ARGYLE will face Newport County for the first time in 27 years on Tuesday, October 22, with the return in Wales also on a Tuesday, January 28.That game will mark the Pilgrims’ first ever trip to Rodney Parade, having made several visits to the Exiles’ previous home at Somerton Park.
Rodney Parade, the home of Newport RFC and the Newport Gwent Dragons, has also been home to County since the beginning of last season.
Our last visit to Newport came in January 1986, when the Pilgrims made the trip for a Barclay’s Third Division clash.
Having beaten Newport 2-0 in Home Park fixture, Argyle went down 3-1 at Somerton Park, with strikes from former Pilgrim Gordon Staniforth and Steve Berry, and a Kevin Hodges own goal cancelling out John Clayton’s lone strike.
Perhaps our most famous meeting with County came in our memorable run to the 1984 FA Cup semi-final.
Having already dispatched Southend United and Barking, Argyle were handed a third round tie at home to County.
As the clock struck 90 on a cold January afternoon, Argyle found themselves moments from elimination after a brace from future Irish international John Aldridge had cancelled out a Kevin Hodges strike.
However, in the third minute of injury time, former Newport man Tommy Tynan lived up to his hero status by converting a penalty to earn a replay.
Three days later, Andy Rogers goal at Somerton Park fired Argyle into a fourth round tie with Darlington
In all, Argyle and Newport have met 58 times, with the Pilgrims winning 30, drawing 8 and losing 20.
This season, Argyle will also be renewing their acquaintance with Mansfield Town just four days after hosting Newport.
The Green Army will mobilise on Field Mill on Saturday, October 26 before the Home Park return on Saturday, February 1.
The Stags were last season’s Blue Square Bet champions and last met the Pilgrims in the Nationwide Second Division in February 2002.
Having scored an own-goal in the second minute, Stags midfielder Liam Lawrence made amends nine minutes later with a goal at the right end.
In the second-half, goals from Martin Phillips and Michael Evans proved too much as Argyle avenged a 4-2 defeat at Field Mill earlier in the season.
From the 29 meetings between the two clubs, Argyle have won 16, drawn seven and lost just six.