IT’S a measure of Newport County’s never-say-die approach to football that, as news filtered through on the radio on Tuesday evening that Gillingham had gone 2-1 up in injury time, my first thought was that the three or four minutes left was ample of time to salvage a draw.

So it proved – and while it may be the height of complacency, when the equaliser came in the 94th minute, it was barely a surprise.

We have come to expect the unexpected, an attitude that will soon enough land the County faithful with a communal – and metaphorical – bloody nose.

But before we have to apply the cold compresses, let’s bask again in the prospect of another Premier League team entering the bear pit that is Rodney Parade on a cup-tie date.

Another thought that entered my head as news of County’s subsequent penalty shoot-out triumph was broadcast, was – please don’t let them draw Derby County down here.

Throughout County’s Cup exploits of the past two-and-a-bit seasons, this match-up, out of all the possible permutations, is the one I fear the most.

As a Rams supporter since I first understood the concept of football, I should make it clear that Derby will always be my number one.

But Newport County has stealthily climbed into a firm second place in my affections, to the extent that County v County, wherever it might be played, is not a match I could ever truly enjoy.

For the record, the clubs have played each other four times - during the 1984/85 and 1985/86 season in the old Third Division. A win for Derby and three draws.

I’m more than happy to leave it at that. But if it ever comes to pass that they meet again, especially at Rodney Parade, it is a match I would have to watch through the gaps between my fingers.