NEWPORT County AFC defender Dan Butler has never enjoyed much luck in the FA Cup but, after having his three-game ban overturned, he’s determined to put that right today.

It did look like the 23-year-old’s cup curse would continue as last week’s red card at Notts County threatened to rule him out of the first round clash with Walsall at Rodney Parade.

But the club’s successful appeal against the sending off means he is free to face the Saddlers and he’s determined to make up for past disappointments.

“I haven’t got any good FA Cup memories so it’s about time I make some,” said Butler.

“When I was at Havant & Waterlooville we got knocked out before the first round.

“At Portsmouth we lost to Aldershot, who I was on loan to previously so I couldn’t play.

“And then when I went to Torquay we lost to Basingstoke so I’ve never actually had a good FA Cup run.

“I’ve been on the wrong end of some surprises so hopefully we can make our own surprise.”

Butler believes that County can bounce back from last week’s defeat at Meadow Lane by beating League One Walsall.

“Everyone looks forward to playing in the cup and I just think we need to do what we do at home [in every game],” he said.

“We’re strong at home and we don’t focus on the opposition too much.

“We need to respect them, they are a League One team, but in the FA Cup anything can happen on the day.”

Butler helped the Exiles beat Alfreton Town in a replay at this stage last season but was a spectator as they were beaten by Plymouth Argyle in the round two replay, a result that meant they missed out on a trip to Anfield.

“Last year we were so close to going away to Liverpool and it was extremely gutting,” he recalled.

“I didn’t play in the second match but watching from the sidelines you just felt like it wasn’t going to be our day, even after they missed the first penalty.

“It did take a little while to get over it but then the gaffer took over and what we did at the end of last season helped us get over it.”

County have failed to win in their last three matches but they are still eighth in League Two and Butler believes they have successfully built on their Great Escape from relegation in May.

“I think when the gaffer took over everyone saw how tight the group was,” he said.

“Everyone knows what they’re doing and everyone works hard for each other.

“And I think if you watch us train you’ll see that we work extremely hard but also we’re enjoying it and you can see that we take that on to the pitch every week.

“We are a really good, tight group. That includes the staff and I think this year it’s starting to come together with the fans as well, which is massive.

“I can feel a massive difference playing at home this season compared to last season.

“Obviously the pitch is nicer but the togetherness with the whole club feels a lot better.”

And Butler has also noticed the difference in the city away from match days.

He added: “I’m involved in the community quite a lot and I actually get recognised.

“If I go out for dinner or I’m in Friars Walk a little kid or a dad will recognise me.

“I haven’t had that before and it’s nice. People recognise what the team are doing on the pitch and I feel like the community is coming together.”