COUNTY v BRAINTREE (Tonight, KO 7.45)
CONOR Washington or Danny Crow will tonight be sent on a mission to fire in the goals for Newport County in the absence of Conference top scorer Aaron O’Connor.
It is understood that former St Ives postman Washington would’ve got the nod if last week’s clash at Woking hadn’t fallen foul of the weather.
And on that note, tonight’s clash is subject to a pitch inspection this morning following heavy rain. The Argus understands there was standing water on the Rodney Parade playing surface last night and the weather forecast is for more rain. Monitor our website (southwalesargus.co.uk/sport) for updates.
If the game goes ahead, Washing-ton may just get the nod, despite being, as yet, without a single Conference goal, because Crow isn’t considered to be fully match fit after missing two of the past three months.
Top scorer O’Connor is likely to miss at least another fortnight and could be unavailable until the end of February after suffering a torn thigh in last Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Barrow.
It is also looking unlikely that the Exiles will be able to add to their squad before Thursday’s 11pm-transfer deadline, according to County’s director of football Tim Harris.
The Exiles have signed wingers Christian Jolley and Robbie Willmott this month but have missed out on two defenders with County unable to agree terms with Forest Green for Chris Todd and Plymouth signing Northampton Town target Anthony Charles.
“At the moment it’s looking very unlikely we will do anything,” Harris said.
“Justin has explained that he doesn’t want to dilute the quality of the squad and at the moment we don’t feel there is anything we can do to improve the squad that represents value for money.”
The Exiles can still sign players on loan after the January deadline and it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll use that route. They do, however, still have some enquiries outstanding for the next couple of days.
County are boosted tonight by the return of Max Porter with suggestions Edinburgh may also make personnel changes to his defence. Ismail Yakubu and Byron Anthony could both be recalled.
The boss, however, is unlikely to ditch goalkeeper Alan Julian despite mounting pressure from supporters to do so. Edinburgh did, however, warn the former Stevenage stopper that he’s only ever a word away from the axe, just as Lenny Pidgeley was.
“Alan is doing ok, I’m not going to say that everything has been brilliant and he’s on top of his game, but he’s still in the team because I think he deserves to be,” he said.
“But of course, that’s a situation, like with any other position, where it can all change.
“Lenny came out of the side because I felt it was the right time and that could happen to Alan and we’ll decide to bring Lenny back in.
“As far as I’m concerned I’ve got two good goalkeepers and it’s a nice problem to have.”