Monday 18 February 2019

Amond hopes for Old Trafford clash

Newport 2 Leeds Utd 1

Newport’s Pádraig Amond (l) sees his shot blocked in yesterday’s FA Cup win over Leeds United
Newport’s Pádraig Amond (l) sees his shot blocked in yesterday’s FA Cup win over Leeds United

A trip to Old Trafford is the draw which Irish striker Pádraig Amond wants as a reward for his team's efforts yesterday in the FA Cup.

Newport County joined the band of clubs who earned a place in tonight's draw for the fourth round on the back of a win over higher-league opposition, the Welsh outfit knocking out Leeds United after a stunning fightback from a 1-0 deficit.

Former Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers man Amond said before yesterday's game that a draw, and a replay at Elland Road, would be something for his side to aim for, and with the sides level at 1-1 with a minute to go, his prediction looked spot-on.

But Newport's Shawn McCoulsky nicked a goal in the 89th minute so Newport advance at Leeds' expense, the teams levelled thanks to an own goal from Leeds' Galway-born defender Conor Shaughnessy, and Amond says that his side were motivated by giant-killing wins earlier over the weekend for the likes of Coventry (v Stoke) and Peterborough (v Aston Villa).

"There had been a few upsets before we kicked off against Leeds and we used the likes of Coventry and Peterborough as inspiration for ourselves," Amond told The Herald, the Carlow man happy that his parents had travelled over to Wales to see the big win.

"It was 1-1 when I came off with four minutes to go, and the manager just said to me on the touchline that we'd have settled for this before the game, a draw and a replay, but then we got the winner. And we deserved it.

"We fancied our chances, especially when we saw their teamsheet at a 10.45 yesterday morning, Leeds had made changes so we knew we had an opportunity.

"And we were well worth the win. It seems like a shock on paper but not if you watched the game, they had two shots in 90 minutes and we were the better side."

Newport now enter the fourth round draw and the much-travelled Amond knows what he wants from the draw.

"Old Trafford, United away, that's the one I want," he says.

"The next round is a big deal for us now, it will bring a lot of finance into the club, most of our lads will have never played at this stage of the competition before.

"Some people would like a home tie but I'd love to get United away. I wanted them for the third round, we had to make do with Leeds at home but I'd love to go and play at Old Trafford.

"I know people talk a lot now about the importance of the Cup, how the bigger clubs look down on it. I don't think think it's the case that it meant more to us than the Leeds players, we were just better on the day.

"Every game is a free shot for us from now on, we've a fighting chance no matter who we play."

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