FA Cup: Newport County goal hero Matthew Dolan almost did not get on

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FA Cup: Middlesbrough 1-1 Newport County highlights

Newport County manager Mike Flynn says their FA Cup fourth round goal hero Matthew Dolan almost failed to make it on to the field because of a kit issue.

Dolan came off the bench after 87 minutes and equalised against Middlesbrough in added time.

But Flynn says the ex-Boro youth player almost missed his chance to get on.

"He did my head in because his socks weren't ready. He hadn't taped them up properly so he took longer than he wanted," Flynn said.

"We had a few choice words, but it's all forgotten about now."

Daniel Ayala put Boro into the lead early in the second half, but Dolan's equaliser means a replay at Rodney Parade in the first week of February.

'I have a bit of sentiment' - Flynn

Flynn added: "I'm not soft, but I do have a little bit of sentiment and I said to my assistant, look, we've got to give him a game because it's his home-town club.

"I thought, with the quality he's got in his left foot, if we get a set-play he might be able to score one, and that's what he did."

Having risen through Boro's junior ranks Dolan, who joined Bradford in 2014, scored with his first touch.

Flynn added: "It's unbelievable - you can't write it.

"The boy who scored was an ex-Boro player and a Middlesbrough lad, and I don't think he's ever scored a goal in the box - it's a fairytale really."

Newport-born Boro manager Tony Pulis praised the League Two side, but was unhappy with his much-changed side's approach.

"I thought they (Newport) played with great spirit and togetherness and they deserve all the credit that hopefully they will be given," Pulis said.

"The big disappointment for me was that we didn't stop crosses - it was almost like we were quite happy for them to stick it in the box and there were lots of occasions we could have got our bodies in the way."

Pulis had made six changes, including a debut for former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, who lasted an hour, and a rare start for Stewart Downing.

Pulis wants tickets for rematch

"It's the first time he's [Mikel] had his boots on for a couple of months," added Pulis of the player who has joined Boro after leaving Chinese club Tianjin Tada.

"John is a quality player, wonderful person, and he'll be good for us but we've got to get him fit.

"It (the replay) is in between two big games, but I'll get on to Flynny now and get a bucket-full of tickets because I'll need them.

"We're still the cup. In 2011, when I got to a cup final we played Cardiff at home and drew 1-1 and went to Cardiff and won and went on to the cup final.

"Cup games and finals are strange old things."

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