EXCITEMENT is building for this weekend’s Newport County AFC’s game against Leeds United FC.

The club said they are expecting to sell 7,000 tickets for the game, which kicks off at noon on Sunday at Rodney Parade, by Friday.

This would mean the fixture would be the second biggest game for the Exiles – with the final match of the last season, when the club secured their place in the English Football League, being the only time more tickets were sold.

Alex Tunbridge, CEO of Newport County AFC, said it is the second time in 32 years the club gets to the third round of the FA cup.

He said they played Leeds United FC earlier this season during the Carabao Cup and that, due to renovation works at Rodney Parade, the game ended up being played away. Leeds United FC gave Newport County AFC 45 per cent of the gate income, despite not being under any obligation to do so, the CEO said.

Mr Tunbridge said: “This created a really good relationship with the club and, on the last game, there was no problem at all.

“There is an admiration for each other.

“We are expecting to sell 7,000 tickets by the weekend – meaning it will be the biggest game of the season.”

Mr Tunbridge said the only game were more tickets were sold was the final match of the last season, when 7,500 tickets were sold.

The CEO said they will stop selling tickets at 7pm on Friday as a safety measure to prevent away fans buying tickets.

Inspector for Newport city centre John Davies said the police will be working with Rodney Parade and Newport County AFC to ensure it is a “safe event”.

He said: “We will make sure we have enough of the right resources in place to deal with any incidents robustly. There will be officers trained in dealing with football fans and large scale events.

“We have no intelligence to suggesting there is going to be any trouble – it is only that we are expecting large numbers of people.

Mr Davies said that no road closures will be in place on the day.

Ian Wilkinson, of the operations team at Rodney Parade, said there have recently been a couple of minor issues with people throwing items into the ground. As a consequence, the area of the terrace behind the players will be closed, he said.

Mr Wilkinson said: “We want people to come to the game and enjoy themselves – but behave.”

Mr Wilkinson advised fans to arrive as there will stop and searches in place to enter the ground. He said hospitality will be open from 10am, with the ground being open to all supporters from 10.15am.

Away fans will be dropped off and picked up outside their gate for “convenience and safety”, he added.