AFC Newport County v Barnet
Sky Bet League Two
Tuesday 25th October 2016
Kick Off 7.45 pm
Stadium: Rodney Parade, Newport, Gwent, NP19 OUU
Telephone: 01633 670690
Club Colours: Amber and Black
Nickname: The Exiles, the Ironsides, the Port
Graham Westley is manager at Newport having taken over from Warren Feeney at the beginning of the week. So we meet again, Graham, “Destiny will always take over” you once said!
A striker in his playing days, Westley was a Bee – signed by Barry Fry – for three games in 1987 and notably turned out for Enfield Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Kingstonian and Harrow Borough.
He was only 28 when he first managed at Kingstonian and had three spells at Enfield as well as Farnborough, Rushden & Diamonds, Peterborough United and Preston North End.
Brief Directions by Road
These directions come courtesy of Newport County —
Exit the M4 at Junction 25. Take the first exit from roundabout (Heidenheim Way).
Take the first exit from flyover. Then take the second exit from next roundabout.
At the next roundabout turn left over River Usk and, at the traffic lights, bear right into Chepstow Road.
Turn right into Corporation Road and then left into Grafton Road – Rodney Parade will be on your left.
The town centre is only a 15-minute walk away where numerous pay and displays can be found.
The local streets are restricted although those arriving early will be able to find spaces.
Directions by Train
A train from London Paddington will take around two-and-a-half hours.
Newport Station is a short walk from the stadium via Queensway Road and the Bridge over the river into Rodney Parade.
Getting back via this route on the same evening will be virtually impossible, however.
Eating and Drinking Locally
The general consensus is The Lamb on Bridge Street to be the best bet for a good pint and bar food.
The Queens Hotel is near to the station and is a Wetherspoons outlet. However, the away bar in the Bisley away stand is excellent and will offer all you will really need pre-match.
The club moved to Rodney Parade, which is on the East bank of the River Usk, in 2012.
The Bisley Stand on one side, built in 2011, seats just over 2,500 and has a row of executive boxes. Opposite is the Hazell Stand which has seating and a small terrace in front.
To the right is the Town End terrace which is a home stronghold. To the right is the South Stand, which is a small temporary stand of seating.
To its left are the pyramid-shaped dressing rooms where the players come onto the pitch.
You can see that the ground was designed for rugby with large spaces behind each goal. The ground is shared with The Newport Dragons Rugby Club.
Our home for the day will be section of segregated seating in the Bisley Stand.
Adults £19, Concessions £15, Under-16s £9
Previous Meetings and Memories
The game started in September of this season was postponed at half time due to a waterlogged pitch with the Bees leading 1-0 through John Akinde.
Our visit in March 2016 saw the Bees win comfortably 3-0 with goals from Andy Yiadom, Mark Randall and that man again – Akinde.
This Newport is a reformed club from the club that unfortunately went out of business in 1989.
We have played Newport County three times in our history amassing 19 goals and conceding just three.
Barnet’s FA Cup win over the old Newport County in January 1971 resulted in a 6-1 win for the Bees, a scoreline which remains the joint-highest for a non-league club over a Football League club in the competition. Ricky George bagged a hat-trick for the Bees at Underhill.
In the GM Vauxhall Conference an extremely one-sided affair at Somerton Park in September 1988 saw the Bees crush their opponents 7-1 with Gary Abbott grabbing a hat-trick. The return at Underhill in the New Year finished 4-1 in Barnet’s favour.
County’s records were expunged in the February and the Bees lost six points and a serious goal difference. John Still’s Maidstone United won the title by a country mile but we won the Club Call Cup!
One of my boyhood heroes Johnny Morris was born here – he fronted the TV show Animal Magic and narrated Tales of the River Bank.
BAFTA winning actor Michael Sheen is also from these parts. Two of our own Lee Harrison and Ismail Yakubu have both been associated with Newport County – as has Irish midfielder Mark Byrne.
Three-time Bees Player of the Year Harrison lived there for a year when he was caretaker manager in 2011, while Ismail made close to 150 appearances before moving to Woking.