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Report | Exiles defeat Eastleigh to set up tie with Manchester United

16 January 2024

Club News

Report | Exiles defeat Eastleigh to set up tie with Manchester United

16 January 2024

Newport County booked their place in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-1 victory against Eastleigh at Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday night.

Aaron Wildig fired the Exiles ahead inside two minutes and saw his side take a one-goal lead into the break.

Paul McCallum drew the sides level with a thunderous strike just after the restart, before two late goals from James Clarke and Will Evans sealed the win to set up a tie against Manchester United in the next round.

Manager Graham Coughlan made three changes to the side that defeated Doncaster Rovers on the weekend, with Harry Charsley, Aaron Wildig and Seb Palmer-Houlden coming into the starting eleven in place of Kiban Rai, James Waite and Matt Baker.

Kyle Jameson also made his long-awaited return from injury to feature on the bench.

It was the visitors who made a dream start to the proceedings, netting the opening goal inside two minutes. After a quick counter-attack, Evans drove into the box before teeing up Wildig, who rounded Joe McDonnell before firing home.

Seconds later a long ball from Ryan Delaney picked out Palmer-Houlden down the near left who tried an audacious side volley that whistled just wide of the post. As County looked to add to their lead, they nearly doubled it three minutes later. Shane McLoughlin’s lofted delivery towards the far post picked out Scot Bennett, whose downward header forced a strong save from McDonell.

Midway through the first-half, another swift move saw the advancing Wildig fire at the side netting after he met Adam Lewis’ inviting cross at the near post, as the Exiles took the advantage going into the break.

Half Time

Eastleigh began the second period on the front foot searching for an equalising goal. That came just two minutes into the half, as Paul McCallum beat Delaney in behind before thumping home a delightful volley past the outstretched Townsend.

After falling behind to the home side’s equaliser, the Exiles hit back at the other end just ten minutes later. McLoughlin’s far post delivery was kept alive at the back post by James Clarke, whose diving header put Coughlan’s men back ahead.

County continued to create chances while on the front foot, Palmer-Houlden was played in by Bryn Morris down the right-hand side. The Bristol City loanee drove past Clampin before steering an effort just wide of the side-netting.

With the Exiles in the ascendancy, County’s persistence paid off in the 78th minute. After a well-worked move down the left-hand side, Morris found the feet of Evans, who skillfully beat Enzio Boldewijn guiding a thunderous strike beneath McDonell.

Morris was next to go close to a fourth for County with minutes of the half remaining, he was set up by Evans from the left, where a spectacular save from McDonnell was needed to divert Morris’s low effort.

In injury time, the Exiles had shouts for a penalty dismissed by the referee after Evans was brought down by Ludwig Francillette in the box, but it was County who booked a place in the next round of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition.  

Full Time

The Exiles will now face Manchester United at Rodney Parade on Sunday 28th January (4.30pm), instead of our scheduled trip to Harrogate Town in Sky Bet League Two on Friday 26th January. 

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Atangana, Francillette, Taylor (C) (Rutherford 84’), McCallum, Boldewijn, Croll, Maguire, Clements (Harris 70’), Panter (Clampin 70’), Quigley.

Substitutes: Scott, Martin, Barlow, Hodson, Nwabuokei, Yang.

Newport County: Townsend, Delaney (C), Clarke, Bennett, Lewis (Payne 46’), McLoughlin, Morris, Charsley, Wildig (Waite 77’), Evans, Palmer-Houlden.

Substitutes: Maxted, Bondswell, Wood, Rai, Sanca, Jameson, Bright.

Attendance: 5.076 (750 away)

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