The FA Cup - First Round
Newport2Walsall1

Newport County 2-1 Walsall

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FA Cup: Newport County 2-1 Walsall highlights

League Two side Newport County took Walsall's scalp in a day of FA Cup first-round upsets.

The League One side fell behind thanks to a deflected effort from striker Frank Nouble, who had gone 12 games without scoring.

Shawn McCoulsky doubled the advantage just 25 seconds after the start of the second half.

Substitute Amadou Bakayoko's 78th-minute header proved to be a consolation for the visitors.

The Exiles advance to the second round for the fourth time in five seasons, but Walsall's poor recent FA Cup record in the competition as they were knocked out in the first round for the third time in the last four years.

The Saddlers controlled possession for large spells but looked every bit a side who have only won one of their last seven games, with confidence clearly the missing ingredient for Jon Whitney's men.

They should have levelled when on-loan West Bromwich Albion striker Tyler Roberts - who was watched by Wales manager Chris Coleman in the stand - fired just wide from a well-worked corner.

Shawn McCoulsky of Newport County and Jon Guthrie of Walsall compete for the ball
Shawn McCoulsky of Newport County and Jon Guthrie of Walsall compete for the ball

But it was the Exiles who created the clearer chances, although there was an element of fortune to their first goal.

Nouble showed pace and power to lose his marker, but his shot ballooned up off Jon Guthrie and dipped under the crossbar, leaving Mark Gillespie no chance.

However, the Walsall goalkeeper may well feel he could have done better for Newport's second, with the Saddlers caught cold immediately after the restart.

Ben White strolled through the Saddlers' rearguard to find McCoulsky, who was able to pick his spot from an acute angle as he fired across Gillespie and inside the far post.

It was the striker's eighth goal of the season in only his 13th appearance.

Kieron Morris thought he had reduced the arrears, only to be wrongly flagged for offside, but Walsall struggled to impose themselves against a Newport side that seemed to relish the task of protecting their advantage with a potential bumper pay-day to come.

They might even have had a third, but Nouble flashed a header just wide from Matty Dolan's corner.

Bakayoko beat Mickey Demetriou to the ball and headed home a goal to give the visitors hope, but the Exiles deservedly hung on.

Newport manager Mike Flynn told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was an outstanding, disciplined performance. But I am a little bit disappointed with the goal we conceded. If we cut out those little things, we will be a very good team.

"We knew they would have a lot of the ball. But it was almost a perfect defensive display."

Walsall manager Jon Whitney told BBC WM:

"We limited them to just one shot on target in the first half. We didn't look under threat. And we talked about how important it was to keep it tight at the start of the second half.

"But conceding a goal 25 seconds into the second half makes it so difficult for you. It's always an uphill task when you concede a poor team goal like that."

Line-ups

Newport

  • 1Day
  • 2Pipe
  • 6White
  • 25O'BrienSubstituted forBennettat 69'minutes
  • 28Demetriou
  • 3Butler
  • 12Tozer
  • 8Dolan
  • 7Willmott
  • 15McCoulskySubstituted forAmondat 81'minutes
  • 10Nouble

Substitutes

  • 9Amond
  • 11Reynolds
  • 13Jackson
  • 17Bennett
  • 20Owen-Evans
  • 27Rigg
  • 30Bittner

Walsall

  • 1Gillespie
  • 15Kinsella
  • 23Donnellan
  • 5Guthrie
  • 3Leahy
  • 7Chambers
  • 2Edwards
  • 11MorrisSubstituted forBakayokoat 62'minutes
  • 19Ismail
  • 18Roberts
  • 10OztumerSubstituted forKouhyarat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Devlin
  • 9Jackson
  • 13Roberts
  • 17Flanagan
  • 20Bakayoko
  • 24Roberts
  • 25Kouhyar
Referee:
Gavin Ward
Attendance:
2,701

Match Stats

Home TeamNewportAway TeamWalsall
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home5
Away7
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home6
Away4

Live Text

Match ends, Newport County 2, Walsall 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Newport County 2, Walsall 1.

Foul by Padraig Amond (Newport County).

Joe Edwards (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Frank Nouble (Newport County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

Foul by Frank Nouble (Newport County).

Maz Kouhyar (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Maz Kouhyar (Walsall) left footed shot from long range on the left is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Newport County. Padraig Amond replaces Shawn McCoulsky.

Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luke Leahy (Walsall).

Goal!

Goal! Newport County 2, Walsall 1. Amadou Bakayoko (Walsall) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Maz Kouhyar.

Attempt missed. Frank Nouble (Newport County) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Jon Guthrie.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Maz Kouhyar replaces Erhun Oztumer.

Hand ball by Zeli Ismail (Walsall).

Scot Bennett (Newport County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Amadou Bakayoko (Walsall).

Substitution

Substitution, Newport County. Scot Bennett replaces Mark O'Brien.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Amadou Bakayoko replaces Kieron Morris.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Mark O'Brien (Newport County) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Tyler Roberts (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Ben White (Newport County).

Kieron Morris (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by David Pipe.

Attempt saved. Tyler Roberts (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Newport County 2, Walsall 0. Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner.

Second Half

Second Half begins Newport County 1, Walsall 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Newport County 1, Walsall 0.

Foul by Robbie Willmott (Newport County).

Luke Leahy (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Frank Nouble (Newport County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Luke Leahy.

Attempt missed. Tyler Roberts (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Dan Butler.

Attempt missed. Erhun Oztumer (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt blocked. Tyler Roberts (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Frank Nouble (Newport County).

goal

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