PADRAIG Amond hopes Jamille Matt doesn’t show Newport County AFC what they are missing on the return to League Two action tomorrow night.

The pace-setting Exiles hunt three points at the New Lawn after beating Salford City to earn a place in round three of the FA Cup.

Forest Green boast former County players Aaron Collins and Shawn McCoulsky in their squad and added Matt this summer.

The coronavirus pandemic meant that the Exiles were not in a position to offer fresh contracts to Matt and fellow key figure Scot Bennett.

While Bennett remained unattached until County were in a position to offer a new deal, the striker was snapped up by Forest Green after 97 appearances and 26 goals in amber.

Newport’s loss has been Rovers’ gain with the 31-year-old helping them to fourth in the table with five goals in 15 games, including a hat-trick against Scunthorpe.

Forest Green were not in FA Cup action last weekend and Matt suffered a dead leg against Southend last time out, but if fit he will test the County defence.

Striker Amond won two of his three County golden boots with the assistance of Matt and the pair were both on the scoresheet in the famous win against Leicester City.

South Wales Argus:

“It'll be really, really tough for us because we know how good a player ‘Jamma’ is,” said Amond.

“It's not just him, there's Aaron Collins as well, but ‘Jamma’ was a fantastic player for this club and was brilliant in his two seasons here.

“We built up a really good partnership and he is a player that we do miss because he gives a different option.”

County have bolstered their forward line with the arrival of Ryan Taylor, who hasn’t featured since a hamstring injury in October, and loan duo Saikou Janneh and Jamie Proctor.

South Wales Argus:

“The players that have come in have been fantastic but for me personally, with the relationship that I had on and off the pitch with ‘Jamma’, you miss him around the place,” said Amond. “His enthusiasm was infectious, so he is a big loss.

“He went to Forest Green and is doing well there, so on Tuesday night for 90 minutes he won't be our friend, he'll be our rival, then after the game we can be friends again.

“He's a great lad and has been a great player for this club, and was a great strike partner for me personally.”