ewport County's play-off push rolls into Cheshire on Easter Monday as Mike Flynn's men travel to Moss Rose to face Macclesfield Town. County are unbeaten in their last six matches and will fancy their chances to improve that record further against Sol Campbell's men who sit just two points above the League Two relegation places.
Good Friday's 3-1 win over Bury was a huge boost to County's chances as it left the route to the play-offs in their own hands as wins in each of their final four matches will guarantee them an extension to their season.
October's fixture between the sides provided quite the spectacle; stand-in referee Trevor Kettle's evening was described by Mike Flynn as "one of the worst refereeing performances I've ever seen in my life." The 3-3 draw, which in itself was salvaged by a Jamille Matt 97th-minute leveller after the visitors were awarded two penalties, was just Macclesfield's fourth point of the season and saw County fall to third in the table. While County can't finish that high anymore, a top-seven finish would be a perfect tonic to what has, at times, been a somewhat turbulent season.
Having scored three goals in three of their last five outings, it is fair to say that the shackles have been taken of County's player in recent times and they can fancy their chances of boosting their goal difference against the second-leakiest defence in the division.
Friday withdrawals Matt Dolan and Jamille Matt are set to be assessed on the trip up North after coming off with a dead leg and cramp respectively. Harry McKirdy showed his readinness to fill in after a pacy display in Matt's unfortunate enforced absence and Joss Labadie may be ready to deputise in central midfield following an ankle injury.
Former Arsenal captain Sol Campbell's first managerial appointment has undoubtedly seen their fortunes change as, having previously been cut adrift at the foot of the table, the Silkmen have got themselves out of the bottom two. And while they've only managed one win in their last six outings, a creditable draw away at Champions-elect Lincoln City and a thrilling comeback victory over Exeter City are timely reminders to Flynn and his staff that Easter Monday has the potential to be equally as tough as any other fixture.
Flynn's side will need to be wary of Macclesfield top scorer Scott Wilson who, after a somewhat average beginning to his time at Moss Rose, is almost averaging a goal every other game this season.
But given County's recent defensive record, you would fancy them to come away from Cheshire with all three points and should other results go in their favour, the long road back to the play-off places could be at an end as early as 5pm on Easter Monday.
Given that Mike Flynn's side have a game in hand on teams above them, this game is not as must-win as it could have been but while they have the bit between their teeth and their fate in their own hands, it's very exciting times for the Exiles. Easter Monday's performance will show further how much they want to extend their season...
Prediction: Macclesfield Town 0-2 Newport County
I will be tweeting updates from Moss Rose tomorrow; don't forget to giveme a follow on @DanielFrazer7 for in-depth analysis and original opinion on County's push for the top seven!