Ta­bles turned as Ex­iles look to avoid big shock

South Wales Echo - - Sport -

PADRAIG Amond was the hero who al­most made Newport County’s gi­antkilling dream a re­al­ity dur­ing last sea­son’s mirac­u­lous FA Cup run.

The Ir­ish striker will never for­get the header he scored against Tot­ten­ham to put the League Two min­nows within eight min­utes of the fifth round last sea­son.

But the ta­bles have been turned this week­end as Mike Flynn’s men travel to take on the low­est-ranked team left in the draw, Met Po­lice, and he is de­ter­mined not to let David beat Go­liath this time.

“They’re the low­est-ranked team in the draw, but they’ll be ex­pect­ing to win the game so it’s up to us to make sure that come five o’clock Sat­ur­day, no­body’s talk­ing about Newport be­ing put out in the shock of the round,” said Amond.

“They’ll have big dreams of beat­ing Newport and get­ting a big­ger team in the third round.

“It was fan­tas­tic to be a part of the un­be­liev­able run last year, it gave the club and our­selves ex­po­sure that we’ve never had be­fore.

“Ev­ery­one wants that big draw away from home in the third round, there are shocks every year so if you take any­thing lightly, you’ll get turned over.

“It’s a winnable tie and a great op­por­tu­nity for us to get into the next round and that’s the only way you can look at it.”

Newport’s mag­i­cal run fi­nally ended with de­feat in their fourth-round re­play at Wem­b­ley af­ter Harry Kane stabbed home an equaliser at Rod­ney Pa­rade.

But Amond is des­per­ate for an­other taste of the big time af­ter com­ing so close against the Pre­mier League heavy­weights.

“The Spurs game was an­other level and to be seven or eight min­utes away from beat­ing them was amaz­ing,” he added.

“But it was dis­ap­point­ing be­cause we didn’t hold on for the vic­tory be­cause it would have been one of the big­gest shocks in the his­tory of the cup.

“For me to score the goal as well was some­thing else, it’s some­thing peo­ple keep bring­ing up which is bril­liant, but their is a slight tinge of dis­ap­point­ment that comes with it.

“Shocks are al­ways there to be had in the FA Cup, league form goes out the win­dow, I don’t know why it hap­pens but ev­ery­thing is for­got­ten and it turns into a 90 minute game.”

Ex­iles man­ager Flynn knows ex­actly how it feels to be on the wrong end of a cup up­set, while at Gilling­ham 13 years ago.

The for­mer mid­fielder was sent-off against Burscough with the game in the bal­ance, and was pow­er­less to stop his side slip­ping to a shock de­feat.

“I know what it feels like,” re­called Flynn. “It was 1-1 when I got sent off and we ended up los­ing 3-2.

“Any­body who thinks we’re just go­ing to turn up and win the game won’t be play­ing. There’s not a chance of that hap­pen­ing. We know how easy it is for upsets to hap­pen in the FA Cup be­cause we did it last sea­son by beat­ing Leeds and hold­ing Tot­ten­ham.”

Padraig Amond cel­e­brates his stun­ning goal against Spurs in last term’s FA Cup

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