By Gareth James
James Rowberry has admitted Newport County’s revival of their proud Cup heroics has left him speechless.
The County manager was impressed after seeing his team twice come from behind against Portsmouth at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night before claiming their place in the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-2 win.
Former Penybont and Cardiff Met striker James Waite’s winner proved the key moment, one of two Newport goals scored by former Cymru Premier players, with Will Evans also finding the net.
Aaron Wildig scored his first goal for the club and Rowberry – who guided the club to a first round win over Luton Town – revealed: “I’m lost for words for a change.
“I thought the players were outstanding. They were brilliant and I can’t speak well enough of them again.
Will Evans and Aaron Wildig’s first #NCAFC goals, as well as James Waite’s winner, send us into Round Three of the Carabao Cup!
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) August 23, 2022
“This group is so resilient and it’s something that we’ve really worked on in this pre-season, with the work we do behind the scenes around about the culture.
“We talk about resilience a lot and going through adversity. You’re going to get that at some points and we sure do that in games a lot, and we get back from it.”
Ronan Curtis opened the scoring early in the first half, but Evans – signed from JD Cymru Premier outfit Bala Town in the summer — equalised with his first Newport goal.
Curtis ensured the League One side went into half-time ahead after adding a second.
But Newport levelled again through former Cardiff City youngster Wildig’s first goal for the club, after which Waite sealed a deserved win for the League Two team.
Newport now enter the draw for the third round of the competition where the Premier League heavyweights enter the contest.
We will be ball number 2⃣1⃣ in tonight’s Carabao Cup third-round draw!
It takes place on Sky Sports following Tranmere vs Newcastle tonight. We’ll bring you our opposition as we hear it tonight!
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) August 24, 2022
Tonight’s draw could give County a plum draw against holders Liverpool, runners-up Chelsea, Premier League champions Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United or West Ham.
They are joined by the top flight clubs that won on Tuesday night – Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Southampton.
“I’ve been waiting for one (a Cup run) for a long time, I’ve been envious of it, and I’ve wanted to be part of it,” added Rowberry, who took over last October.
“I never had a good Cup run at Cardiff but now we’re starting to get a run together.”
Rowberry’s predecessor, Michael Flynn, took the club on some incredible giant-killing journeys during his time in charge that included memorable FA and League Cup ties against Manchester City, Tottenham, Leicester City, West Ham, Newcastle and Brighton.