THINGS will be very different when Newport County AFC attempt to turn the tables on Forest Green Rovers. For one, there will be grass at Rodney Parade.

It promises to be tight in the League Two play-off semi-final – only goal difference separated the sides in the final standings with both ending with records of 20 wins, 13 draws and 13 losses.

Forest Green scored two more goals than County’s 57 but the Exiles were more miserly, shipping 42 to the Gloucestershire side’s 51, to sneak fifth place.

That ultimately didn’t matter with the Rodney Parade pitch revamp meaning it is Newport first, Nailsworth second in the schedule.

The Exiles will hope previous meetings count for nothing – the aggregate from the regular season is 3-1 to Rovers.

Here’s a look back at the two fixtures…

South Wales Argus: GOAL: Tristan Abrahams put County in front from the penalty spot at Forest GreenGOAL: Tristan Abrahams put County in front from the penalty spot at Forest Green

December 1: Forest Green 1 County 1

The Exiles headed to the New Lawn leading the way in League Two, fresh from a 3-0 win against Salford in the FA Cup.

County lined up in their 3-5-2 with Brandon Cooper to the right of Matty Dolan and Mickey Demetriou.

Liam Shephard returned to Forest Green after being released at the end of 2019/20 while Scott Twine had to settle for a place on the bench, Scot Bennett joining Joss Labadie and Josh Sheehan in midfield.

On-loan targetman Jamie Proctor got the nod with Tristan Abrahams up front.

Proctor should have scored after just three minutes but glanced a header wide from the middle of the goal after Ryan Haynes did brilliantly down the left.

The keepers were called into action when Nick Townsend raced out to smartly block from County old boy Aaron Collins after 34 minutes then Luke McGee got down to his left to deny Labadie’s shot from the edge of the area.

County got their noses in front on the stroke of half-time when a long throw caused problems in the box, Labadie got his toe to the ball and was then clattered.

South Wales Argus: CLOSE: Scott Twine should have restored County's lead at the New LawnCLOSE: Scott Twine should have restored County's lead at the New Lawn

Abrahams took an awful penalty but McGee dived over it and the Exiles went 1-0 up.

Proctor was denied a second but it looked like County could record a precious win until Jamille Matt, who had left Rodney Parade in the summer because of the club’s financial uncertainty in the pandemic, struck in the 77th minute.

Matty Stevens did well down the right and crossed for the striker to slot home.

County had a golden chance to regain the lead but Scott Twine, who had come off the bench, fired wide from close range after getting onto a flick-on.

Nonetheless, the Exiles were content with a hard-earned point on the road.

County: Townsend, Cooper, Dolan, Demetriou, Shephard, Haynes, Bennett, Sheehan, Labadie (Twine 73), Abrahams (Janneh 73), Proctor (Amond 63).

Substitutes not used: King, Willmott, Devitt, Ellison.

South Wales Argus: OPENER: Josh Davison fires home for Forest GreenOPENER: Josh Davison fires home for Forest Green

February 21: County 0 Forest Green 2

If the Exiles headed to Nailsworth in fine fettle, they welcomed Rovers to Newport with confidence low.

The pitch was horrendous and had played its part in an awful run of form.

They had won just one of their last 11 league games and were fresh from a loss to struggling Southend and a last-gasp draw against nine-man Exeter.

Forest Green, meanwhile, were looking to close to within a point of leaders Cambridge.

Michael Flynn went with a 4-3-3 with Liam Shephard back from suspension at right-back and Dom Telford and Jake Scrimshaw selected up front with Nicky Maynard.

County had a chance to hit the front - vital on the Parade pitch - only for Telford to nod Shephard's super cross over from six yards.

Rovers took the lead just before the break when Matt played a long pass down the right channel.

Josh Davidson was allowed to cut inside by Mickey Demetriou and Ryan Haynes and scored at the near post.

South Wales Argus: DOUBLED: Jamille Matt slots Rovers' second at Rodney ParadeDOUBLED: Jamille Matt slots Rovers' second at Rodney Parade

The killer second came when Josh Sheehan was short with a backpass, Matt nipped in and was taken down by goalkeeper Nick Townsend's swinging boot.

The striker slotted home to the right at the same end that he had climbed high to head the opener against Leicester City in the FA Cup.

County failed to threaten on a grim Sunday afternoon when it seemed the play-offs were slipping away.

County: Townsend, Shephard, Farquharson, Demetriou, Haynes, Sheehan, Hartigan (Lewis 73), Labadie (captain), Scrimshaw (Amond 58), Telford (Ellison 58), Maynard (Taylor 58).

Substitutes: King, Dolan, Gambin.