Newport County are firmly focussed on Wembley Stadium. They take on Salford City at home in the leasing.com Challenge Cup semi-final on Tuesday – and the winners will earn a place in the final.
The cup clash could be a welcome break from SkyBet League Two football for manager Michael Flynn and his players following a 1-0 defeat at Mansfield Town.
Portsmouth and Exeter City clash in the other semi-final, while Newport are within reach of a fifth Wembley Stadium appearance in eight years.
Flynn was fed up after County’s 1-0 League defeat against Mansfield at a rain-sodden One Call Stadium.
A first half goal by Danny Rose was enough to earn Mansfield victory and Flynn said: “That group of players just worked their socks off for us. They put in a shift.
“You can never question the commitment.
“I will never question their effort. They kept going to the end and that’s a good trait to have.
“We played some good stuff first half and then we’ve gone and given them a goal.
“Rose had a free shot at the edge of the box and it’s killed us.
“There are a lot of positives, but I would have rather had one or two more negatives and grabbed the win.”
Newport were followed to the English Midlands by 111 supporters and Flynn said: “That’s a fantastic following.”
Flynn made three changes from the midweek draw against Walsall. Two were forced with Robbie Willmott replacing the injured Dan Leadbitter and Tristan Abrahams in for Otis Khan, who was ineligible to play against his parent club.
The other change saw Padraig Amond replace Jamille Matt.
Flynn was only able to name a five substitutes because of injuries and they included teenage defender Joe Woodiwiss.
Mansfield included former Cardiff City forward Nicky Maynard, but it was Rose who scored the crucial goal.
]Mansfield Town (3-5-2): Aidan Stone; Krystian Pearce (capt), Ryan Sweeney, Kelland Watts; Hayden White, Neal Bishop, Will Tomlinson, Harry Charsley, CJ Hamiton; Nicky Maynard, Danny Rose. Subs not used: Bobby Olejnik, Mal Benning, Matt Preston, Craig Davies, Jack Evans, James Clarke, Jimmy Knowles.
Newport County AFC (4-4-2): Tom King; Robbie Wilmott, Ryan Inniss, Scot Bennett, Mickey Demetriou; Jordan Green, Joss Labadie (C), Dale Gorman (Matty Dolan 78), Tristan Abrahams (Lewis Collins 46); Padraig Amond, Billy Waters (Jamille Matt 58). Subs not used: Kyle Howkins, Joe Woodiwiss.
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 3,653 (111 away)