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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

3-3
09 December 2017 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Newport County

We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

8 December 2017

After FA Cup action last weekend, United are back to league business as they make the journey to South Wales to take on Newport County.

The Blues have lost just one of their last nine outings in Sky Bet League Two and will be keen to continue that positive form against the Exiles.

But Newport have been flying high this season and will prove a tough proposition for Keith Curle’s side.

We put Michael Flynn’s men under the spotlight ahead of our visit to Rodney Parade:

Play-Off Pushing

After a great escape from relegation last season, Newport have pushed on this season and are currently perched just outside the play-off places in ninth spot following a strong start to the season.

Flynn’s side lost just one of their first seven League Two games this campaign, which set the foundations for their rise up the table.

Their recent form, however, has been slightly less impressive with the Exiles picking up just one win in their last seven league games.

But they did claim an impressive victory over Cambridge United in the FA Cup last weekend, and will be confident of carrying that into the league on Saturday.

Home Comforts

Newport had to wait until the end of August to play at their home ground after the pitch at Rodney Parade underwent improvement works.

But since their return to home soil the Exiles have made their South Wales base a fortress, having lost just twice there in league action.

There have been some impressive wins there, too, including a thumping victory over Chesterfield and hard-fought triumphs against Grimsby, Yeovil and Cheltenham.

What Does History Tell Us?

The two sides had never met in their current form before 2014/15, but have faced-off in every season since.

And it’s Newport who hold the upper hand having claimed victory in five of those meetings, with United only winning one.

That sole United victory came towards the end of last season as goals from Nicky Adams and Jabo Ibehre secured victory for the Blues.

Watch highlights of last season's 2-1 home win here:

Back In 1988

Carlisle have never won at Newport County in their current form, but did claim a victory in Wales during their last meeting with the old Newport side.

That 2-1 triumph in 1988 remains only one of two away Carlisle victories against Newport in either form, with the previous coming back in 1963.

Curle will be hoping his current crop of Cumbrians will be able to turn the tide and pick up a first victory at Newport in 29 years.

Ones to Watch

+ Mickey Demetriou - A solid defender who is also able to chip in with plenty of goals, Demetriou played a starring role in County’s great escape from relegation last year. He made his break into the Football League with Shrewsbury but found first team opportunities hard to come by, and eventually joined the Exiles in January of this year. From there Demetriou, who is comfortable playing full-back or wing-back, scored three goals and helped keep four clean sheets as Newport avoided relegation - making him a firm fans’ favourite.

+ Joss Labadie - The former Notts County midfielder is currently captain at Rodney Parade, and is in a sparkling run of form having netted twice in the FA Cup triumph over Cambridge last weekend. The box-to-box midfielder joined the Exiles in 2016 and has quickly become a first team regular thanks to displays packed with energy, and plenty of goals and assists too.

+ Padraig Amond - A summer addition from recently-relegated Hartlepool, Amond certainly knows where the goals is and has already netted six for Newport this season. Formerly of Morecambe and Grimsby, the Irishman has plenty of pace to burn and his movement in and around the area makes him a nightmare for defenders to deal with. He’ll need to be watched carefully this Saturday.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Newport 3 - 3 United

Report from the Saturday afternoon away game at Newport

9 December 2017

United were in South Wales for their return to League Two action on Saturday afternoon as they made the trip to Rodney Parade to face Newport.

And it was breathtaking stuff as both sides went all out for the victory in an action-packed second half.

The Blues created an early half chance when Lambe robbed Pipe of possession tight by the corner flag. He clipped a through ball to Bennett, and the striker’s immediate spin and cross found Joyce in an advanced position. An awkward first touch meant the moment was gone.

Carlisle stayed forward and more good work from Lambe took him into the six-yard box. He went for a first time cross but it was just too high for Bennett to make it count.

Bennett was the man causing problems out wide again as the Blues controlled the early play, and his drop of a shoulder earned space for a cross. He delivered it well and won a free kick for his efforts as he was chopped to the floor.

The delivery from that from Lambe was perfect to attack but Etuhu sent his header over the bar as he came under pressure at close range. Newport showed for the first time as an attacking force on the quarter hour when Demetriou cut in from the right flank and rode two challenges. It opened up for the shot and Bonham had to dive full length to tip it round his upright.

County enjoyed a good spell and Hill had to take care when Butler drilled the ball through legs. Willmott then found himself at a tight angle with room to work but his thumping drive was blocked by a very brave lunge from Liddle.

The home side edged on top and Bonham had to take care with a long-range punt from White as it skipped up off the slick surface right in front of him. And the big stopper was in action once again when McCoulsky breezed past Parkes to try his luck. It was a good connection, but Bonham dealt with it well.

Both sides wasted set piece opportunities as the game tightened up, and Lambe forced a save out of Day when Etuhu bided his time to get on to a bouncing high ball. His set up invited the shot, but the home keeper was equal to it.

Dolan volleyed over for Newport when a Butler cross dropped out of the air, and Butler was disappointed when he latched on to a miscued clearance from Brown. The opening was there but he lost bearings and whipped it harmlessly wide.

Having kept things so tight, Carlisle were undone in disappointing fashion when a free kick from the halfway line was floated into the box. Bonham was off his line, as the first connection took the ball pinging around the box, and he could do nothing as McCoulsky flicked a neat lob into the roof of the net.

The Cumbrians were back on level terms with just 40 seconds on the second half clock when Newport completely fell asleep as a ball was flicked on by Bennett inisde the area. It bounced inside the six-yard box and Luke Joyce made sure he got enough on it during the fracas that followed to encouage it to roll over the line.

And the game was turned on its head when a Tom Miller long throw was missed by everybody. Kelvin Etuhu waited for the optimum moment before slamming a beauty of a crunch past Day and into the bottom corner.

But County were back on terms just four minutes later when Matt Dolan took charge of a 23-yard free kick. Bonham could do nothing as it dipped over the wall and into his net.

The Blues looked a threat every time they got into the box and they made a high cross from Parkes count when Tom Miller sat deep and stayed away from his marker. He stepped forward to jump high and Day allowed the ball to squirm under his body and over the line as the header bounced off the floor.

There was barely time to draw breath as County pegged things back once more with another peach of a free kick from Dolan. Closer to 30-yards this time, he swept a dipper into the top corner with Bonham unable to do anything about it.

It was suddenly finely balanced and a mistake from Jones allowed Labadie to run on. He fed it back for Nouble to shoot but it was easy for Bonham to gather. Jones asked questions at the other end when he forced a parry from Day when he latched on to a loose ball, and Hope was a whisker away when he popped the rebound just wide with the keeper well beaten.

Set pieces continued to cause upset in both final thirds and Carlisle weren't too far away when Lambe found Parkes from out wide. The big defender got something on it but it wasn't quite enough to trouble the nets.

Amond swept a late chance wide when he was in acres of space, and Labadie nodded over from close range, and Bonham made a points-saving save when the last kick of the game came at him from the edge of the box. His fingertip touch took it behind to safety as the home shirts set themselves to celebrate.

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Goals

Newport County - McCoulsky (43), Dolan (56 & 69)

Carlisle United - Joyce (46), Etuhu (52), T Miller (63)

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Bookings 

Newport County - Nouble (65), Willmott (90)

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Teams

Newport County - Day, Pipe (Reynolds 54), Butler, Labadie, White, Willmott, Dolan, Nouble, McCoulsky (Amond 82), O'Brien, Demetriou. Subs - Bittner, S Bennett, Owen-Evans, Touray, Rigg.

Carlisle United - Bonham, Brown (Hope 65), Liddle, Hill, Parkes, T Miller, Lambe (O'Sullivan 86), Joyce, Jones, Etuhu, Bennett (S Miller 82). Subs - George, Devitt, Cosgrove, Ellis.

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Referee - Mr L Swabey

Attendance - 3,176 (160 away fans)

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