THE FA Cup 2nd Round commences on Friday night and Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) has dug deep into the televised encounter between non-league Malden & Tiptree and League Two outfit Newport.
Malden & Tiptree v Newport | Friday 29th November 2019, 19:45 | BBC
Maldon & Tiptree play host to the biggest game of their history in front of a sell-out crowd at the Wallace Binder Ground and a national television audience as they look to knock-out another League Two side on their glorious FA Cup journey.
Given the club’s season to date and the result they managed to pull off in East London, the part-timers will be confident of causing Michael Flynn’s men some problems. The team has scored a quite-incredible 95 goals in their 25 matches, tasting defeat just once in that run, which came last weekend as their FA Trophy campaign came to an end at Enfield Town.
Even in defeat the team M&T managed three goals of their own and their prolific forward line of Jorome Slew, Charlee Hughes and Danny Parish have shared a whopping 64 goals between them, which is some feat in late November.
Parish is suspended for this game having been sent off at Leyton Orient in Round One which must be truly gutting for the striker but Maldon’s other threats will mean that Newport are required to avoid an embarrassing result. Both Teams To Score is at the general 11/10 and I wouldn't put anyone off that but it's just a lean for me.
Manager Wayne Brown enjoyed a well-travelled career having played nearly 200 games in the Football League and the Essex-born gaffer can draw upon his big-game experience having appeared in the UEFA Cup and finals at Wembley to help his players through this tie.
If the team focus on themselves rather than their opposition’s superior talent then they could get something from the tie but it will be a big ask – no side from step 8 has reached the FA Cup 3rd Round for 84 years since Southall achieved that very feat in 1935-36. Brown only gets the opportunity to work with his players in training twice per week so fitness could become an issue in the latter stages of the tie against their full-time opponents.
Newport are in a low ebb of confidence at the moment having suffered three successive League Two defeats either side of progressing past Grimsby via a replay in Round One. A boost, however, on the team news front comes in the form of Josh Sheehan returning from suspension for this game and Micky Demetriou, arguably Newport’s best player, could at least make the bench – both players giving Newport a bit more bite in midfield.
The Exiles are no strangers to FA Cup giant killings themselves having knocked out Leicester, Middlesbrough and Leeds in recent seasons as well as pushing Man City hard and forcing Tottenham to a replay. This could be an advantage for Newport’s players who will know what they will be up against, facing a plucky underdog when the shoe has so often been on the other foot.
The Welsh side shouldn’t have too many difficulties dealing with the physicality of their non-league foes, sitting second out of 24 sides for both tackles made (17.3 per-away-game) and aerial duels won in League Two.
I believe starting two up front plays to their advantage in this fixture and ‘Mr FA Cup’ Padraig Amond, with eight goals in his 14 FA Cup appearances for County (including strikes in the aforementioned ties against Leicester, Middlesbrough and Premier League champions Man City) is priced at evens to score anytime with Betway and take his FA Cup tally to three for this season having bagged in both the original tie and replay versus Grimsby.
Maldon & Tiptree have conceded nine goals in their last five, all of which have come without a clean sheet so despite their potent front line, I think they could be overawed here if Newport get their noses in front especially as they are coming up against strikers four leagues above those that they usually face.
BoyleSports are offering 21/20 on Newport to win and Over 2.5 Goals and given that 10 of the 16 1st Round ties which saw League and Non-League sides face off went Over 2.5 Goals, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the scoreline rack up again if the away side show their class.
Malden & Tiptree v Newport – Padraig Amond to score at anytime (1/1 Betway)
Malden & Tiptree v Newport – Newport to win and Over 2.5 Goals (21/20 BoyleSports)