David Wheeler of Milton Keynes Dons competes with Fraser Franks of Newport County during the Sky Bet League Two match at Rodney Parade on earlier this month. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Newport County Hit-Men ‘Podge’ And ‘Jamma’ The Best Attack Pairing In League Two Says Franks

Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt, Newport County’s prolific goalscorer, can launch a big Exiles promotion push over their final 14 League Two fixtures.

Amond and Matt have 37 goals between them this season and County team-mate Fraser Franks told iFollowExiles: “There isn’t a better partnership in our division.

“It’s outstanding. They have been key for us and the amount of assists they have provided for each other and the other boys in the team has been outstanding.

“Jamma and Podge have been in form all season.”

Matt scored twice during Newport’s 4-1 win at Notts County in midweek and set up Amond for his goal.

“Jamma scores all types of goals and his bicycle kick strike was a nice one. To be honest, though, I was more impressed with his assist for Padraig’s goal.

Goalkeeper Joe Day and Fraser Franks of Newport County celebrate after the FA Cup third round win and Leicester City at Rodney Parade. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty Images).

“I haven’t seen him do that as much and it was a good one.

“Robbie Willmott has hit form at the right time and if we can finish the season well, you never know what could happen.”

Matt tweeted: “Two goals, one assist, one tooth down, but a massive three points long overdue on the road.

“Great team performance. Congrats @padraigamond21 on his 20th of the season and @Fraserfranks on his goal.

“Thanks to those who travelled.”

Newport manager Mike Flynn, too, was impressed, saying: “Jamille Matt was unplayable.

“He bullied their defenders and Podge’s movement was excellent. 

“They are a good partnership and we’re lucky to have them.

“Harry McKirdy when he came on didn’t give them a breath. 

“Joss Labadie, Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott were unbelievable in midfield.”

Newport travel to play fourth-placed MK Dons on Saturday and the Welsh visitors will be intent on putting the record straight after suffering a 1-0 home defeat at Rodney Parade against the same opposition.

Newport County striker Padraig Amond, Pic: Getty Images.

“I’m scratching my head over how we didn’t win that game with the amount of chances we had,” says Franks.

“We had more chances against Milton Keynes, but we ended up scoring none and four against Notts County because we were clinical.

“It’s about being more clinical and picking up ugly points. 

“The pitches are starting to cut up and you just need people to step up. That’s where some of our experienced heads come in and I have a good feeling about this stage of the season.

“I’ve played there [Stadium MK] a few times before and it is sort of a strange atmosphere, but it will be a good pitch.”

Franks, a 28-year-old London-born defender who started his career at Chelsea’s youth academy, scored his third goal of Newport’s League Two campaign when he netted at Notts County.

“I do like to pop up with goals and I seem to score quite a few against Notts County,” he says. “It’s been a tough month being injured and missing out on some of the big games.

Newport County’s Jamille Matt celebrates. Pic: Getty Images.

“I still don’t feel 100% yet. It will take me a few more training sessions and games to get back up to my usual standards, but that will come.”

Franks has played for AFC Wimbledon, Hayes and Reading, Welling United, Luton Town, Stevenage and Newport County, making a total of more than 250 first team appearances.

He is an England C international who earned promotion with Wimbledon, Welling and Luton, while he would love to add a fourth success to his CV.

Franks left Chelsea at the age of 16, but was invited back to mentor their young players.

Academy manager Neil Bath asked Franks to help with the kids of 15, 16 and 18, advising them what to do or not do.

“I talked to them about my own experience and, looking back, I was a nervous kid. I was a Chelsea fan and probably overwhelmed.

“The first team building is only 10 metres away from the Academy and the incentive is there, but 99 per cent of the kids won’t play for Chelsea.”

Flynn made one change to his starting line-up following the Emirates FA Cup defeat against Manchester City, slotting Franks into the back division.

Tyreeq Bakinson was the player to miss out and Flynn said: “Joe Day has made a great save at 4-1 with ten minutes to go and if that goes in then they may have had a bit of a flourish finish.

“Fraser (Franks), Mickey (Demetriou), O’B (Mark O’Brien), Regan (Poole) and Dan Butler were all solid, everyone single one of them.

“Matty Dolan did well when he went on. Overall, it was a great performance.”

League Two Standings

1 Lincoln City 32 17 11 4 24 62
2 Bury 33 17 9 7 24 60
3 Mansfield Town 33 15 13 5 22 58
4 MK Dons 33 16 8 9 19 56
5 Forest Green Rovers 33 14 12 7 18 54
6 Colchester United 33 15 8 10 17 53
7 Carlisle United 33 16 4 13 11 52
8 Exeter City 32 14 9 9 11 51
9 Tranmere Rovers 33 13 10 10 6 49
10 Stevenage 33 14 6 13 -4 48
11 Oldham Athletic 33 12 10 11 10 46
12 Grimsby Town 33 14 4 15 -2 46
13 Crewe Alexandra 33 13 7 13 -3 46
14 Swindon Town 32 12 10 10 -3 46
15 Newport County 32 13 7 12 -7 46
16 Northampton Town 33 8 15 10 -4 39
17 Crawley Town 33 11 5 17 -10 38
18 Cheltenham Town 33 10 8 15 -11 38
19 Cambridge United 33 10 6 17 -23 36
20 Morecambe 33 9 8 16 -16 35
21 Port Vale 33 8 9 16 -13 33
22 Yeovil Town 33 7 9 17 -14 30
23 Macclesfield Town 33 7 8 18 -21 29
24 Notts County 33 6 10 17 -31 28

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