Newport County 2-1 Leicester City – Foxes exit early to plucky Exiles

By Harry Trend

Newport County knocked a top flight side out of the FA Cup for the first time since January 1964 on Saturday as they overcame Leicester City 2-1 at Rodney Parade.

Rachid Ghezzal looked like he was going to be Leicester’s main outlet, early on he forced a strong one-handed save from Joe Day.

However, the home side drew first blood. Robbie Willmott beat Christian Fuchs down the line, before floating a cross in. On the receiving end was Jamille Matt, who hung in the air to head in off the post. A cupset was on the cards.

Fuchs almost got his revenge though, beating Willmotts moments later before squaring to Marc Albrighton. The ball took a bobble before reaching the former Villa man who side-footed over.

The away side were putting the pressure on, Shinji Okazaki headed wide from a corner, and the Newport defence were throwing themselves in front of every shot.

Leicester full backs did look shaky though. A ball over the top did Danny Simpson, but Matt couldn’t finish Padraig Amonds low cross.

On the cold winter evening County were warming up South Wales with non stop singing, on occasions the drum came out with cries of “Allez allez allez!”

In the second half Leicester took a hold of the game, with Newport defenders taking no chances by clearing everything in sight.

Albrighton cut inside and outside of his man before letting a venomous shot crash against the crossbar, an equaliser was on its way.

And after 82 minutes it did come, Day made an excellent close range save from Maddison, but the ball was only half cleared to Ghezzal who rifled a shot into the top corner.

A 1-1 draw at home to a Premier League side, a good result, sure, but minutes after Ghezzals goal Newport got more than that.

Vashon Neufville found fellow loanee Antoine Semenyo on the left in space, and the latter put in a cross which struck the elbow of Albrighton.

From the spot Amond made no mistake, sending Danny Ward the wrong way with his penalty. Cue absolute madness in the stands.

For the remaining few minutes the Exiles defended like their lives depended on it, Mickey Demetriou, in a Zoro style mask, won everything in the air.

However, Newport’s stand out player was goalkeeper Day, who wasn’t phased by the occasion. The stalwart didn’t put a foot wrong and came out to collect every cross with confidence.

When the final whistle blew you could see what it meant to the Newport fans, who were in delirium. A proud day for the city.

County now go into the round four draw amongst the likes of Man City, Man United and Arsenal.

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