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Newport County thwarted in Karl Darlow FA Trophy final appeal
NEWPORT County are preparing to admit defeat in their battle to play on-loan Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow in tomorrow’s FA Trophy final against York City at Wembley.
The Exiles are waiting on confirmation from the Football Association that 21-year-old shot-stopper Darlow will be ineligible for the game due to administrative red tape.
County claim to have registered Darlow as a player before the deadline of midnight on March 9 – the evening before the Trophy’s semi-final, first legs – in order for him to be available for the final.
But, because Newport come under the jurisdiction of the Welsh FA, international clearance was not obtained until the following Monday, ruling Darlow out of the showcase event against the Minstermen.
The Exiles were still waiting to hear the outcome of an appeal against that decision last night but it is felt Justin Edinburgh will now turn to experienced net-minder Glyn Thompson.
He lost his place in March to former Aston Villa apprentice Darlow, who helped Forest secure a Championship play-off spot last season as a substitute for Lee Camp in a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace.
After an eight-game absence, Thompson did, however, return for County’s final game of the league season – a 3-1 defeat at Barrow – with Wembley in mind.
At 31, Thompson is no novice and he once cost Fulham £50,000, where he worked under the likes of Paul Bracewell, Karl Heinz Riedle and Jean Tigana.
The Shrewsbury-born ’keeper has also played between the sticks for his home-town club, as well as Mansfield, Northampton, Chesterfield and Hereford.
Other than Darlow and cup-tied trio Ryan Charles, Fraser Franks and Andy Sandell, Newport will be at full strength tomorrow with Edinburgh’s only apparent dilemma whether to go with experience in the form of 37-year-old centre-back Wayne Hatswell for the last available place on his bench or the youthful exuberance of teenager Lee Evans, who is 20 years his junior.
Newport are expected to match City’s 4-3-3 formation, although the potency of the Exiles’ expected three-pronged strikeforce is less impressive than that of their counterparts.
Midfielder Sam Foley is the Spytty Park outfit’s top marksman on 12 but he has only hit the target once in his last dozen outings.
Jake Harris, meanwhile, is the top scorer in the Trophy with four goals but he is yet to start a match in this season’s tournament and is poised for a place on the bench again for the final.
Newport go into the match having won just one of their last seven matches – a 1-0 home victory over Alfreton on the penultimate Saturday of their league campaign.
Edinburgh’s team finished only two places and six points above the relegation zone and did not win any of their last eight league games on the road – a run stretching back to a 3-2 triumph at Gateshead.
In fact, only Bath and Telford won fewer away games than the three Blue Square Bet Premier victories Newport claimed on their travels.
NEWPORT County and York City have met 34 times in league football – 30 of them coming in the Football League.
City have won 16 of the encounters, with eight draws, and the Minstermen have scored 53 goals to 38.
They have been paired only once before in cup football and that was in 2009/10 when City won a second round FA Trophy replay 1-0 at Bootham Crescent.
Richard Pacquette was the scorer and the line-up on January 26, 2010, in front of a crowd of 1,378, was: Mimms, Purkiss, McGurk (Sangare), Graham, Meredith, Smith, Ferrell, Mackin, Carruthers, Brodie (Gash), Pacquette.
Players to have appeared for both clubs include David Pugh and Gordon Staniforth, with another link provided by former City star Colin Addison, who twice managed County.
It happened on May 12
1945: City lost 6-1 at Sunderland in the Tyne, Wear and Tees War Cup. The attendance at Roker Park was 6,000 and Tommy Dawson, of Charlton Athletic, was the scorer. A guest player during the war years, he made 103 appearances for City and netted 48 goals.
1984: In the last match of the Fourth Division championship-winning season City lost 2-1 at Hereford United. It ended a run of 16 unbeaten unbeaten games (won 12, drawn four).
Compiled by David Batters