Newport 1-1 Brighton (3-4 pens): Jason Steele the shoot-out hero after keeper’s injury-time howler had sent clash to extra-time
- League Two Newport County hosted Premier League Brighton in the FA Cup
- The first-half passed without a goal as hosts’ keeper Tom King impressed
- Solly March thought he’d won it for Brighton with a 90th minute strike
- However, a horrible error from Jason Steele led to an own-goal with the last kick
- Extra-time then passed goalless, before Adam Webster scored the final penalty
Jason Steele made up for the gaff that let Newport County equalise in the sixth minute of added time by saving four penalties to earn Brighton a ticket into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
His acrobatics in saving penalties from Josh Sheehan, Micky Demetriou, Liam Shephard and Scot Bennett enabled Adam Webster to ram home the winner with the 14th spot kick to make it 4-3 to the Premier League outfit.
It was the second time this season that Newport had suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak in cup ties at home against Premier League opposition having been beaten in the same way by Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup.
Brighton are through in the FA Cup after Jason Steele’s shoot-out heroics against Newport
The former Sunderland keeper made four excellent saves in the dramatic penalty shoot-out
Steele had missed a punch in the final seconds of normal time to allow Newport to equalise
A game that had been devoid of goals in the first 89 minutes suddenly sprung into life at the death with first Brighton taking the lead through Solly March with eight second left of normal time and then Adam Webster conceding an own goal in the sixth minute of added time.
That earned Newport another shot at glory over 30 minutes of extra time against their Premier League visitors and they were still on level terms going into the final 15.
Credit to home manager Michael Fynn and his players for not giving up after March had seemingly sent them crashing out of the competition with his hot shot from the edge of the area. Flynn brought on Jamie Proctor for the four minutes of added time an it was his hustling of Webster that forced the goal.
Brighton goalkeeper Jason Steele failed to make any contact with a right-wing cross from Liam Shepherd and with Proctor harassing him, Webster saw the ball bounce off his chest and roll into the empty net.
Newport battled brilliantly, with their defence staying solid throughout in the tight clash
Exiles keeper Tom King had a stunning game too, making several huge saves for Newport
NPC V BHA MATCH FACTS
Newport County (3-4-2-1): King; Demetriou, Dolan (Ellison 90+4), Longe-King; Shepherd, Sheehan (captain), Bennett, Haynes; Willmott (Labadie 39), Devitt (Collins 72, 90+4); Amond (Taylor 72)Subs: Townsend, Baker, Howkins, Evans
Brighton (3-5-2): Steele; White (Veltman 108), Dunk (captain), Webster; Bissouma, Gross, MacAllister (Trossard 72), Jahanbakhsh (Tau 71), March (Da Silva 90+1); Zeqiri (Propper 72), Maupay,Subs: Sanchez, Sanders, Jenks, Khadra
Referee: Lee Mason
Brighton boss Graham Potter said he would take no chances and he didn’t, starting with six players who had been on duty in their last Premier League game against Wolves.
But when Matty Dolan sent FA Cup ace marksman Padraig Amond racing onto a long ball he almost made it seven goals in nine cup ties with a lob to the right corner that just missed the target.
Having ridden that early scare the Premier League side settled down to dominate possession and territory. The pitch played better than expected – John Raymond, one of the ground staff, stayed up all night to ensure the hot air balloon kept the frost out – and Yves Bissouma pulled all the strings in midfield to keep his side on the attack.
It was a Bissouma shot from 30 yard that forced Wales squad goalkeeper Tom King into a series of impressive saves to keep the home side in the game before the break.
Brighton thought they’d won it with Solly March’s strike in the 90th minute before more drama
On an awful pitch Brighton were dominant but struggled to break through the League Two side
He pushed away at full stretch a bullet like header from Lewis Dunk at a corner, held onto an Alexis MacAllister shot and then somehow denied Andi Zeqiri.
It wasn’t al one-way traffic, though, and Jason Steele was very happy to see his skipper, Dunk, save his blushes by clearing a goal-bound lob over his head from the ever-alert Amond after an horrendous back pass from Pascal Gross.
With 72% possession Potter might have expected more from his side in the first half, while Flynn would have been more than happy to see his side hanging on for another potential upset.
Newport started the second half far more brightly and pushed wing backs Ryan Haynes and Liam Shephard higher up the pitch. Welsh international Josh Sheehan saw more of the ball and Brighton had to defend far more than they had done.
Andi Zeqiri’s header from a Ben White cross being the best chance before substitute Davy Propper pulled a shot across the goal that missed by inches and then Sheehan forced Steele to make a great save eight minutes from the end of normal time with a fierce shot.
Then came the late drama, extra-time and those dreaded penalties.