Match Preview: Newport County (A)
EFL League Two
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – KO 7.45pm
Team News: The Bees are without Michael Gash and James Pearson who have long-term knee injuries. Sam Togwell has recently undergone surgery on a hernia and will miss out.
There was good news on Saturday as Gavin Hoyte returned to the starting XI in the 2-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers – his first outing since suffering knee ligament damage at Stevenage in January.
However, left-back Elliott Johnson missed out once more after going off in the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Norwich City at the start of the month.
Last Time We Met: The last game between the two sides took place at the beginning of September but didn’t reach a conclusion as a waterlogged pitch at Rodney Parade saw the game abandoned at half time.
Barnet made the ideal start, John Akinde netting inside a minute after latching onto a flick-on from Ben Tomlinson. However, heavy rain put paid to the game finishing.
Last season Barnet won 3-0 at Rodney Parade – despite Martin Allen missing the match with illness. Goals from Andy Yiadom, Mark Randall – who tucked home after a rare Akinde penalty miss – and Akinde sealed a comprehensive win.
Manager: Graham Westley, 48, was appointed as Warren Feeney’s successor at the beginning of October with the Exiles bottom of EFL League Two – but with two games in hand.
A vastly experienced manager, Westley brought Stevenage into the Football League in 2010 – the first of three spells at Broadhall Way – before winning promotion to League One the following season by triumphing in the play-offs – he also won the FA Trophy in 2009.
Westley was a striker during his playing days and netted once for Barnet during a three-game spell under Barry Fry in 1987. He went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers, Wealdstone and Enfield among others in a lengthy playing career.
In 1996 Westley’s management career began as he was appointed manager of Kingstonian, a club he played for between 1988 and 1990. While at Farnborough he won promotion from the Isthmian Premier Division and clinched the Isthmian Premier Division Cup.
His second spell at Stevenage came to an end in January 2012 when he was appointed boss of Preston North End. Working to reduce the club’s wage bill, Westley could not replicate the success he achieved at Stevenage and soon returned to the Hertfordshire club.
In 2015 Westley was appointed Peterborough United manager but was sacked with Posh 14th in League One after a disappointing run of form. He left the ABAX Stadium with a 45 per cent win record, however.
Dangerman: Experienced striker Jon Parkin, 34, moved to Rodney Parade this summer after failing to win promotion back to the Football League with Forest Green Rovers.
The hulking forward, who was skipper at Rovers, netted 38 National League goals in 70 starts for the ambitious Gloucestershire side as they were twice beaten in the play-offs during two seasons at the New Lawn.
A vastly experienced targetman with more than 500 league appearances to his name, Parkin began his career with Barnsley but first made his name with York City before moving to Macclesfield Town.
His form for the Silkmen earned the Barnsley-born hitman a move to Championship side Hull City. From there Parkin went on to represent Stoke City, Preston North End, Cardiff City and Fleetwood Town before dropping out the Football League for the first time in 2014 to join FGR.
Connections: Westley is not the only person to have turned out for both the Bees and the Exiles, current Barnet Player of the Year Jamie Stephens played for the Welsh outfit before moving to The Hive last summer.
The keeper spent two seasons at Rodney Parade, making 13 appearances, before being released at the end of the 2013/14 season.
Irish midfielder Mark Byrne turned out for both clubs, leaving Newport to join League One Gillingham this summer.
The Dubliner made 163 appearances in black and amber before joining Newport, initially on a short-term basis, at the start of the 2014/15 campaign. He eventually became skipper and made just shy 100 outings for the club.
Centre-back Ismail Yakubu spent four years with Newport County after leaving Barnet in 2010. The Nigerian centre-back spent seven years at Underhill, making 239 appearances before leaving for Wimbledon. He joined Newport in June 2011 and won promotion into the Football League.
Further back, three-time Bees Player of the Year Lee Harrison spent the 2011/12 season with Newport after leaving Barnet. He signed as player-assistant to manager Anthony Hudson and was later caretaker for one game – a defeat to Darlington.
Harrison made more than 300 appearances as a Bee in spells from 1996-2003 and 2006-2010. He has since been Ian Hendon’s goalkeeping coach at Leyton Orient and worked alongside the ex-Bees skipper and manager at West Ham United.
Last Time Out: Newport’s first home game under the stewardship of new boss Westley ended in a 3-1 reverse against League Two leaders Plymouth Argyle.
The Pilgrims went ahead after 38 minutes when Newport keeper Joe Day brought down Jordan Slew inside the penalty area. Day was dismissed and Carey dispatched the penalty cooly.
But the hosts found an equaliser out of the blue five minutes after the restart. Substitute keeper James Bittner, who joined from Plymouth in the summer, launched the ball forward to Jon Parkin who swivelled and volleyed home from 25 yards.
Parity lasted just five minutes, though, as Exiles defender Darren Jones felled Carey in the area. The attacking midfielder went left from the spot this time but again beat Bittner.
The win was sealed 12 minutes from the end when Argyle broke and Carey squared for Slew to tuck home a third.
Newport County (4-4-2): Day; Barnum-Bobb, Bennett, Jones, Cameron; Grego-Cox, Sheehan, Tozer, Green; Parkin, Rigg.
Ticket info: Supporters can buy tickets for tomorrow’s match on the day or, if they have one, use their ticket from the original match which was postponed in September. For more information, click here.