“YOU start thinking it’s not your day but, fortunately, this team doesn’t know when they’re beaten,” said Michael Flynn after another incredible instalment of the love affair between Newport County AFC and the FA Cup.

And how right the beaming Exiles boss was as he addressed the media at Middlesbrough’s plush Riverside Stadium.

Talk about the romance of the cup – County and the world’s oldest knockout competition must be on the verge of moving in together and starting a family.

After beating Leeds United and taking Tottenham Hotspur to a Wembley replay last season, Flynn’s team have matched that feat 12 months on by dumping out Leicester City in round three and now forcing a fourth-round replay with Tony Pulis’ Boro.

And what a way to do it.

The hosts were hanging on to the lead given to them via the head of Daniel Ayala on 51 minutes when former Middlesbrough player Matty Dolan made his belated appearance off the bench with just three minutes left on the clock.

Antoine Semenyo had just ballooned a volley over the bar and the Exiles looked down and out.

But, in the cup at least, this side never knows when they’re beaten.

Fellow sub Josh Sheehan floated in a cross and Dolan was alert to the loose ball and coolly slotted in from close range in the fourth and final minute of time added on.

South Wales Argus:

The look on Dolan’s face as he wheeled away in celebration said it all and the scenes at the end as he and his teammates celebrated in front of the 1,200 travelling fans will live long in the memory.

“The goal we conceded was a bit sloppy, so I wasn’t happy about that,” said Flynn.

“But, to be fair, they kept going and they got what they deserved – maybe a little bit less than they deserved.

“We missed a couple of chances in both halves. I thought we created the better chances.

“We changed formation three times because we had to find a way to break them down, and then we had to take our chance. Thankfully we did that. Our game plan worked to a tee.”

Semenyo, Padraig Amond, Jamille Matt, Dan Butler and Tyreeq Bakinson all had half-chances before the break and stand-in Exiles goalkeeper Nick Townsend didn’t have a save to make in the first half, although Lewis Wing did clip the bar.

After Ayala’s opener, the home side failed to hammer home their advantage and County kept pushing and probing and eventually got what they deserved.

South Wales Argus:

Pulis was understandably disappointed but he admitted that his hometown team deserved plenty of praise.

“When we scored the goal, we dominated possession but we've got to create more chances and opportunities,” said the Boro boss.

“You've got to give them credit, they kept going.

“They had a great chance before they scored and Darren [Randolph] has made a couple of saves from what they're good at. They get balls in the box, get bodies around it and look for bits and pieces.

“The big disappointment for me is we didn't stop crosses,” he added. “It's like we were quite happy for them to stick it in the box.

“There were lots of occasions where we were close enough to get bodies in the way and stop crosses.

“We just didn't work enough to do that.

“And in every game, unless you get that second goal, there's always one situation that could change it.

“Newport played with great spirit, great togetherness. They deserve all the credit hopefully you lot will give them.”

With games against Championship promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United on the next two Saturdays, Pulis could have done without a return to Newport.

“It's in between two big games,” said the former County midfielder. “I'll get on to Flynny now and get a bucket load of tickets because I'll need them.

“But we're still in the cup. In 2011 when we got to the final [with Stoke City], we played Cardiff at home and drew 1-1. Then we went to Cardiff and won – and got to a final.

“Cup games are a strange old thing.”

Middlesbrough: Randolph; Shotton (McNair, 73), Ayala, Flint, Friend; Mikel (Clayton, 62), Saville, Wing, Downing; Fletcher (Tavernier, 80), Assombalonga

Subs not used: Dimi, Batth, Hugill, La Parra

County: Townsend; Poole, O’Brien, Demetriou (Dolan, 87); Willmott, Bakinson (Labadie, 78), Bennett, Butler; Amond (Sheehan, 79); Matt, Semenyo

Subs not used: Pipe, Forbes, Neufville, Marsh-Brown

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 15,794

Read more: Michael Flynn hails 'fairy tale' ending for Dolan and County

Read more: Exiles boss wants to add to his squad after earning Boro replay