfield Town at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

The festive season saw indifferent form for Dino Maamria’s men with an excellent Boxing Day victory at Colchester sandwiched by two defeats to Mansfield and Crewe.

Boro will be looking to start 2019 with a bang against a side they narrowly lost to in South Wales back in October.

The Broadhall Way outfit have won one, drawn one and lost four of their last six league games, an identical record to Mike Flynn’s County.

Boro reside in 12th place, five points off the final play-off place occupied by Exeter City, who sit in seventh spot – while Flynn’s Exiles lie in tenth position.

Looking ahead to the match Maarmia said: “No pressure on the players but I think if we have got a chance of catching up with the pack, we have got to win these games, especially at home.

“We should have got points from games like on Boxing Day. We are higher than them in the table and on a good day we are better than them but we must be on a good day all the time.

“We can’t win games at 70 per cent we must be 90 per cent to win football games and that is my message to the players.”

Padraig Amond is the visitors top scorer with ten goals and five assists, well on the way to easing past his total of 13 goals last term.

Boro have a good head-to-head record over Newport with five wins from nine games against the side from across the Severn Bridge.

However, CometSport was at Rodney Parade to report on Antoine Semenyo’s last-minute strike which saw Flynn’s team grab all three points, County boss Flynn is hoping Semenyo can climb off his sickbed to help aid the Exiles cause on the first day of 2019.

Boro are aiming for revenge in North Herts but Flynn told the South Wales Argus: “I’ve had to make [changes] again because of injuries and we’ve had Antoine missing because of illness.

“It’s been one of those months. The last four to six weeks have been that kind of period. It’s no excuse but it’s caught up with us.”

For tickets visit the Stevenage FC website.

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