Newport County Nando’s
Last season we saw Newport County strive into the fourth round of the FA and I don’t think many would have expected to see them again this season. Nevertheless, Newport has beaten their first three opponents of the competition and face Middlesborough next away from home.
Newport played the Metropolitan Police in the first round which led some to believe the contest would be a mismatch. This wasn’t the case though, Newport won the match 2-0 but the Met Police put out a good performance for a non-league side. Next up for Micheal Flynn’s team was fellow Welsh side, Wrexham. They were held to a goalless draw in North Wales before overturning the fixture 4-0 in Newport.
In the third round last season they beat Leeds United, this time around they faced former Premier League winners, Leicester City. Three divisions separated the teams prior to kick-off but in the FA Cup, reputations have proved to be irrelevant. Newport proved they can compete with Premier League sides as they drew with Tottenham last season before meeting defeat in the replay.
Their previous experience playing a top club is clearly one which has stuck with the players. Five thousand fans gathered in the Newport Stadium and it took only ten minutes for the league-two side to take the lead through Jamille Matt. Leicester held 71% of the possession over the match and eventually was able to penetrate Newport’s defence. Richard Ghezzal pulled the scores level with only ten minutes remaining. Leicester may have been happy with a replay, however, Newport continued to attack and were awarded a penalty in the 85′ minute. The spot kick was converted and Newport advance to the 4th round for the second year on the bounce.
The result was a huge upset for Leicester getting beaten by the lowest ranked team in the tournament. For Newport players, it probably won’t get any better than this unless they continue the impressive run. BBC coverage followed the County players into the dressing room and a huge pile of meat was waiting for the lads after their victory. Someone in the club expected their triumph over Leicester and decided to get a Nando’s in for all the boys. Many of them too ecstatic to notice the scran, although some were spotted devouring the butterfly burgers.