Newport County's Mark O'Brien was ruled out by illness. Pic: Getty Images.

Newport County Aiming For FA Cup Third Round Glory

Newport County go in search of FA Cup glory when they take on Cambridge United in a second round tie at Rodney Parade on Sunday (2pm).

The winners will have the chance of a lucrative tie against Premier League opposition and will be guaranteed £45,000 in prize money.

“If we can get into the next round and get a big draw then it will be huge for the club,” says manager Michael Flynn.

“The supporters could have a great away day and the players can test themselves against the best players in the world – it’s almost like winning the lottery.

“If you ever get to play at Old Trafford, Anfield, Stamford Bridge, the Emirates or the Etihad it’s huge.

“But then there are other teams you want to draw, like Newcastle, who always fill out their stadium and have a big following.

“There’s no better feeling than playing in those types of games. It’s a free shot. Nobody expects you to do anything against them.

“If we could earn a place in the next round and draw big opposition it would be like winning the lottery.

“Plymouth Argyle took Liverpool to a replay last season after beating us. Anything can happen, that’s the beauty of it.

“But we have a tough team in front of us on Sunday and I won’t be thinking about the third round until we beat Cambridge.”

Newport’s only third-round appearance in the last 30-plus years was two seasons ago, when they were beaten by Blackburn Rovers.

Flynn and his team go into the cup clash with Cambridge feeling confident after a 1-0 win at Swindon Town in their last League Two fixture.

Former Swindon player Ben Tozer netted the only goal and that ended a run of six games without a win.

Now County put League ambitions out of their minds and focus on the potential of a third round match-up against Premier League opposition.

Newport will be without defender Scott Bennett, but Mark O’Brien is back and likely to step straight in.

Robbie Willmott is available again after concussion and could well start.

Flynn will ponder whether to recall Padraig Amond, possibly for Shawn McCoulsky.

Cambridge United are assessing the fitness of Liam O’Neil. The U’s midfielder missed their 1-0 win over Stevenage last time out.

Gary Deegan will miss out again with a broken foot and Cambridge may stick with their new midfield partnership of Paul Lewis and former Newport player Medy Elito.

Striker Marlon Jackson has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury and is ruled out for around two months.

“Marlon’s out injured again and it’s going to be a lengthy one,” said Flynn. “He has done his hamstring and it’s probably going to be eight weeks for him.

“It’s not good because he was in contention again and looking sharp in training.

“He’s not having much luck and it’s frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for him, and I’m sure it’s frustrating for the physio department.

“They did everything with his rehab which they should, and were maybe a little bit over-cautious at times, so I can’t point the finger at anybody.

“He is low. I spoke to him on Wednesday when he had the results and I’ll probably give him a little bit of time off next week to get away and recharge the batteries.”

Newport County, possible: Day; White, O’Brien, Demetriou; Pipe, Dolan, Tozer, Willmott; Labadie; Nouble, McCoulsky. Bench, from: Bittner, Foulston, Reynolds, Touray, Rigg, Owen-Evans, Amond, Butler.

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