Padraig Amond celebrates his goal against he wants to end his two game FA Cup drought. Pic: Geoff CADDICK / AFP) /

Newport County Go Fox-Hunting And Brendan Rodgers Bashing For Cup Glory

By Gareth James

Newport is once again being gripped by cup fever and three days after reaching the second round of the FA Cup, Graham Coughlan’s Exiles are ready to go toe-to-toe with Premier League side Leicester City. 

Tonight’s third round tie in the Carabao Cup is the chance for the ‘Amber Army’ to celebrate a possible double over the Foxes having beaten them 2-1 in the FA Cup third round in 2019. What a day that was, and the man who fired home the winner that day believes lightning could strike twice. 

It was Padraig Amond’s 85th minute penalty that gave the League Two side their famous 2-1 win over at Rodney Parade i three years ago and his advice to his former team mates ahead of their trip to the King Power Stadium is “fear nothing”. 

Amond, still banging in the goals for National League club Woking, puts that win over Leicester at the top of his list of memories from his five-year stay with the Exiles – and he doesn’t see why the club can’t do it again tonight. 

“All the pressure will be on Leicester City, especially with the game being at the King Power. The Newport lads have got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Amond. 

“They can just go out there and enjoy themselves because there is nothing expected of them. That’s how it was for us back in the day. 

“We had the confidence of drawing with Spurs in the FA Cup the season before and then going to Wembley for the replay and putting-up a good show. When it came to Leicester the next season, we felt confident with them having to come to us and play on our notorious pitch at Rodney Parade. 

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Pic: Getty Images.

“We seemed to have a cup run every season and it was great for the players, supporters and the club. It’s the same now. 

“Graham Coughlan has come in and tightened things up at the back and this game will be now harder than the ones they’ve won to get into the third round of the Carabao Cup. And getting through to the second round of the FA Cup last weekend will also have boosted confidence.” 

Amond said he felt no fear when he had the chance to regain the lead against Leicester in 2019 after Mark Allbrighton had conceded a penalty. 

“I had played with Danny Ward when he was on loan at Morecambe and taken a number of penalties against him,” explained Amond. 

“I was really relaxed, while he was probably overthinking things, wondering if I remembered which way he liked to dive. I knew that if I missed we were still likely to get a replay, which wouldn’t have been bad against the former Premier League champions, and after I scored I just wanted the final few minutes to go as quickly as possible. 

Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward. Pic: Getty Images.

“That win is right up there with my greatest moments and as soon as Newport were drawn against Leicester I was tagged into everyone’s Twitter and Instagram notices. 

“I’m sure there will be a few people in the Leicester camp who will be seeking revenge, but I’m backing those Newport boys who are still around to bring back the glory days.” 

Newport coach Joe Dunne is not predicting many changes from the side that has already kept more clean sheets and scored won more games than for a while. He wants his players to learn from tonight’s experience and to compete hard for another great cup occasion against a team buoyed by a 2-0 win at Everton last weekend.. 

“It’s another big game, another big stadium and all part of the evolving history of the club. We are delighted to be part of it,” said Dunne. 

“We are talking about a top side with a top manager, with World Cup players. We will go there and try to learn from the experience by representing the club to the best that we can. 

“The great thing about playing these top teams is the speed that they play at and the speed that they move the ball. 

“That is something we can use to help our game, because these are elite players that we will be going up against. Our job is to make sure we compete and that we are in the game, we are not going to go there and admire them and stand and watch them.” 

Six games after Newport beat them the last time they met, the Foxes parted company with manager Claude Puel. Brendan Rodgers beware! 

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