IN-FORM goalkeeper Nick Townsend has turned down an international call-up in order to keep his spot as Newport County AFC’s number one.

The 29-year-old was selected in the Antigua and Barbuda squad for the CONCACAF Nations League fixtures against Puerto Rico next Saturday and Guyana a week on Wednesday.

That would have ruled Townsend, who starred in the 0-0 draw with MK Dons on Saturday, out of the EFL Trophy game against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday and League Two trip to Mansfield at the weekend.

The stopper also would have faced a race to travel back from the Caribbean for the fixture against Stockport on Saturday, November 25.

However, the West Midlander has told the Benna Boys that he will be staying on club duty for the injury-hit Exiles, who are losing Matt Baker to Wales Under-21 duty.

South Wales Argus: STAYING: County goalkeeper Nick TownsendSTAYING: County goalkeeper Nick Townsend (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We are down to the bare bones and me going would let the team down,” said Townsend, who made his international debut in the summer of 2022.

“We are putting a bit of a run together and it's not beneficial for me to go.

“In the bigger picture, me having games out is not going to help the team and I feel I need to stay to support the lads. This is my bread and butter.”

Townsend heading to the Antigua would have opened the door for Jonny Maxted, who replaced him briefly in October, to get a crack as a starter.

“Jonny is more than capable of stepping in but if I go then it gives the gaffer and everyone else another headache,” said Townsend.

“It's a hard decision but my aim before the season was to be number one. I've got that at the moment and my form is good, so I don't want to go away and lose that.”

County’s third-choice ‘keeper is academy prospect Fraser Needham, who was called onto the bench for the EFL Trophy defeat to West Ham Under-21s and FA Cup win over Oldham after Maxted was ill.