The FA Cup - Fourth Round - Replay
NewportNewport County2MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Newport County 2-0 Middlesbrough in FA Cup fourth-round replay

By Michael PearlmanBBC Wales Sport at Rodney Parade

Newport County's fantastic run in the FA Cup continued as they stunned Championship Middlesbrough to set up a fifth-round clash with Manchester City at Rodney Parade.

The League Two side dominated their more illustrious opponents and were full value for the win, secured by second-half goals from Robbie Willmott and Padraig Amond.

The prospect of the Premier League champions and Pep Guardiola visiting Newport is scarcely credible for a club that folded in 1989 and were within 90 seconds of dropping out of the Football League in 2017.

County, who shocked Premier League Leicester in the third round, now stand to earn more than £1m from their FA Cup campaign, a potentially transformative figure for a club in the fourth tier.

They have reached the fifth round for only the second time, and the first since 1949.

There were scenes of jubilation at full-time as Newport's incredulous supporters bellowed "Manchester City, we're coming for you."

Goalkeeper Joe Day had missed Newport's past two matches as his wife was heavily pregnant with twins. With the birth apparently not imminent, Day was recalled to the side but returned to the dressing room at full-time to discover his wife had gone into labour and immediately rushed to hospital.

The home players left behind soaked up the applause on a sodden surface, having knocked out a club 56 places above them in the Football League.

Former shelf-stacker sets up Man City tie

Rodney Parade, with its packed terraces and uneven playing surface, has been a surprise factor against the likes of Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester in the past, but there was little prospect of Newport feeling unfamiliar to Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.

He grew up in Pill on Dolphin Street, a stone's throw from Baldwin Street, where Newport boss Michael Flynn is from. He also spent two years playing for his hometown club in the mid-1980s and was warmly received on his return.

This was a special night for Newport and, based solely on performance, you would never have known which side was from League Two and which is fifth in the Championship and seeking promotion to the Premier League.

Newport, who needed a 93rd-minute equaliser in the original game to force a replay, were outstanding in the first half. They had 11 attempts on goal compared to only two from Boro, who hit the outside of the post through Jordan Hugill.

County were unlucky not to convert an almighty scramble on eight minutes with Mickey Demetriou and Amond both seeing shots blocked, while Amond's looping header was also close.

Newport thought they should have had a penalty when Boro midfielder Adam Clayton appeared to handle, but referee Stuart Atwell waved away the protests, before Dimi Konstantopoulos denied Amond from close range.

Willmott's brilliant run and cross then allowed Amond a free header, but it was straight at Konstantopoulos to cap a frustrating half.

The hosts deserved a goal for their dominance and when Willmott, who was stacking shelves in a supermarket less than two years ago, raced clear and saw no obvious support, his speculative effort deceived Konstantopoulos and flew in from 20 yards.

The expected fightback from Boro never materialised and County made the game safe with a well-worked second goal, Amond timing his run and firing home a Willmott corner in a move straight from the training ground.

Middlesbrough had no answer to the Exiles' dominance and now it is the over to the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva to work out the formula for beating Flynn's men.

Man of the match - Robbie Willmott (Newport)

Robbie Willmott scores for Newport against Middlesbrough
Robbie Willmott was a constant threat down the Newport right and capped off an impressive performance with a fine opening goal

'Men against boys' - what they said

Newport County boss Michael Flynn: "It's nothing more than we deserved, tonight we were absolutely outstanding. We should have had a penalty and should have scored more than twice too.

"At half-time I told them, 'you are going to get another opportunity'. We had created too much not to get another one. We stuck to our game-plan. Boro changed their shape a few times, which shows how well we did.

"Robbie Willmott was outstanding. An old-fashioned winger, he is very versatile, he's an outstanding talent and he should have played higher in his career.

"They can match Championship players. I don't know what it is with them. We can play like that but not every week in League Two."

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis: "They were the better team, they ran all over us. It was men against boys. Forget the conditions, you have to match people and that's the real disappointment.

"Give them credit, they were fantastic tonight and they deserve their win. The tempo of the game was really poor from us. I am desperately disappointed at the lack of real commitment. We were outfought and outplayed.

"We've been fantastic away from home this year. They have regularly turned up and put in performances but it's different circumstances tonight and we never coped with it."

Giantkillers Newport at it again - the stats

  • Newport County are now unbeaten in their past five home FA Cup games against higher division opposition, winning four and drawing one.
  • Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Robbie Willmott has had a hand in eight goals for Newport County in the FA Cup proper (four goals, five assists), at least three more than any other player.
  • Tony Pulis has been eliminated from the FA Cup by a team from the fourth tier or below for the first time since his Bournemouth side lost 2-1 to Preston in January 1994.



Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Day
  • 26Poole
  • 25O'Brien
  • 28Demetriou
  • 7WillmottSubstituted forPipeat 86'minutes
  • 17Bennett
  • 15Bakinson
  • 4LabadieSubstituted forDolanat 74'minutes
  • 3Butler
  • 9Amond
  • 11Matt


  • 2Pipe
  • 8Dolan
  • 10Marsh-Brown
  • 16Sheehan
  • 21Hornby-Forbes
  • 22Crofts
  • 30Townsend


Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 4Ayala
  • 24Flint
  • 20Fry
  • 17McNairSubstituted forvan La Parraat 45'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 8Clayton
  • 26Wing
  • 3Friend
  • 11HugillSubstituted forGestedeat 57'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 61'minutes


  • 18Fletcher
  • 19Downing
  • 28Tavernier
  • 29van La Parra
  • 31Lonergan
  • 37Besic
  • 39Gestede
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamNewportAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newport County 2, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newport County 2, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Aden Flint (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jamille Matt (Newport County).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Rajiv van La Parra.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matthew Dolan (Newport County) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Scot Bennett.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Newport County. David Pipe replaces Robbie Willmott.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rajiv van La Parra.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rajiv van La Parra with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Mark O'Brien.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Rajiv van La Parra with a through ball.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Wing.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Mark O'Brien.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rajiv van La Parra (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough).

  18. Post update

    Robbie Willmott (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Newport County. Matthew Dolan replaces Joss Labadie.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Mark O'Brien.


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