Newport County beat Middlesbrough in historic FA Cup upset to earn fifth round tie against Manchester City 2 years ago

Newport County beat Middlesbrough in historic FA Cup upset to earn fifth round tie against Manchester City

THE MAGIC OF THE CUP

"The former supermarket worker... cashing in," was the commentary line as Robbie Wilmott fired Newport County into the lead at the magnificently named Rodney Parade, confirming - if there was still any doubt - that the magic of the cup is still alive and well.

Advertisement

That was the first of two excellent goals scored by League Two side Newport against Middlesbrough, the second coming from Pádraig Amond, in Tuesday night's FA Cup replay to fire them into the fifth round of this season's FA Cup.

The home side took full advantage of the conditions. To call the pitch, which they share with the local Rugby side, a bog would not be an exaggeration. The ball would slow in the mud, the rain continued to pour, and Boro did not appear up for the fight.

The Exiles, though, very much were. They dominated their Championship opponents in every area of the pitch, even when Tony Pulis resorted to his tried and tested tactic of throwing on the big man, Rudy Gestede. The hosts remained resilient, earning themselves a place in the final 16 of the competition.

And who are they playing? Only Premier League champions Manchester City. At home.

Will this be the end of their run? Quite possibly, City are worlds ahead of them technically. But other factors come into play in the FA Cup, as we saw when Newport knocked out Leicester, and Boro.

If the pitch is anything like it was tonight, Pep Guardiola's boys will struggle to get the ball down and play, which will favour the hosts hugely.

Advertisement

On paper, it's a generous tie for City, who may see it as a chance to rest their first choice players as they compete with Liverpool for the title, but stranger things have happened.

Do you believe yet? No, me neither, but it's the FA Cup. Anything can happen.