Exiles aim to exploit rivals’ cup exploits
WOKING v COUNTY (Tomorrow, KO 3pm)
NEWPORT County AFC are out for revenge at Woking tomorrow as they aim to take advantage of promotion rivals Wrexham and Grimsby Town’s FA Trophy commitments.
Wrexham host Gainsborough Trinity and the Mariners face Dartford as they look to match County’s feat of reaching Wembley.
And that gives the Exiles the chance to play catch-up in the Blue Square Bet Premier, where they have two games in hand over second-placed Wrexham and one over leaders Grimsby.
Not that manager Justin Edinburgh is underestimating 12th-placed Woking. The Surrey outfit have beaten Luton Town, Ebbsfleet United, Hyde and Alfreton Town this year and they earned a shock 3-2 win at Rodney Parade in October.
“Woking will be full of confidence having won their last four so they’ll probably come at us and that might be good for us,” said Edinburgh.
“We’ll look to hit them on the counter-attack but I expect a tough encounter.
“They beat us at home and Gary Hill’s teams are always full of goals so we’ll have to be on top of our game.
“But Grimsby and Wrexham are not playing so it’s one of our games in hand and we want to reduce the deficit as soon as we can.”
Edinburgh defended his team’s recent record after Tuesday’s win over Mans-field Town made it 17 points from the last 30 available.
“There’s a lot been said (about our form) but in our last 10 games we’ve won five, drawn two and lost three and that’s not too much off two points a game,” he said. “If you do that throughout the duration of the season you win the league so we haven’t done too badly.
“And we’ve played a lot of the best teams in the league in Wrexham, Forest Green twice, Luton and Mansfield.
“But the win the other night lifted the mood around the club and I was very pleased with the performance.”
Edinburgh, who yesterday added former Llanelli striker Rhys Griffiths to his squad, picked out recent signings Byron Anthony and Christian Jolley for praise.
“Byron came in under difficult circumstances at right-back when Pipey was injured and the games didn’t go to plan but the last two games have shown why we brought him to the club,” he said.
“Getting a clean sheet was important and at the other end Christian Jolley did well.
“It’s been difficult for him because being recalled to Wimbledon and not playing definitely set him back,” he added. “Getting his first goal as a permanent Newport County player will do him the world of good and I’m pleased for him.”
Andrew Hughes (groin) could be available but Aaron O’Connor (thigh), Max Porter (groin), Jake Harris (thigh) and Ben Swallow (hamstring) are ruled out.