NEWTOWN’S new keeper Matt Kirkham has ruled himself out of making his debut against former club The New Saints in tonight’s Welsh Premier clash at Latham Park.
The Saints’ reserve signed for the Robins last week after Dave Jones was rested following the 7-0 Welsh Cup drubbing at Llanelli.
Kirkham, however, will not figure tonight at his own request, with Jon Rowley now taking over between the posts for the testing clash against the title chasers.
“I had a chat with Matt and he said he would prefer not to play against his old team so we’ve called in Jon who has been biding his time in the reserves,” said manager Darren Ryan.
“It’s up to these two lads now to stake a claim, and if Jon does well it will be difficult for me to drop him.”
Nicky Jones, from Port Talbot, is set to make his bow along with Welshpool defender Dan March and Aberystwyth’s Rob King.
Dale Raven and Sean Butler are both back from suspension, while Llanfyllin striker Gary Meredith Thompson may also be included on the bench. Justin Wickham, however, is still missing.
Meanwhile, The New Saints bid to bounce back from their disappointing Welsh Cup exit at Porthmadog in their last outing.
Manager Ken McKenna is banking on a positive response from his charges after their double hopes evaporated in the penalty shoot-out defeat.
“It was a game I felt we should have won, but went to pieces in the penalties,” he said. “It’s gone now and we’ve now got to make sure we push on, tackle the challenges ahead and look to win the league.”
Defender Rob Williams and midfielder Mark Davies, who both had a recent loan spell at Latham Park, may be included.