Newport County Bow Out . . . With Pride Topped Up And £700,000 In The Bank

Mike Flynn voiced his glowing pride in Newport County as they finally bowed out of the FA Cup at Wembley on Wednesday night.

The Newport manager saw his side lose 2-0 against Tottenham in their fourth round replay, but gain a lot of admirers for a very gutsy effort against the Premier League giants.

A two-goal deficit away to Spurs is hardly a disgrace and compares equally with the two goal defeats suffered against the same opponents by Manchester United and Real Madrid this season.

Spurs, the eight-times FA Cup winners, were just eight minutes away from a humiliating exit when England striker Harry Kane scored to salvage a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade in the first game.

But it was a different story at Wembley where Dan Butler’s 26th-minute own goal and an Erik Lamela strike eight minutes later put Spurs 2-0 up before half-time.

But Flynn said: “I am not happy but I am very proud. The work-rate and effort the players put in was fantastic. I know they missed a few chances in the second half but we kept going right until the end and should have scored.

“I thought for the first 25 minutes we were the better team, but how they scored was deflating and it took us 10 minutes to get over that. Unfortunately then the damage was done.

“The frustrating thing is that we didn’t hold on at home. It was always going to be tough here, they have fantastic players and are in the top six in the Premier League every year and the Champions League.”

Tottenham will now travel to third-tier strugglers Rochdale for a last-16 tie on the weekend of Feb 17-18.

But the FA Cup has been a huge financial boost for Newport, with their run to this stage earning them at least £700,000.

Since the original tie, Newport had lost twice, while Spurs had beaten Manchester United and drawn at Liverpool.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino rested several players but Belgium centre-back Toby Alderweireld returned for his first appearance since Spurs’ Champions League win against Real Madrid on November 1, with England left-back Danny Rose starting for the first time since Boxing Day.

Newport were far from overawed early on and it took a huge slice of luck to give Spurs the lead in the 26th minute when a cross from Moussa Sissoko deflected off Butler and left goalkeeper Joe Day stranded.

It was not long before Spurs had their second goal, when Lamekla scored for the first time since finding the net against Gillingham in September 2016.

Pochettino said: “Of course we are happy because we are in the next stage and that is the most important thing.

“It was a professional job and it was important for many players to have the possibility to play.

“It is tough to find a place to play as the team is doing well and today was a great opportunity.

“We won against Man United and drew a fantastic game at Liverpool and Newport lost to Lincoln and Colchester.

“But in the FA Cup we understand after a few years it is a magic competition and anything can happen.”

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