The Non-League Football Paper - - FA CUP 1ST ROUND - By Jon Batham

ARUEFUL Gavin McPher­son re­flected on what might have been af­ter Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice’s bid for FA Cup his­tory came up short against Newport at Im­ber Court.

Po­lice were bid­ding to reach the sec­ond round in the fa­mous old tro­phy for the first time.

But first-half chances to pull off the gi­ant-killing against League Two high­fliers County weren’t taken and they were sunk by goals from Padraig Amond and Jamile Matt ei­ther side of the break.

“The boys gave ev­ery­thing as they al­ways do whether there is 96 here or 960,” the man­ager said. “I just feel we needed to take one or two of those chances we cre­ated in the first half.

“Had we taken those we would have had a dif­fer­ent story on our hands.

“For once my for­wards didn’t quite func­tion, but they have been mag­nif­i­cent all sea­son.”

An early chance for lead­ing scorer Jack Maz­zone sug­gested the Blues weren’t over­awed and prompted by the ex­cel­lent Ethan Chislett they cre­ated a num­ber of first half chances.

Max Black­more stabbed a close-range ef­fort wide and Chislett saw a sting­ing ef­fort beaten out by Joe Day.

At the other end Amond car­ried the threat for Newport, hit­ting the post and hav­ing a header ruled off­side.

The front­man wasn’t to be de­nied how­ever and from the next cor­ner his down­ward header squirmed be­yond Tommy Wil­liams.

Even then Met Po­lice should have gone in level, Day some­how claw­ing Black­more’s header over the bar.

The miss looked dou­bly costly when County struck again three min­utes af­ter the break. Tyreeq Bakin­son worked hard to find a yard in the box and though his shot was par­ried by Tommy Wil­liams, Matt fol­lowed in to score.

The hosts, who had mid­fielder Louis Birch sent off for a sec­ond book­able of­fence late on, never gave up, Black­more and Maz­zone forc­ing saves from Day, but the win­ning mar­gin may have been greater, sub­sti­tute An­toine Se­menyo see­ing an ef­fort ruled out for off­side while other chances went beg­ging.

County ap­peared very pro­fes­sional in see­ing the game out af­ter the first half scares.

How­ever, boss Mike Flynn was far from im­pressed.

“The fact we are through and the clean sheet are the only pos­i­tives,” he said.

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