“I WANT to put the club on the map and I want to make people proud to support Newport County AFC,” said manager Michael Flynn as he concluded his post-match press conference on Saturday night. Mission accomplished!

County’s incredible FA Cup run may have come to an end at the hands of Premier League champions Manchester City, but they have done themselves and the city proud.

By beating Metropolitan Police, Wrexham, Leicester City and Middlesbrough along the way they reached the fifth-round for only the second time in the club’s history – the first since 1949 – and banked more than £1.2m in the process.

Getting past Pep Guardiola’s superstars – with £323m of talent in their starting XI – was never realistic, but they gave it their all in front of nearly 10,000 fans at a raucous Rodney Parade.

Had Tyreeq Bakinson got more on his header, they may even have taken a shock lead on 14 minutes.

“I thought it was in but I’ll never have a go at a player for missing a chance,” said Flynn.

“I’m pleased he was in the box and getting on the end of it. It took a funny bounce. It was unfortunate.”

They rode their luck when Leroy Sane clipped the bar and referee Andre Marriner waved away two big shouts for handball in the area but they were deservedly level at the break.

Flynn’s men became only the fifth side this season to keep City to a goalless first 45 minutes and the Exiles fans began to believe as the impressive Regan Poole surged forward at the start of the second half.

“I was buzzing to be 0-0 at half-time,” added the manager. “They were 4-0 up after 25 minutes last week against [Chelsea] a much bigger club than us.”

Reality hit home, however, as the visitors finally found the breakthrough six minutes after the restart when Sane’s shot was too powerful for Joe Day to keep out.

The fabulous Phil Foden doubled their lead on 74 minutes with a long-distance effort that skipped off the turf and over Day’s dive.

“Foden was absolutely superb,” said the Exiles boss. “His movement meant he was almost impossible to mark. He’s got such a good career in front of him. He’s going to be huge.”

South Wales Argus:

Padraig Amond’s instinctive chip over Ederson two minutes from time kept up his record of scoring in every round and threatened to make it a nervy finale for the Premier League champions.

But it turned out to be merely a thoroughly deserved consolation strike as Foden hammered home his second moments later and Riyad Mahrez lashed in a fourth deep into stoppage time.

“I’m very proud of the players, I thought they were outstanding,” said Flynn.

“I’m so pleased for Podge [Amond]. He’s been fantastic and if anybody deserved a goal it was him, because he doesn’t stop. He’s such a good professional and he’s a joy to work with.

South Wales Argus:

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the last two goals we conceded because we’d got back into it so that was frustrating.

“But there are so many good memories for the football club and for the fans from this run.

“And I think we’re getting back that generation of fans that we lost.

“The atmosphere was electric, absolutely superb, and we want to play in that atmosphere a lot more.”

The remainder of this season may well be a hard slog, but Flynn and his players have proved their potential on the biggest stage.

They’ve put the club on the map and made people proud to support Newport County AFC.

County: Day; Poole, O’Brien, Demetriou; Willmott, Bennett (Franks, 86), Labadie (Dolan, 68), Bakinson (Sheehan, 61), Butler; Matt, Amond

Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Marsh-Brown, McKirdy

City: Ederson, Zinchenko, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo, Fernandinho (Laporte, 79), Sane, D. Silva (Gundogan, 81), Foden, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus

Subs not used: Muric, Walker, De Bruyne, Sterling, B. Silva

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 9,680 (1,662 City)