FA Cup run shows Newport County revival, says forward Padraig Amond

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FA Cup: Newport County 1-1 Tottenham highlights

Padraig Amond says earning a replay against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fourth round is a sign of Newport County's revival under boss Mike Flynn.

Last season the Exiles avoided relegation from the Football League only on the last day of the season.

But Amond's goal almost gave the League Two promotion chasers a famous cup shock, before Harry Kane's late equaliser for the Premier League side.

"The club has come a long way in a short space of time," Amond said.

Irish forward Amond joined Newport from Hartlepool in August 2017 for an undisclosed fee and has hit 10 goals for his new side this season - including Saturday's header that almost propelled the Welsh side to a seismic result.

"I think this day last year I played against them for Hartlepool and we looked like we were safe and Newport were dead and buried," Amond said.

"But they put in a fantastic effort towards the end of the season, stayed up and the club has gone from strength to strength.

"Results like this are going to help the club grow bigger and better.... it's brilliant for the club's finances as well."

Manager Flynn has estimated that the cup run has earned an extra £700,000 for a club whose annual turnover is £2.2 million.

Newport now have a replay at Spurs' temporary home of Wembley Stadium to look forward to on the week beginning 5 February, although Amond would rather his goal had seen them into the next round.

Newport forward Padraig Amond heads the ball past Spurs keeper Michel Vorm to send Rodney Parade into raptures
Newport forward Padraig Amond heads the ball past Spurs keeper Michel Vorm to send Rodney Parade into raptures

"It's the most amazing feeling in the world [scoring], if you could bottle it and sell it you'd be a millionaire," said the 29-year-old from Carlow.

"You come into the game dreaming of doing something like that.

"When the ball came in it was a great cross and I stuck my head on it and was obviously delighted that the ball hit the back of the net.

"It would have been a lot nicer if it was the winning goal - it's disappointing we drew the game, but if someone had offered us before the game that result we would have taken it straight away.

"There was 10,000 fans here, so when people score in front of 70-80,000 I don't know what that's like but that's an unbelievable moment for me and it's one I'll never forget.

"But it's a collective effort, the lads have been fantastic all season, they were brilliant again [against Spurs] and just a little bit disappointed we didn't hold on for the win."

Amond believes Newport's performance against Spurs means the chance of an upset is still on the cards, even though playing away will make the task harder.

"We did everything we could to come out and get in their faces and not make it easy for them... we grew into the game," Amond added.

"We can look forward to Wembley and the replay. It's going to be a fantastic occasion, great for all the fans to go to Wembley.

"We could have won [on Saturday] so why not? No one gave us a chance today and we believed inside we could win the game or get something from the game.

"We'll give it our best shot - it's a free shot again like [Saturday] was - no one expects us to do anything so let's prove them wrong."

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