Blue Square Premier
Saturday 24th March 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Lincoln City entertain visitors Newport County at their Sincil Bank ground as the hosts look to halt a run of seven matches without a win.
Lincoln City find themselves just above the relegation drop-zone courtesy of having a better goal difference than that of Hayes & Yeading who are level on points with them. However, four straight losses within their last seven has put them back in danger, and looking at who they’ve recently lost to suggests they have a tough assignment to stay in this division.
Defeats to Kettering Town, Alfreton Town and Bath City along with Mansfield Town does not set them up well against another side looking to escape the immediate danger of relegation (Newport County).
Lincoln’s home record stands at 5-6-7 21/22 and The Imps have won just once in their last seven at Sincil Bank with losses to Grimsby, York and Alfreton. They could only manage draws against poor travelling Braintree Town and Telford, although they did beat Southport back in January.
Lincoln have signed experienced striker Mark McCammon until the end of the season but he may have to start on the bench with Richard Pacquette currently the preferred option. Former Newport County midfielder Tom Miller is set to face his former team-mates after being released by County manager Justin Edinburgh.
Onto Newport County then and their recent results at first glance may resemble those of Lincoln’s. But look a little closer and you find they beat Bath City and in-form Mansfield Town at home, along with taking points off fifth placed Southport and Cambridge United away from home.
This improved run of form has lifted them out of immediate danger and boss Edinburgh will be keen for this run to continue at Lincoln. The Exiles have also recently signed defender Fraser Franks and midfielder Max Porter from AFC Wimbledon along with keeper Karl Darlow on loan from Nottingham Forest following the departure of Danny Potter by mutual consent.
Newport County’s away record stands at 3-7-9 27/34 which isn’t great but what is in their favour is the fact that they’ve scored in all but one of their last ten away matches which gives them a chance today.
Also, leading scorer Sam Foley (9 goals) should return to the squad following sitting out at Cambridge United due to a family bereavement. County will need to assess the fitness of David Pipe and Ishmael Yakubu.
Considering Lincoln’s recent run of form and Newport County’s battling spirit, I’ll back County with the round ball for insurance, but they might just nick this one perhaps 1-0.
Main Pick: Newport County AH0 @ 2.04 Pinnacle
Value Pick: Newport County straight win @ 2.83 Pinnacle