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Club News

Season Rewind | Our FA Cup Journey So Far...

2 January 2024

Club News

Season Rewind | Our FA Cup Journey So Far...

2 January 2024

With New Year's resolutions set and Christmas trees back in the loft, it’s time to put the festive season behind us and look towards the first footballing treat of 2023 - the FA Cup third round!

The FA Cup third round is one of the most exciting events on the football calendar. The Premier League teams enter the competition, and the remaining Football League and non-league teams dream of a big day out and a potential date with destiny. 

The third-round draw has presented us with the chance to take on some exciting new opposition in the shape of National League Eastleigh. You would have to go all the way back to 2009 to find our last game against the Spitfires at home, with us registering a 5-1 win in the National League South. 

However, before we get to Saturday’s game, let’s look back at our performances in the FA Cup so far this campaign and how we got here. 

Emirates FA Cup First Round: Newport County 2-0 Oldham Athletic 

The 2023/24 FA Cup journey started with the visit of Mickey Mellon’s Oldham Athletic to Rodney Parade. 

The visitors arrived in South Wales on a mixed run of form, and they were comfortably put to the sword thanks to a fantastic brace from Shane McLoughlin, a man who is quickly establishing himself as an FA Cup expert at Newport. 

Some lovely build-up play gave us the lead 20 minutes into the encounter. Shane McLoughlin met a delightful ball across the face of the box from Matty Bondswell at the back-post to get the party started. 

We continued to control the rest of the game, with McLoughlin doubling his tally with a spectacular effort with ten minutes left on the clock. The ball was played across the field by Aaron Wildig, with McLoughlin levelling up and firing an excellent effort past Mat Hudson in the Oldham goal to make it 2-0 and book our place in the second round. 

Emirates FA Cup Second Round: Newport County 1-1 Barnet 

Next up at Rodney Parade was National League high-flyers Barnet on December 2nd. Dean Brennan’s team are currently mounting a promotion challenge in the National League, and it is easy to see why. 

After a battling performance in the first half, it was Shane McLoughlin, once again, who gave us the lead on the stroke of half-time. 

In a move similar to our opener against Oldham, James Clarke played a ball across the box, which McLoughlin met at the back-post and tapped into an empty net. 

With the clock ticking down, we went in search of a second throughout the second half, but it was not to be, with Barnet surprising us with a late sucker punch to send the game back to North London. A corner in the 89th minute was headed home by Danny Collinge, ensuring we would have to settle the score in the English capital. 

Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay: Barnet 1-4 Newport County 

The subsequent replay against Barnet was selected for TV coverage, and it’s fair to say the viewers at home were treated to an excellent performance. 

We broke the deadlock with just six minutes on the clock with a counter-attacking move that would go on to be the theme of the night. After breaking down the Barnet attack, an excellent ball found Omar Bogle, who played a pass across the box, which Lewis Payne met at the back post to give us the lead.

Payne would turn provider just seven minutes later. Another delightful counter-attack ended with Payne playing the ball across the face of the goal, with Seb Palmer-Houlden able to flick it past Laurie Walker in the Barnet net. 

Walker was then involved in a mix-up at the back for our third goal. The keeper came out to meet a long goal-kick from Nick Townsend, only for Danny Collinge, Barnet’s scorer in the first game, to head it over his own keeper’s head and into the goal. 

The hosts would pull one back before the break. Jordan Cropper’s long throw, a dangerous tool for Barnet, was flicked on by Finley Potter and hit home at the back post by their captain, Harry Pritchard. 

That was as good as it would get for the Bees, with Newport having one last sting to deliver in the second half. After soaking up a Barnet attack, Scot Bennett’s long ball up the field exposed the host’s high line, allowing Palmer-Houlden to race through and deliver the final blow, cooly slotting the ball past Walker to make it 4-1. 

The Exiles will now look to progress into round three when they take on Eastleigh at Rodney Parade on Saturday, January, 6. You can secure your tickets HERE.

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