NEWPORT County AFC put their League Two difficulties to one side to dump former Premier League champions Leicester City out of the FA Cup in a pulsating encounter at Rodney Parade.

Jamille Matt headed in his 14th goal of the season after just 10 minutes and County held on until the 82nd minute before Rachid Ghezzal levelled for the Foxes.

But County weren’t to be denied a famous cup shock and Padraig Amond, the man who scored against Tottenham Hotspur 12 months ago, won it from the penalty spot five minutes from time.

A crowd of just under 7,000 saw Michael Flynn’s men bridge a gap of 74 league places to beat a top-flight side for the first time since 1964.

And it was no less than they deserved after a superb display, which belied their recent poor run in the league.

Flynn handed new signing Vashon Neufville his debut in place of the suspended Dan Butler at left-back and the 19-year-old coped brilliantly.

Matty Dolan and Antoine Semenyo returned in place of Tyreeq Bakinson and Mark O'Brien as the hosts added experience and a touch of youthful exuberance.

The visitors made seven changes to the side that won at Everton on New Year’s Day with Jamie Vardy, who scored the winner at Goodison Park, not making the trip.

But Claude Puel still started with five players who helped the Foxes win the title in 2016, as well as former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and ex-Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.

And the visitors would have been ahead inside four minutes but for a fantastic save from Joe Day to deny Ghezzal.

The Exiles goalkeeper, who was in danger of missing the match as his wife is expecting twins this weekend, was a busy man in the opening 10 minutes as he also saved from Shinji Okazaki before Ghezzal tested him again after a marauding run into the box.

But County were undaunted and in the 10th minute they delivered what their fans, and the millions of neutrals watching on TV, wanted with their very first attack.

Robbie Willmott beat Christian Fuchs for pace on the right flank before whipping in the perfect cross for Matt.

The striker climbed above Wes Morgan in the middle before heading in off the post from six yards out to really get Rodney Parade rocking.

It gave his side the perfect start and they showed no signs of sitting on their lead as both sides attacked each other in a breathless first half.

Three minutes after the goal, Dolan curled a free-kick towards the top corner but Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward simply plucked the ball out of the air.

At the other end Tyler Forbes blocked brilliantly from Marc Albrighton before Okazaki headed wide from close range.

And the end-to-end action continued as Ward beat out Dolan’s low drive after a clever corner routine and Ghezzal curled a free-kick just off target for the visitors.

It was so nearly 2-0 after half an hour when the tireless Amond chased down a lost cause and crossed for Matt, who couldn’t quite scramble it over the line at the near post before Ward smothered the danger.

Albrighton then shot straight at Day before Willmott’s volley was spilled by Ward.

And Leicester were almost level five minutes before the break but Mickey Demetriou was in the right place to block Okazaki’s shot at point blank range.

That was the Japanese forward’s last significant contribution as Puel threw on James Maddison in his place for the second half.

South Wales Argus:

County still threatened on the break but it was all hands to the pump at the back as the Foxes tore into the hosts.

Day easily gathered Iheanacho’s header at the far post seven minutes after the restart but he was beaten all ends up soon afterwards when Albrighton bent a shot onto the bar from the edge of the area.

Puel went for it on the hour by replacing full-back Danny Simpson with forward Demarai Gray.

County began to drop deep and a mistake by Demetriou let in Iheanacho moments later but the front man snatched at the chance and the lead survived.

David Pipe replaced Forbes as the Exiles defended for the lives in the final quarter of the match.

The excellent Fraser Franks threw his body in the way of Maddison’s shot and it looked like Leicester had run out of ideas before Ghezzal’s late intervention.

The Algerian lashed the ball into the top corner to finally break County’s resistance eight minutes from the end.

Then it was a case of Flynn’s men hanging on for the replay, surely?

Not a bit of it. They surged forward and Neufville’s cross hit the arm of Albrighton to give Amond the chance to win it from the spot.

The Irishman showed nerves of steel to slot his penalty past Ward to ensure he was once again the headline-maker in a team of heroes.

County: Day; Forbes (Pipe, 67), Franks, Demetriou, Neufville; Bennett, Dolan (O’Brien, 86); Willmott, Amond, Semenyo; Matt (Bakinson, 78)

Subs not used: Townsend, Foulston, Sheehan, Marsh-Brown

Leicester: Ward, Simpson (Gray, 60), Morgan, Evans, Fuchs, Albrighton, Choudhury, James (King, 72), Ghezzal, Okazaki (Maddison, 46), Iheanacho

Subs not used: Jakupovic, Soyuncu, Ricardo, Mendy

Referee: Christopher Kavanagh

Attendance: 6,705 (1,022 Leicester)

Argus star man: Willmott