Newport County suffered penalty shootout heartbreak in Gloucestershire, but manager Michael Flynn focused on the positives.
His team drew 1-1 against Cheltenham at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium before losing 7-6 in the shootout.
“It was a really good, enjoyable game,” said the County manager. “We played some good football and our two up front absolutely murdered them in the first half. They didn’t know how to handle them. They ran them ragged.”
Antonio Semenyo and Mark Harris linked up in attack with Amond, who scored his 10th goal of the season, dropped into midfield.
Flynn was also pleased with Jay Foulston and goalkeeper Nick Townsend, saying: “There were good performances all around and a lot of positives.
REACTION: Boss Michael Duff spoke to the media after tonight's @CheckatradeTrpy win over Newport County at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
— Cheltenham Town (@CTFCofficial) December 4, 2018
“The goal we gave away was terrible but there were loads of plus points.”
Alex Addai equalised for Cheltenham midway through the second half and it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
With no extra-time in the Trophy, the match went straight to penalties.
And, after Amond, Dan Butler, Joss Labadie, Josh Sheehan, Antoine Semenyo and Mickey Demetriou all scored from the spot, Harris saw his effort saved by Robins goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Cheltenham progress to the last 16 and earned £20,000 in prize money.
“It’s a lottery in a penalty shootout and somebody has to lose,” said Flynn. “Somebody has to miss and unfortunately it was Mark, but he had the guts to take one so fair play to him.”
Tyler Forbes came back after injury and played for 65 minutes, while Joss Labadie had his first 20 minutes of action this season after a nine month injury lay-off..
Flynn made seven changes to his starting line-up with Amond, Josh Sheehan, Dan Butler and stand-in captain Fraser Franks keeping their places.
Newport pressed forward and went ahead after 17 minutes when Amond scored after good work by Cameron Pring and Franks.
Cheltenham equalised after 66 minutes when Addai fired into the roof of the net and the match was eventually decided in the shootout.
Next up for County is a League Two match at Swindon Town on Saturday.
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) December 4, 2018
Newport County AFC (3-5-2): Townsend, Forbes (Pipe 65), Foulston (Demetriou 79), Franks, Butler, Pring, Sheehan, Cooper (Labadie 70), Amond, Semenyo, Harris. Subs not used: Day, Demetriou, Taylor, Hillman, Collins
Cheltenham Town (3-4-1-2): Flinders, Alcock (Clements 59), Mullins, capt (Forster 72), Tozer, Boyle, Field, Atangana, Thomas, Addai, Jones, Barnett (Mooney 72). Subs not used: Lovett, McAlinden, Brennan, Handley
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 739 (94 away)
✔️ Conor Thomas scores to the bottom left corner.
✔️ Padraig Amond scores to the middle left corner.
✔️ Jordan Forster scores to the top left corner.
✔️ Dan Butler scores to the bottom left corner.
✔️ Ben Tozer scores to the bottom right corner.
✔️ Joss Labadie scores straight down the middle.
✔️ Chris Clements scores to the bottom left corner.
✔️ Josh Sheehan scores to the top left corner.
✔️ Sam Jones scores to the top left corner.
✔️ Antoine Semenyo scores to the bottom left corner.
✔️ Kelsey Mooney scores to the bottom left corner.
✔️ Mickey Demetriou scores to the top left corner.
✔️ Tom Field scores to the bottom left corner.
❌ Mark Harris misses to the bottom right corner. Saved well by Scott Flinders.