Exiles boss hails Lenny Pidgeley's return
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh has hailed the return to action of first choice goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley.
The Exiles’ number one played the full 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Cardiff City at Spytty Park.
It was the first time that Pidgeley has featured since last season's Conference play-off final victory over Wrexham at Wembley due to personal reasons.
And Edinburgh was delighted to see the former Chelsea stopper back between the posts, despite his side going down 4-0 to a strong Bluebirds team.
“It’s good to see Lenny back,” said Edinburgh. “It was a fantastic workout against Premiership players and an opportunity for everyone to improve their fitness, because we did a lot of chasing out there!”
The visitors, who fielded first-teamers Mark Hudson, Kevin McNaughton, Craig Noone, Don Cowie and Joe Mason, won the match with goals from Mason, Cowie, youngster Kadeem Harris and substitute Etien Velikonja.
County fielded new signing Tom Naylor alongside Andrew Hughes, Ryan Jackson, Mike Flynn, Max Porter, Robbie Willmott, Danny Crow, Conor Washington and youth team players Ellis Redman and Alex Zanotti.
Edinburgh was pleased with Naylor’s display and says the 22-year-old, who joined on loan from Derby County this week, can play a big part over the next few months.
“Tom did well,” added the Exiles boss. “He is getting to know the rest of the lads and how we play but he looked good out there.
“Byron will be out for a while and we knew of Tom’s availability so we’re glad to get him in until the first week in January.
“We knew all about his ability from the three games he played against us for Grimsby last season and he’s a fantastic player with a bright future.
“His flexibility will be key for us as well because he can play at the back or in midfield and he will be important for us.”
Naylor could play some part in Saturday’s clash with Bristol Rovers and County chiefs are hoping for a near sell-out.
The capacity for the all-ticket match will be 6,489 and 4,300 tickets have so far been sold, including 1,100 Pirates fans.
Meanwhile, former County striker Ryan Charles has joined Frome Town.
Charles, aged 23, left Rodney Parade in January this year. He played for Hemel Hempstead Town at the end of last season and spent pre-season with Hitchin Town.