Pidgeley boost for County
COUNTY v MANSFIELD (Tonight, KO 7.45)
NEWPORT County are hopeful goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley can play through the pain barrier tonight when Mansfield Town visit Rodney Parade.
The Exiles are looking for a win after a hugely controversial penalty in the final minute of Saturday’s clash with Tamworth cost them two points as they were pegged back to draw 2-2.
The loss of Pidgeley, who left the field on a stretcher, didn’t help their cause but County are hopeful the calf strain victim will be able to play tonight.
And the goalkeeper himself took to Twitter to indicate his desire to feature.
“Hoping to be ok for Tuesday, Max (Porter, captain) had the same injury versus Braintree and he made the Hereford game (three days later on a Tuesday night).”
A County spokesman commented: “We are very hopeful the injury isn’t as serious as it initially looked.
“Lenny was involved with training yesterday and all being well he will be fit to play.”
Meanwhile, new boy Scott Donnelly insists Newport have the talent to bounce back from their latest setback and challenge for promotion.
The former Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City midfielder, a deadline day signing from Farnborough, took just 30 seconds to open his Exiles account against Tamworth on Saturday.
Donnelly was delighted with his goal but is desperate to earn three points for his new side against fellow promotion contenders Mansfield tonight.
“I’ve never scored on my debut at any club I’ve been at so to get one after 30 seconds was nice, it’s just a shame it wasn’t a winner,” said the 25-year-old, who settled in quickly in place of the departed Lee Evans.
“I had the freedom to push on and hopefully if I can keep getting into the box there’ll be more goals to come.
“That was the only real opportunity I had but when I get up to match fitness hopefully there’ll be more goals and more creativity there.”
Donnelly admits the County players were just as angry as manager Justin Edinburgh at referee Kevin Johnson’s penalty decision.
“The referee and linesmen had a poor game,” he said. “I thought he’d given a foul for us on Byron.
“I didn’t think it was a penalty and I don’t think anyone in the ground thought it was a penalty so it was very disappointing because it’s cost us two points.
“They’ve been taken away. We had other opportunities to score but we were winning at the time and without that decision it would have been 2-1 to us.
“They didn’t create a whole lot. The first goal was a big deflection and there was nothing we could do about that or the decision from the referee at the end.”
Sixth-placed Mansfield come to Rodney Parade in stunning form having beaten Barrow 8-1 at the weekend and will overtake their hosts with a win tonight.
But Donnelly is unconcerned, believing County have the talent to threaten any team and sustain the push for a place in League Two next season.
“With the attacking qualities we’ve got up front, on the wings and in the middle of the park there’s no reason why we can’t continue to challenge,” he added.
“The teams around us will drop points as well and there is a long way to go in the season.”
Edinburgh was impressed with his new signing’s debut and he too insisted that promotion is still the aim.
“Scott had a great start and he’ll get better,” said the Exiles boss. “He needs to get up to match speed and he’s still getting to know the players but he showed he will be effective for us.
“We were unlucky (against Tamworth) but it was a vast improvement on the Barrow performance.
“It’s a point and we have to build on that. We know what we want to achieve and our aim hasn’t changed.”