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Newport the latest face of FA Cup magic

After almost humbling Spurs last season, they go one better against Leicester

Try telling Padraig Amond, Shaquile Coulthirst or Callum Lang - an unlikely trio of footballing journeymen - that the FA Cup has lost its lustre.

Or, for that matter, try persuading any of the followers of Newport County, Barnet and Oldham Athletic, who all rejoiced in their classic giant-killing feats on Sunday, that the grand old competition has mislaid its power to amaze and delight.

The cup will, once again, likely be won by one of the English Premier League's big guns in May but the traditional third- round weekend at the turn of the year offered a timely reminder of why it remains close to the heart of English fans.

After fifth-tier Barnet had stunned four-time winners and Championship high-flyers Sheffield United 1-0 away with Coulthirst's penalty and fourth-tier Oldham beat top-flight Fulham 2-1 with Lang's late header, the best was saved until last.

For at Newport's rocking Rodney Parade, Amond's 85th-minute penalty sealed an unforgettable 2-1 win over fairy-tale 2016 English champions Leicester City.

The humble Welsh club, former Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finalists, have endured a chequered history and went bust in 1989, only to reform and climb back slowly from the lowest rungs of minor league football.

Two seasons ago, they appeared certain to slip back out of League Two into obscurity. But, under manager Michael Flynn, who took over when they were 11 points adrift at the bottom, they have been transformed and now own a place in FA Cup folklore.

The club known as The Exiles, after being forced to play home matches across the border from 1989 to 1994, came close last year when another Amond goal took them to within eight minutes of beating Tottenham Hotspur at Rodney Parade before Harry Kane equalised and Spurs won the replay 2-0.

This time, the Irishman Amond made sure Newport would not be denied as he tucked away a nerveless penalty, shortly after Leicester's Rachid Ghezzal's piledriver cancelled out Jamille Matt's early headed opener for the hosts.

Newport survived the anxious final minutes to record their first win over a top-flight club since beating Sheffield Wednesday in the third round in 1963/64.

"It's huge, it's massive for the club to be in the fourth round again and to get some much-needed finances," said Flynn, who joined his players in tucking into box loads of peri peri chicken delivered to the home dressing room.

"To see the number of supporters out there and produce that for the fans is amazing.

"We've just gone and beaten the Premier League champions from two years ago. It's unbelievable. It's not sunk it yet. I can feel my phone buzzing now and it's non-stop...

"I want Liverpool, home or away (in the next round). The best thing for the football club is one of the big boys away.

"Realistically, we're not going to win the FA Cup, so we need to make as much money as we can from it. That means Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Spurs away."

Amond, meanwhile, believes no team will want to draw his side in the fourth round.

He said: "No-one will want to get us because it is a potential banana skin...

"Whoever it is, no one will fancy coming here (to Rodney Parade)... We won't fear anyone." - REUTERS