NEWPORT County AFC’s fringe players will earn another chance to impress new boss James Rowberry if they avoid defeat at Swindon on Tuesday.

The Exiles head to Wiltshire for their final group game after beating Plymouth 2-0 and losing 4-3 to Arsenal U21s at the death and need a point to progress to the knockout stages.

Argyle and the young Gunners played their final games in Devon on Tuesday night and shared the spoils 1-1 before the hosts won on penalties.

That means Arsenal took one point from the fixture and have climbed above County into second.

If they Exiles draw at Swindon then the will leapfrog the Premier League side’s academy prospects even if they lose the shootout because they have a better goal difference, while any size of victory would take top spot from the Robins.

The top two go through to the last 32 with the winners enjoying home advantage and the runners-up going on their travels. The knockout stages are split into north and south until the quarter-finals.

South Wales Argus: Kevin Ellison captained County against Arsenal U21sKevin Ellison captained County against Arsenal U21s

The competition is often criticised but can provide clubs with a financial boost, while it will be valuable for Rowberry as he gets to know his players.

The manager is set to stick with a settled side in his third game in charge at Morecambe in the FA Cup on Saturday before giving those who have been on the fringes and some up-and-coming talent a chance at Swindon.

Leaving the County Ground with something to show for their efforts would earn another fixture to assess his squad before the January transfer window.

The second round is on the week starting November 29 with the third round in the first week of January.

The value of the tournament was shown when Dom Telford scored a cracker against Plymouth, which helped the in-form striker force his way in from the cold.


Papa John’s Trophy Round Two – w/c 29 November 2021

Papa John’s Trophy Round Three – w/c 3 January 2022

Papa John’s Trophy Quarter-Finals – w/c 24 January 2022

Papa John’s Trophy Semi-Finals – w/c 7 March 2022

Papa John’s Trophy Final – Sunday 3 April 2022