THE Newport County AFC FA Cup heroes have been lauded by a host of football legends after yesterday’s stunning third-round victory over Premier League Leicester City.

Goal scorers Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond grabbed the headlines but the likes of Antoine Semenyo, Robbie Willmott, Fraser Franks and Mickey Demetriou also impressed during a thrilling 90 minutes broadcast live on BBC One.

Commentator Martin Keown picked out Semenyo, who celebrates his 19th birthday today, as the star man against the Foxes.

“In front of the BBC cameras, Newport's Antoine Semenyo showed he is a star in the making,” wrote Keown in his Daily Mail column.

“The forward impressed me with everything he did against Leicester.

“He took on a Premier League-winning right-back in Danny Simpson and gave him a torrid time. Such were the problems Semenyo caused him that Claude Puel took him off after an hour.

“Semenyo looked dangerous every time he got on the ball. He was a strong outlet at the top of the team — powerful in the air and comfortable bringing the ball down with his chest.

“He is on loan from Bristol City but after that performance I would not be surprised if Premier League clubs start watching this exciting prospect.”

South Wales Argus:

Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer was impressed with the way County responded once Rachid Ghezzal had equalised on 82 minutes.

Amond netted the winner from the penalty spot three minutes later after a handball in the box by Marc Albrighton.

“Newport were sensational,” said Shearer. “To be hit hard by the equaliser so late in the game and then to show the courage to come back into the game and go and win it is absolutely magnificent.

“The character to come back from that disappointment, after you’ve been hanging on for so long, to come again and lift yourself to get back into the game epitomises everything about them.

“They gave their all and they deserved it – the effort they put in, how professional they were, they’ve obviously worked on their set-pieces because they caused Leicester all sorts of problems.”

And Shearer was particularly enthused about Matt’s 10th-minute opener, which was created by Willmott.

“It was fantastic, good old-fashioned wing play,” said the former England captain.

“That ball is dreamland for a centre-forward like Jamille Matt. It was a magnificent header.

“It’s superb – brilliant wing play and incredible centre-forward play.

“As a centre-forward you need to know that you’ve given the centre-halves a tough time, that you’ve been big and strong and you’ve bullied them, and he [Matt] did exactly that.

“He was winning headers, bringing people into the game, and he gave them a torrid time.”

South Wales Argus:

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright was also at Rodney Parade and he also praised Matt and his teammates.

“The big man up front was fantastic,” he said.

“And they were fantastic at the back. Franks and Demetriou were really resolute.

“It’s an amazing moment for Newport and their players.

“They’ve got pedigree, they know what it takes at this stage of the FA Cup.

“They’ve made a good amount of money from this one and they’ll make even more now.”

County have already made £450,000 from the FA Cup prize fund and broadcast fees, before taking into account revenue from the 4,143 crowd for the round-two replay against Wrexham and the 6,705 attendance yesterday.