NEWPORT County AFC get their League Two campaign under way behind closed doors at Scunthorpe on Saturday and their rivals Cambridge United will also reluctantly play without fans in the stands.

The U’s had planned for a crowd of 2,000 for their encounter with Carlisle after holding a first pilot fixture against Fulham U21s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday evening.

However, the UK government halved that figure, leaving Cambridge to decide not to go ahead because of invalid tickets in circulation.

A club statement read: "This is no one's fault - and everyone recognises that the national situation has changed - but it was felt that we would have been left with too many invalid tickets in circulation for a game where safety has to be the number one priority.

"Even with re-ticketing and regular direct communication to all fans over the next 24 hours, the short timeline means that the club cannot entirely mitigate the risk to fans and stewards of people arriving in good faith for the game with tickets that are invalid and being unable to attend given the reduced capacity.

South Wales Argus:

"Therefore, whilst it is a difficult decision to cancel the pilot, it is the right one in circumstances where we must all prioritise public health and safety."

County are guided by the Welsh government and have hosted Swansea City in the Carabao Cup and Cheltenham Town in the EFL Trophy behind closed doors.

They take on Cambridge in Newport in round two of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday before entertaining League Two new boys Barrow next Saturday.

South Wales Argus:

“We’ve had two games and I haven’t really enjoyed them because of the atmosphere,” said Flynn. “That wasn’t because we lost on Tuesday because I didn’t enjoy Saturday when we won for the same reason.

“It will take a bit of getting used to but to be fair to the players they just got on with it and have taken it in their stride.

“I understand the reasons why but the atmosphere is made by the fans and they are a massive part of football. We need to get on with it but that’s not to say we don’t feel their non-presence.

“Let’s see how the pilots go and hopefully if all goes well and everybody behaves then we can get people into Rodney Parade as soon as possible.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, the English Football League said it was "awaiting further details from government officials" having "proposed that each club should be given the opportunity to stage a pilot on either 19 September or 26 September should they wish".

Unlike the other EFL clubs, County, Cardiff City and Swansea City will wait on the Welsh approach.