ANDY RUTHERFORD'S glance back at the week that was

FEELGOOD factors are increasingly rare these days, their transient nature making it all the more important that when they appear, we appreciate them.

The good folk of Newport, of a footballing disposition or not, should feel very good at the moment.

If an extra spring in the step and leap of the heart wasn't already there following Newport County AFC's heroics against Leicester City last month, then they should certainly be all present and correct now.

County's exploits in the FA Cup have rightly attracted admiration on a global scale, and when the final whistle blew at a rain-lashed Rodney Parade shortly after 9.35pm last Tuesday evening, the world - including parts that usually pay little attention to the machinations of the sport - sat up and took notice.

Let's not mince words. County put Middlesbrough to the sword, the 2-0 scoreline flattering the Teessiders.

If you aren't familiar with the details by now, I pity you. You missed a treat, and Joe Day's post-match hospital dash to greet his newborn daughters was an extra special winter warmer.

For every cynic moaning that the FA Cup has lost its lustre, there remains someone to sing its praises. Currently, a goodly number live in south east Wales.

Many of them queued for hours in the rain yesterday to buy tickets for the fifth round tie against Manchester City next weekend.

Many are doing so again today - hopefully the weather is being kinder - and yet more will do so tomorrow.

This is behaviour fully indicative of the presence of a feelgood factor, one likely to persist all the way into next Saturday evening.

Football as the so-called Beautiful Game oftentimes seems a very remote concept indeed. Yet here it is, in Newport, in all its wet ,muddy, giant-killing glory.