We Will Now #SupportThePort on Our Quest

It took two attempts, but League Two Newport County disposed of non-league Brackley Town in an Emirates FA Cup replay at Rodney Parade last night (Tuesday, November 17).

Having been denied victory in the 4th minute of injury time when the sides met at Brackley’s packed St James Park on Sunday, November 8, The Exiles ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in blustery conditions in south Wales.

County looked crestfallen as former Cardiff City man Curtis McDonald’s goal pegged them back to 2-2 in the original tie, and as the final whistle sounded, Brackley’s supporters – who had turned up en masse – greeted the result like a victory. There was even a mini pitch invasion!

County’s players, meanwhile, slunk away, knowing that their hard work had been undone at the death.

Mark and I were at that game and the atmosphere was superb. It was interesting to see extended highlights on BBC’s special FA Cup Match of the Day, too.

Sadly, due to logistical problems, we couldn’t be at Rodney Parade last night. It’s a long way from mid-Derbyshire, and with the missus having plans, and work time having to be eaten into had I have gone, it became impossible for us to attend.

However, we’ll be at Barnet in the next round. But we wave farewell to Brackley as we jump ship to our first Welsh club on our Quest.

We visited Brackley three times, and enjoyed each occasion, even if it did rain every time! Doing this Quest you create an affinity with a club, and we wish them all the best for the season ahead. We’ll miss those burgers.

So it’s Newport who we now follow to north London next month in a meeting of two League Two sides.

True to their hashtag, we will #SupportThePort.

Match report from the 2-2 draw (courtesy of BTFC)

Match report from Newport’s 4-1 win (courtesy of BTFC)

You Tube footage courtesy of The FA

Images from the original tie at Brackley
Mark proudly displaying his ticket.
County fans
The Cup atmosphere builds
The players emerge from the tunnel
Brackley fans celebrate as their team get one back
The final whistle blows and it’s all square
Fans and players celebrate last gasp salvation…CrestfallenCountyPlayers
…while Newport’s players look crestfallen!

(Giant) Killing In The Name Of

Steve Diggin

Brackley Town face Newport County in the Emirates FA Cup 1st round tomorrow in what Brackley striker Steve Diggin (pictured) announced as a “winnable” tie after the draw was made.

And he’s right. While Newport have improved under the guidance of John Sheridan since he took over from ex-England hero Terry Butcher, The Exiles remain a struggling side in League Two, just ripe for a shock exit.

Diggin’s confidence is to be applauded, but Brackley can’t afford to get too cocky, especially when it must be considered that Newport’s best form has come on their travels this campaign.

But as we have seen with Salford City, Altrincham, Eastleigh and Forest Green Rovers already this weekend, all winners against league opposition, the gap between non-league and league sometimes isn’t all that huge. And let’s not forget, Newport have only been a league team since 2013.

On a personal note I’d just like to add how much I appreciate Brackley Managing Director Jan Butters’ attempts to get us a ticket for the game.

When it was announced that the game would be an all ticket affair, I was worried that I’d miss out on a ticket, as driving to Northamptonshire from Derbyshire just for a ticket for a football match might not have gone down too well with the missus.

So I emailed Jan and she very kindly offered to take payment over the phone. As it turned out, an online booking system was then launched and Jan’s assistance was not necessary. But the gesture alone from the club’s MD demonstrated just what a friendly and welcoming club Brackley are.

So we’ll be there tomorrow, Mark and I, as we continue our FA Cup Quest. The journey down should be interesting, too, considering that he’s a Derby fan and I’m a Forest fan. A few shouts of “1-0 to the famous team” should shut him up as he rants about promotion despite his team’s loss to mine on Friday night.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Tomorrow is cup day. Come on Brackley!