NEWPORT County AFC are still without Andrew Crofts, Matty Dolan and Fraser Franks for tomorrow night’s home clash with Cheltenham Town, but Ben Kennedy could be fit to return.

Midfield duo Crofts and Dolan are both ruled out with hamstring problems and manager Michael Flynn says the absence of Crofts in particular has been costly.

The Wales international has made just nine appearances all season and has not featured since the defeat at Grimsby Town on February 2.

“It’s very frustrating because he’s what we’ve been missing – that experience in the middle of the park,” said Flynn.

“We’ve missed Joss [Labadie] until he got up and ready and Matty Dolan [for large parts of the season] so that’s three of the big ones in the central midfield that have been out for the majority of the season.

“It’s frustrating for me and it’s frustrating for them too. None of them want to be injured, they’re good lads and it’s just one of those things – it’s football.

“Matty and Fraser are both still out so there aren’t many options,” added the Exiles boss.

“We’ll have a look at it and see what we think is best.”

South Wales Argus:

But deadline day loan signing Kennedy (pictured above playing against County last season) could be set to return to the squad tonight having missed the last three matches.

“He’s had a bruise right under the joint of his toe and he couldn’t put any weight through it,” said the manager.

“But he’s had a scan and there’s nothing bad there so hopefully it’s settled down and he’s ready to be selected.”

And winger Will Randall, who was signed as a free agent last week and made his debut as a substitute at Colchester United, could also be involved after not making the bench at Northampton Town on Tuesday.

“That was tactical,” explained Flynn. “We had enough firepower on the bench but we only had one defender with Pipey [David Pipe] and we thought if something happened to one of the centre-backs we might have to put Pipey there.

“Benno [Scot Bennett] could have gone in there but he’s been brilliant in midfield and I don’t really want to take him out of there at the minute, because that would leave us lightweight.”

Forwards Ade Azeez and Harry McKirdy are also in contention to feature alongside established front duo Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt.

“Three up front is always an option,” admitted the boss. “It worked well against Carlisle, but it didn’t work at Colchester. We’ll have a look at it.”

Read more: We won't give up on the play-offs, vows Joss Labadie

Read more: Away form not good enough for top seven, says Flynn