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Super Seb Sets Up Sensation No.2 For Newport County Against Manchester United

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By Hannah Blackwell

Seb Palmer-Houlden got in the groove as Newport County warmed up for next week’s FA Cup visit of Manchester United with a hard-fought 1-0 win over 10-man Wrexham.

In an all-Welsh battle at a packed Rodney Parade, the visitors had defender Will Boyle sent off for a wild challenge on Shane McLoughlin in the 18th minute and County used their numerical advantage to great effect.

Palmer-Houlden’s deft flicked header from Ryan Delaney’s cross found the top corner for what proved to be the only goal in the 34th minute.

Now the striker hopes to make it a double by shocking United’s box office stars after beating Hollywood-backed Wrexham.

“We definitely want them to bring the stars,” said Palmer-Houlden.

“We always want to play the best players but, whoever plays, we’ll put in a performance.

“We’ve got to enjoy it because these moments don’t come around too often.”

The 20-year-old has scored six goals from 23 appearances in all competitions this season and reckons the goal that decided the League Two Welsh derby – and kept Wrexham from going top of the table – was one of his best.

“It’s probably the best header I’ve ever scored, even though it was a flick-on, I’ve lobbed a 6ft 6in keeper [Arthur Okonkwo]” he added.

“It’s the best goal of my career. They [Wrexham fans] were giving a lot of abuse towards our fans, so it was the natural instinct to go to their fans and ‘shush’ them and then go to our fans. It was brilliant, I can’t describe the feeling.

“It was a brilliant atmosphere, and you see right from the kick-off we were straight at them, pressing as high as we can and going into challenges hard.

“Now we can go and think about Man United and what that brings. We can focus fully on it and enjoy the week to come. Bring on Man United!”

The visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo for keeping them in the contest.

The Arsenal loanee was at full stretch to keep out a 30-yard rocket from Bryn Morris before the interval.

And he had to be alert to deny Palmer-Houlden a second after the break when the striker, on loan from Bristol City, intercepted a poor pass to put him through on goal.

Okonkwo was again called upon to save from Adam Lewis and Will Evans before Harry Charsley fired over the bar.

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