Coleman sees Exiles cut the mustard
NEWPORT manager Mike Flynn was delighted to dump League One Walsall out of the FA Cup in front of Wales boss Chris Coleman.
The Dragons boss was in attendance at Rodney Parade to see Frank Nouble’s deflected shot put the hosts 1-0 up before Shawn McCoulsky sealed their place in the second round.
Amadou Bakayoko got a late goal for the Saddlers but Flynn was glad he could pull off a shock in front of his country’s national team coach.
He said: “It was an outstanding, disciplined performance. I’m absolutely delighted with the result and the performance.
“I’m glad Frank broke his drought and it was a near-perfect defensive display. I’m praying we get a home draw on Monday because we can give anyone a game here.
“I met Chris before the game. He’s the best manager the country’s ever had and I’m very proud to have put on a defensive performance and a win he would have been proud of.”
Nouble found his shooting boots to give Newport a golden chance to upset their higher-division opponents and seal a place in the second round.
The 26-year-old battled past the Walsall midfield and shot from outside the area, and when he lifted his head, his effort had struck Saddlers defender Luke Leahy and looped into the net to make it 1-0 after 18 minutes.
It took only 25 seconds of the second half for Newport to put the tie out of sight.
Ben White intercepted the ball in defence and strode forward before finding McCouslky, who side-footed the ball past Mark Gillespie in between the Walsall sticks.
Visiting forward Kieron Morris had a goal chalked off for offside after 55 minutes but replays showed it should have stood to cut the gap to 2-1.
But they did make Newport sweat for the final 10 minutes when Maz Kouhyar sent an inch-perfect ball into the box for Bakayoko to head in. Saddlers manager Jon Whitney said: “The first-half goal was fortuitous.
“We had been keeping the ball and we knew we could come into it in the second-half but you can’t give a goal away 25 seconds after the restart
“It makes it so difficult. You can’t account for individual errors.
“I can’t keep carrying the can for the players.
“I’ve shown belief in the players and they need to repay that.
“We have to all look within because I can’t keep taking the pressure.”
STAR MAN BEN WHITE Newport