NEWPORT County AFC are dreaming of welcoming the Toon to the city after adding Watford to their growing list of cup scalps at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles produced a stunning performance to beat the Hornets, who were in the Premier League in July, 3-1 in the Carabao Cup with the goals coming from Tristan Abrahams and Joss Labadie in the first half then Padraig Amond after the break.

Just like against Swansea City in round one, this was no smash and grab against a Championship. The well-drilled Exiles were superb with the ball and energetic without it.

It means that County are in the fourth round for the first time in their history, going one stage further than they did in 1962.

Now they will sit and wait for updates from the Globe Arena on Wednesday evening – will it be League Two rivals Morecambe or Premier League big guns Newcastle? A reunion with the Shrimps for Kevin Ellison or a mouth-watering encounter with the Magpies?

Sadly, this cup run has not boosted the coffers or provided magic moments for the supporters, who have had to watch on screens rather than from the stands.

Hopefully if it’s Newcastle next week then Sky Sports will be interested, providing some welcome extra funds.

South Wales Argus:

It remains a shame that supporters haven’t been able to witness the performances against Swansea and Watford in person, because they would have had the famous ground rocking.

Last time that the Exiles had faced the Hornets was in 1978 in the Fourth Division when 8,409 headed through the turnstiles at Somerton Park.

It would have been a similar attendance at Rodney Parade and the noise would have been terrific, so dominant was the display.

Manager Michael Flynn tinkered with his team and partnered Amond and Abrahams up front, continuing with the rotation of the forward line.

He brought Labadie and Scot Bennett into midfield yet it was still Josh Sheehan that sat deep to dictate play from in front of a back line that included Matty Dolan, back at the heart of the three in place of the injured Kyle Howkins.

County made a bright start and were convinced on seven minutes that they should have had a penalty, appealing for a handball by Ignacio Pussetto as he headed a cross clear.

The hosts were bossing possession with all of the play towards the North Terrace, and the pressure paid off in the 18th minute.

South Wales Argus:

County had put the pressure on with set pieces and it paid off when Toby Stevenson was penalised by referee Charles Breakspear for clumsiness in the tussle from a whipped Dolan free-kick from the left.

Abrahams tucked away the penalty at the same end as he had scored a double against the Swans.

It was a mightily impressive start by the Exiles, who looked the more composed side in possession and were chasing the Hornets down when with energy and snap.

They went close to 2-0 when Amond forced Bachmann into a smart save to his left but they weren’t frustrated for long.

Just seconds later a cross from the right was initially cleared but only to captain Labadie on the edge of the box, who controlled and then drilled in with his left.

A perfect start… and it nearly got better.

Another Watford attack broke down and County, after a good advantage by Mr Brakespear, put Amond in motion and he fired in a left-footed shot across the goal that went a metre wide of the post.

Cliché alert: you’d have thought it was the men in amber that were the Championship side that had been in the Premier League just months ago.

They made it through to half-time without goalkeeper Nick Townsend being tested and came closest to the next goal through Abrahams, who was first to a dangerous Dolan free-kick but saw his near-post header go across the face of goal untouched.

Watford had to be better in the second half and they were, grabbing a lifeline after 54 minutes when wing-back Liam Shephard pulled down Ignacio Pussetto. Half-time substitute Adalberto Penaranda put the penalty down the middle.

County responded calmly with Abrahams’ willing running ensuring they weren’t suddenly under the cosh in their own half.

South Wales Argus:

And it was through their pressing game that the third came after 64 minutes, with the goal similar to Ryan Taylor’s weekend strike against Barrow.

Dan Phillips was forced into a mistake when trying to play out from the back and gifted the ball to Amond, who had plenty to do but finished comprehensively for his first of the season.

It settled County down and they had the better of things for the next quarter of an hour with Townsend untroubled as the clock went into the 80s.

Flynn brought on Lewis Collins and Robbie Willmott for the excellent Labadie and Bennett to provide the legs to help prevent any scares.

Watford looked doomed and their cause wasn’t helped when Stipe Perica was sent off with three minutes left for an elbow on Brandon Cooper when going for a high ball on the edge of the box.

They had barely caused problems with 11, so County safely saw out the game and now hope for a Newcastle win to have another crack at a big boy.

Newport: Townsend, Haynes, Labadie (captain, Collins 80), Cooper, Dolan, Amond, Sheehan, Abrahams, Bennett (Willmott 80), Demetriou, Shephard. Subs: King, Baker, Willmott, Twine, Janneh, Taylor.

Yellow cards: Labadie, Bennett

Goals: Abrahams, Labadie, Amond

Watford: Bachmann (captain), Dawson, Sierralta, Agyawka, Pussetto, Stevenson, Garner, Phillips, Hungbo (Penaranda HT), Murray (Perica HT), Sinclair. Subs: Parkes, Crichlow, Cathcart, Ngakia.

Yellow cards: Stevenson, Agyakwa, Pussetto,

Goals: Penaranda

Referee: Charles Breakspear