Dundalk are set to face Welsh Premier League side Newtown AFC in the first round of the UEFA Europa Conference League. The first leg is set to take place at Oriel Park on Thursday, July 8 with kick-off at 5.45pm and the match will be available to w
Dundalk are set to face Welsh Premier League side Newtown AFC in the first round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
The first leg is set to take place at Oriel Park on Thursday, July 8 with kick-off at 5.45pm and the match will be available to watch on LOITV for €10. Please note: this match is separate from a normal LOITV subscription.
Ahead of the tie against the Welsh opposition, we take a look at Dundalk's opponents.
Famous European Night
Valletta 1-2 Newtown (4-2 agg) - July 9, 2015
Newtown have been in European competition on just three occasions but had their most famous night in the club's history back in the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League.
Drawn against Maltese outfit Valletta, who went into the tie as heavy favourites, Newtown looked unlikely to progress any further in the competition. The first leg was at Latham Park and saw Newtown run out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Luke Boundford and a last-minute winner from Jason Oswell.
Newtown travelled to Malta with the slender one-goal lead but increased their chances of progression when Oswell struck in the seventh minute. Theirry Fidjeu equalised on the night just after the break as Valletta looked to get to another to tie the scores on aggregate. However, Newtown held firm and sealed a famous night for Welsh football when Matty Owen scored in the 86th minute to progress to the second qualifying round. Newtown were knocked out in the next round by Danish giants FC Copenhagen.
What he said - Manager Chris Hughes
"I think it does feel more special because of everything we’ve been through. In the first game back after lockdown we were in the bottom two, so our first priority was to get out of that situation, and after a few games we found ourselves ninth and nine points off Haverfordwest.
“We knew the first three or four games of Phase Two were going to be crucial, because to close down nine points of a gap over 10 games was a big ask, but equalising against Aberystwyth away in the last minute and drawing away at Cardiff Met were huge for us and soon we had the gap down to five points, so we were on a bit of a run and it was game on.
“We did the playoffs the hard way, beating a flying Penybont side with a late goal and showing a lot of resilience, before going to Caernarfon. People have said to me quite a few times how good the game was, but on the touchline it was a rollercoaster and it took me a fair while to recover, but we’re here now with a fantastic experience ahead of us and one we want to enjoy. We’re going to be undermanned due to self-isolation constraints, but we’ll go in there as Newtown do when our backs are against the wall and give it our best shot.”
One to Watch - Aaron Williams - Striker
The former England C international has recently signed for Newtown AFC from English non-league outfit Telford United.
Williams has scored 100 goals in his career which has included spells at Walsall, Peterborough United and Newport County. He was also part of the Brackley Town side which missed out to promotion to the National League in the 2017/18 season despite scoring 33 goals during that campaign.
A proven goalscorer, Williams will add significant threat and at the age of 27, he also has the necessary experience to trouble the Dundalk defence.
Newtown are set to find out how many players are set to miss the first leg against Dundalk with four players currently in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
Another round of testing is set to take place ahead of the squad's flight to Ireland which could rule out more players.
Newtown Facts - 2020/21 Welsh Premier League Season
66% of Newtown's matches had over 2.5 goals scored in total.
Newtown conceded at least 1 goal in 81% of their home matches.
Newtown have scored in 75% of their away matches.
Newtown have won their last 3 away matches.
Newtown have been undefeated in their last 5 away matches.
Newtown have scored in each of their last 5 away matches.
Newtown have scored 2 goals or more in each of their last 5 away matches.