Mauricio Pochettino at Rodney Parade. Who would have thought?
On Monday 8th January, ball number 9 was drawn along with ball number 18, meaning that Newport County were set to welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Rodney Parade in the 4th round of the FA Cup. You could say that County fans could not believe their luck, but luck played no part.
Newport dismissed Walsall in the first round of the cup after goals from Frank Nouble and young loan-star, Shawn McCoulsky, sealed The Exiles’ 2-1 home victory.
County continued their winning streak in the cup with another home win against Cambridge United. Newport captain, Joss Labadie, delivered with an impressive 2 goals to take his team into the 3rd round.
Next up, Leeds United. There was a mixed response to this draw amongst Newport fans: did they want a lower league team or a Premier League team instead? Newport lost 5-1 to Leeds previously this season in the 2nd round of the Carabao Cup, but the FA Cup had a different story to tell.
Berardi put Leeds ahead in the 9th minute of the game, but Michael Flynn’s side refused to give up easily to the Championship side. An own goal from Shaughnessy in the 76th minute breathed hope into the home fans at a packed out Rodney Parade. In the 89th minute, Shawn McCoulsky buried the ball with his head after leaping high in the air in search of a win. Entrance to the 4th round was celebrated by an eruption of fans onto the pitch.
The focus of Flynn’s side quickly turned back to the league with an away game to Grimsby approaching. Newport beat the Mariners 2-1, proving they didn’t have an FA Cup hangover.
County fans awaited 8th January with excitement to find out who they would face in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Hopeful for a Premiership team, fans were overjoyed with the result of the draw.
Newport have two league fixtures before they face Spurs on Saturday 27th January with the focus being on those games. However, undoubtedly willing the magic of the FA Cup.
Newport County, a club on the rise!