Tomorrow afternoon the Exiles will look to progress past round three of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2020/21 season when they take on National League outfit, Eastleigh.
It’s fair to say that Southampton loanee, Lewis Payne has enjoyed his time in South Wales so far, netting himself two goals as well as assisting three in his short spell in amber. Payne net his first professional goal against Barnet, Newport’s round two FA Cup opponents after just six minutes when Bogle slipped the ball across goal to the wing-back who tapped it home to put the Exiles ahead. Since then, Payne has found a further rich vein of form as he knocked in a rocket during Newport’s Boxing Day clash with Forest Green Rovers to seal all-three points.
“I’m really enjoying my time in Newport,” began the defender.
“I’ve had a decent run of games recently which has been good for me to pick up form. As a team I believe we’ve been playing well, but maybe some collective errors have been causing us to drop points. I think if we can tidy that up, we could be halfway up the table.
“For me it really has been a fantastic experience and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn and be around the first-team environment a lot.”
Payne’s strike against Forest Green Rovers was one for the cameras, the ball was floated into his path by Bryn Morris, the defender struck first-time with the inside of his foot and found the top-right corner of Daniels’ net. Although this wasn’t an orthodox finish from the full-back, Payne wasn’t surprised that the chance fell at his feet: “The role of a wing-back at Newport is to defend the back-post when defending, and attack the back-post when attacking,” he explained.
“For me as an attacking full-back it suits me, I like to get forward, I like to be on the ball, so it makes sense that I’ve been having a little more success, and I’m pleased, as it’s an area of my game I wanted to improve on when I joined on loan.
“I’m going to keep pushing and continuing to add this element to my game and hopefully we'll see that in the coming games.”
Looking forward to the Eastleigh clash and wider, the FA Cup as a whole, the defender shared his thoughts going into tomorrow’s game: “I think in the last game [Barnet], we played very well,” he confirmed.
“We put in a really strong performance and we'll be looking to bring that into Eastleigh, tomorrow. The feeling around the club is that we want to do well in the competition. It’s a good opportunity to get into the fourth round, albeit against a tough team in Eastleigh, but we are a tough team too, so I think everyone is excited.”
“Newport have got a really good history in the FA Cup, that’s why I think it’s so important to the fans, hopefully we can carry that tradition on and progress to the next round.”
You can secure your ticket(s) for tomorrow afternoon’s cup clash HERE.