Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Newport County AFC 1

FOR ten glorious minutes the travelling Newport County AFC fans dared to dream.

For ten minutes this exciting Exiles team led Championship promotion hopefuls Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux and a huge cup shock was on the cards.

Alex Rodman whipped in a perfect cross and Scott Boden, signed from Halifax Town in the summer, headed past Emiliano Martinez, signed from Arsenal on Monday, to silence the fans in old gold and spark wild celebrations amongst the amber army after six minutes.

Wolves were beaten at this stage of the Capital One Cup by County’s League Two rivals Morecambe and Northampton Town in the last two seasons.

And manager Kenny Jackett must have been concerned by what he saw from his side early on.

They looked rattled and goalkeeper Martinez and centre-back Kortney Hause in particular were all over the place.

Normal service was resumed on 16 minutes, however, as Joe Day saved brilliantly from a Sheyi Ojo free-kick but, from the rebound, Ojo crossed for Nouha Dicko to ease the ball into the far corner of the net.

And the dream was over once Scott Barrow brought down Benik Afobe in the box and the ex-Arsenal striker confidently netted from the spot on 58 minutes.

But this was a performance to be proud of from Terry Butcher’s men, especially the two boys at the back.

For all the talk of County fielding a team of kids, 17-year-old Regan Poole and 18-year-old Kieran Parselle were the only teenagers in the starting XI.

In fact the average age of the Exiles team was 24, compared to a youthful Wolves XI that averaged just 21.

Playing two teenagers at the heart of the defence against away from home against a side like Wolves was always going to be a gamble.

But the two academy graduates and good friends performed like Football League veterans in a remarkable display that belied their youth and lack of experience.

Poole got away with a little tug of the shirt as the impressive Ojo bore down on goal in the first half but was otherwise calmness personified.

It’s clear to see why the scouts from the very top clubs are keeping tabs on him and it was a display that had former Wales defensive legend Kevin Ratcliffe purring with delight as he watched from the press box.

But just as impressive, if not more so, was Parselle who is completely unheralded in comparison to Poole.

No trials for Manchester United or Liverpool for him but the 18-year-old was superb against Afobe, Ojo and Co, picking up where he left off in the friendly against Queens Park Rangers last month.

On this evidence Butcher should have no worries about playing the pair of them against Teddy Sheringham’s Stevenage at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

And this was by no means an evening when County turned up and parked the bus, praying for penalties.

The visitors showed plenty of attacking intent from the off on a confidence-boosting night and caused the shaky home defence problems throughout.

Rodman and Boden worked tirelessly up front and when they were replaced by teenagers Aaron Collins and Tom Owen-Evans with 20 minutes remaining County were still fighting hard for extra-time.

Collins almost took advantage of a sloppy kick from Martinez but fired his shot just over the top and Owen-Evans tested the Argentinian’s reflexes with a fierce low drive seven minutes from time.

Wolves dominated possession and chances as the game wore on but the Exiles wouldn’t give up and they earned a deserved standing ovation from their fans at the final whistle.

Wolves: Martinez, Doherty (van La Parra, 66) Golbourne, Dicko, Afobe (le Fondre, 66), Coady, Iorfa, Price, Ojo, Ebanks-Landell, Hause

Subs not used: Ikeme, Stearman, Henry, McDonald, Enobakhare

Booked: Coady, Iorfa

County: Day, Holmes, Parselle, Poole, Barrow, Twumasi, Rodman (Collins, 70), Klukowski, Byrne, Elito (Jones, 90), Boden (Owen-Evans, 70)

Subs not used: Taylor, Shephard, Bamford

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 9,586

Argus star man: Parselle