Newport 2 Man Utd 4

Sunday 28 January 2024 18:30

Manchester United were pushed all the way at Newport County but, after being pegged back to 2-2, earned a place in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round with a 4-2 triumph.

Erik ten Hag’s side were 2-0 up inside the opening 13 minutes, thanks to clinical strikes by Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo, only for Bryn Morris’s spectacular, if deflected, drive to halve the deficit before the first half was out.

Moments after the break, Will Evans showed his predatory instinct by turning the equaliser past debutant Altay Bayindir and there was genuine concern of a huge shock. 

Thankfully, Antony pounced on a rebound when Luke Shaw’s shot hit a post to restore the lead, with his first goal of the campaign. And, in deep into stoppage time, Rasmus Hojlund got in on the act to seal the outcome.

Kobbie Mainoo scores his first senior goal for the Reds.


United had the right approach from the off, with Antony bending a shot wide inside the opening three minutes. The Brazil winger was involved in the build-up to the first goal, soon afterwards, running onto a Fernandes pass down the left and cutting the ball back for the skipper to lash a low finish past Nick Townsend for his seventh strike of the season.

Antony continued to be heavily involved but lifted his finish over the top from a promising position, after a neat move led to Diogo Dalot feeding the South American. The one-way traffic continued unabated, and it was no surprise when a second goal arrived in the 13th minute. It was one to remember for Mainoo, who swept into the far corner in expert fashion, when picked out by Dalot. The Portugal defender collected an Antony pass down the line, performed a couple of stepovers, and claimed the assist, when the youngster guided home his maiden senior goal.

Only the woodwork denied Alejandro Garnacho number three, with Lisandro Martinez’s superb through ball releasing his fellow Argentina international, and his driven attempt cannoned off the bar, with Hojlund yelling for a pass in the middle. Bayindir made his first real save when comfortably fielding a Evans shot, as Newport desperately tried to get back into the tie.

Ryan Delaney featured at both ends, making a brave block to thwart Antony before looping in a header that Bayindir dealt with but our no.1 had no chance, shortly afterwards. Casemiro’s clearance fell to Morris, who unleashed a speculative blast that deflected off Martinez and flew in via an upright. The mood around Rodney Parade changed in an instant as things got more difficult for the Reds.

Fernandes forced a save out of Townsend at the end of the half but the home supporters loved the fact they were still very much in this tie at the interval.


Although Antony had already hooked an overhead effort off target, there was a terrible start to the second period by United. Adam Lewis was afforded lots of space on the left and delivered a centre that allowed Will Evans to get across Raphael Varane and finish smartly, with the shot going in off the Frenchman.

Sensing an upset, the Welsh side seized the initiative and were making life more than awkward for Ten Hag’s men. There was a clear chance to restore the lead, when Antony kept the ball in and found Hojlund, but the Dane’s lay-off was hit straight at Townsend by Fernandes.

Newport enjoyed a good spell, raising their hopes of an almighty giantkilling, but they were fortunate when Martinez got on the end of a Shaw cross and the ball bounced off Hojlund, but went the wrong side of the post, from a United perspective. With 68 minutes on the clock, there was a sense of relief when Shaw turned down an initial opportunity to shoot, instead bending one with his right boot. The ball came back off the far post and Antony was on hand to steer it in, with his right foot, to regain the lead.

Garnacho often found himself in dangerous positions but the finish continued to desert the winger, with Townsend comfortably keeping another effort out, following a tremendous pass by Mainoo.

As nine minutes of injury time were announced, largely due to a medical issue involving a spectator, Will Evans fired a long-ranger wide as County battled for a famous result.

However, United clinched a fifth-round tie, away to either Bristol City or Nottingham Forest, when Hojlund converted a loose ball inside the box, after Garnacho freed substitute Omari Forson, who was denied by Townsend. There was still time for Bayindir to push over a James Waite attempt.



Newport: Townsend; McLoughlin, J. Clarke, Bennett (Baker 78), Delaney (c), Lewis (Payne 70); Morris, Charsley (Waite 78), Wildig (Rai 78); W. Evans, Palmer-Moulden (Wood 90+7).

Subs not used: MaxtedZanzala, Jameson, Bondswell.

Scorers: Morris 36, Evans 47.

United: Bayindir; Dalot, Varane (J.Evans 90+7), Martinez (Maguire 89), Shaw (Kambwala 82); Casemiro (McTominay 81), Mainoo; Antony (Forson 89), Fernandes (c), Garnacho; Hojlund.

Subs not used: Heaton, Eriksen, Amad, Pellistri.

Scorers: Fernandes 7, Mainoo 13, Antony 68, Hojlund 90+4.

Booked: Casemiro.


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