MAGNIFICENT Newport County AFC stunned Championship hopefuls Brighton, but it was a victory that came at a heavy price.

The Exiles, an 8-1 shot before kick-off, produced a superb performance at the Amex Arena as a Danny Crow brace and a Conor Washington strike secured them a famous victory after 120 pulsating minutes as their amazing beginning to life in the Football League continued apace.

However, the Exiles saw defender Byron Anthony stretchered off with a suspected double leg fracture on a night where practically every emotion one can experience as a football fan came to the fore on the South Coast.

The Exiles haven’t featured in the League Cup – currently the Capital One Cup – since 1987 when they faced Brighton’s deadly rivals Crystal Palace, beaten 6-0 on aggregate in a one-sided affair.

Tonight never even threatened to be a similar tale, the Exiles more than holding their own throughout a pulsating cup tie that continued to swing one way to the next.

Other than Brighton’s goal on 17 minutes – a well crafted move that split County and saw Ashley Barnes turn home Will Buckley’s sweet centre, it was Newport who time and again had the more presentable opportunities to score, though Barnes was guilty of a gilt-edged miss at the death.

Midway through the first period Chris Zebroski was denied twice in a minute, first volleying tamely at stand-in stopper Casper Ankergren and then heading firmly at goal from a corner, Ankergren tipping over to keep the Championship side ahead.

However, Newport missed an even better chance on 26 minutes, Brighton’s corner half cleared to Chapman who produced a pinpoint 60-yard pass to set Christian Jolley free.

Jolley did everything right as he advanced, but uncharacteristically failed to even find the target, smashing over with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts were finding Newport hard to break down and were restricted to shooting from distance, Jake Forster-Caskey and Buckley both actually finding the net from rebounded efforts, only to be beaten by the offside flag.

However, Newport visibly grew throughout the half and continued apace after the interval, Chapman, Zebroski and then Ryan Jackson all threatening the Brighton goal within five minutes of the re-start.

Chapman curled wide with a freekick, Zebroski’s neat dummy almost deceived Ankergren and Jackson’s drive was deflected away for yet another corner.

It was the second five minute period in which you felt the game would slip away from the Exiles, unable to take their chances at the crucial moments when they were in the ascendancy.

Albion roared back at them, Barnes and Buckley within inches of finding the all-important second, but the game potentially swung once more on 66 minutes.

A loose ball was contested by Byron Anthony and Inigo Calderon, the Spaniard adjudged to have left his foot in, the referee reaching for a straight red card after a lengthy consultation with his linesman.

However, the damage to Anthony was clearly serious, a ten minute delay enraging the home fans, even when Justin Edinburgh turned to tell them he’d suffered a broken leg.

Anthony left on a stretcher taking in oxygen and looking in extreme discomfort, the kind of injury where it’s hard not to fear the worst.

The atmosphere around the County bench had turned positively toxic, the Exiles’ management and staff utterly furious at the abuse hurled their way after the red card incident.

Several of the Newport subs were restrained from altercations with home fans, who also got angry when County celebrated their extra-time goals.

For five minutes the game dissipated into a sideshow and Newport appeared to be heading out, beaten but unbowed, until their substitutes turned the tie on its head.

With the clock ticking down Chapman’s cross was headed home – in off the underside of the bar - by sub Crow, a goal with virtually his first touch and no less than Newport deserved, the diminutive forward rising for a header Julian Alsop would’ve been proud of.

Andy Sandell cleared off the line as the hosts irritably fired back, before Barnes blazed over a magical chance in the first of nine minutes of stoppage time, Sandell then missing at the right end when he headed over.

However, within five minutes of extra time we did get a third goal and what a goal it was, Crow peeling off his marker and curling home a simply unstoppable effort from 20-yards to send the Exiles’ bench into raptures.

The Ten-men of Brighton suddenly seemed to be running on fumes and another Newport goal duly arrived on 101 minutes, the Seagulls the architects of their own downfall, a stray pass square across the defence intercepted by Washington who raced clear to round the goalkeeper and put Newport in sight of the next round. Not bad from a player who at this stage in the Capital One Cup last season was working as a Postman.

The hosts missed some late chances of their own, but the Exiles held firm to secure their biggest cup triumph in over 30-years and could face the likes of Liverpool or Everton in the next round.

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-3-3): Ankergren, Lopez, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Ince (Bridcutt 83), Agustien, Forster-Caskey (Ulloa 95), Buckley, Lua-Lua (Maksimenko 72), Barnes

Subs not used: Kuszczak, Dunk, Upson, March Booked: Forster-Caskey Sent off: Calderon

Newport County: Stephens, Jackson, Sandell, Worley, Yakubu, Anthony, Minshull, Chapman, Willmott (Crow 64), Jolley, Zebroski (Washington 64)

Subs not used: Bittner, Pipe, Hughes, Porter Booked: Sandell, Minshull, Yakubu

Referee: Brendan Malone

Attendance: 8,409

Argus star man: Danny Crow

UPDATE: Boss Justin Edinburgh confirmed after the game that Anthony suffered a double leg break. He will have surgery in Brighton today. The draw for the second round of the Carling Cup is tomorrow at 12.30pm.