CAPTAIN Matty Dolan is a major doubt for Newport County AFC’s trip to Colchester United on Friday night after the defender was forced off by a head injury for the second time this year.

The Exiles drew 1-1 at Crawley Town on Tuesday night and suffered the blow of losing their skipper when the game was goalless at the start of the second half.

Dolan went down and received treatment from County physios Tom Gittoes and Lewis Binns before being led from the pitch and taken straight to the changing room.


The 28-year-old suffered a concussion against Carlisle United in the run-in last season and the swift turnaround to Colchester makes him a major doubt for the fixture in Essex.

County will adopt a cautious approach with their player of the season for 2020/21, who has endured a stop-start campaign due to injuries.

The Exiles have a break after Friday's game after being knocked out of the FA Cup with a home fixture against Sutton next up on December 7.

South Wales Argus: BLOW: Matty Dolan suffered a head injury towards the end of last seasonBLOW: Matty Dolan suffered a head injury towards the end of last season

“We are waiting on an evaluation from the physios but it was a head injury and we will have to wait and see,” said manager James Rowberry.

The management made two changes from Saturday’s defeat to Swindon Town with Aaron Lewis coming in for left wing-back Ryan Haynes while Kevin Ellison made his first league start of the season up front.

In-form striker Courtney Baker-Richardson was given a breather, coming off the bench with half an hour left when it was 1-0.

The 25-year-old missed the start of the season with a quad injury and sat out most of the last campaign when with Barrow.

County need to play the long game with a player who has formed an impressive partnership with Dom Telford up front.

South Wales Argus: NO RISKS: County are monitoring Courtney Baker-Richardson's workloadNO RISKS: County are monitoring Courtney Baker-Richardson's workload

“We were conscious of his data and his output from the last couple of games,” said Rowberry about Baker-Richardson, who has scored five goals in 12 appearances.

“Probably for the first time since he was 20, he has had a run of training sessions and games. We just had to manage his load and I felt that Kev did well with what we had asked him to do.”

Midfielder Robbie Willmott has not featured in the last three games after testing positive for coronavirus.

He has been training after his isolation period ended last weekend but Football League protocols meant that he was not available in Crawley.

The 24-year-old will be in the mix for Colchester but one man who will not return to his old stamping ground is Courtney Senior.

The midfielder signed from the U’s in the summer but ruptured knee ligaments in pre-season and is targeting a March return and a part in the Exiles’ run-in.

Friday’s hosts enjoyed a superb 3-1 win over Exeter City on Tuesday night and have the benefit of back-to-back home games in quick succession while County are back on the road after battling for a draw at Crawley.

“We’ve got to back it up now with a really quick turnaround to Colchester with the distances that we have got to travel,” said Rowberry.

“That’s a challenge in itself and in this block of games we have to be conscious that we had a long journey to Crawley and back on the day, then travel Thursday night to Colchester to play Friday night. It’s tough.”