NEWPORT County AFC’s love affair with the FA Cup continued at League Two rivals Leyton Orient, as Jamie Devitt’s wonder strike secured his side’s passage into the second round.

The Exiles bounced back from their midweek defeat in Carlisle to progress to the next stage of a competition that has been so kind to them in recent years.

After memorable clashes against the likes of Manchester City, Spurs and Leicester City, County are now just one more win away from possibly mixing it with the big boys again.

They took the lead at the Breyer Group Stadium thanks to Ash Baker’s first goal in County colours in the 36th minute, the defender firing into an unguarded net after a goalkeeping howler.

The lead lasted less than five minutes as Exiles old boy Jamie Turley helped teenager Hector Kyprianou level the scores.

Devitt, who had opened his Newport account in the 3-2 loss in Cumbria four days earlier, nearly scored just after the break when his curling effort struck an upright.

But 13 minutes from the end the Blackpool loanee really did make his mark on the tie, and in spectacular fashion too.

Receiving the ball some 30 yards out, the Irishman took one touch and hit a stunning shot that gave the Orient keeper no chance.

Here are the talking points from County’s trip to London…


Orient gloveman Lawrence Vigouroux looks like a goalkeeper who would love to have a go as an outfield player.

He made several dalliances out of his area to deal with danger, but it ultimately proved his undoing.

There was no threat to the O’s when Vigouroux dealt efficiently with a through ball on the edge of the box some 10 minutes before the interval.

However, his attempted pass to a team-mate was woefully short and the alert Baker showed real composure to slot the ball into an empty net from around 35 yards out.

Not only did the goal give the visitors the lead, but it was also Baker’s first as a Newport player – and he will be kicking himself that a second didn’t follow soon after.

A Ryan Haynes cross found its way to Baker as he charged into the box, but the defender managed to sky his effort over the bar from point-blank range.


The midfielder had done well when he came on for injured skipper Joss Labadie during the first half of the midweek defeat to Carlisle.

His maiden Exiles strike kick-started a County fightback that, in the end, didn’t quite result in them nabbing a point.

With Labadie not making the trip down the M4, Devitt was handed a start by boss Michael Flynn, and he made a big impact on the match – and his manager.

Flynn was full of praise for the match-winner following his 30-yard screamer that sent County through to round two.

It could have been a brace for Devitt had his shot early in the second half gone in instead of striking the post.


Long gone are the days when County continually struggle to get past the first round of the FA Cup.

Their exploits in recent seasons are familiar to fans across the country and beyond, with those wins over Leeds United, Leicester and Middlesbrough, and the encounters with Spurs and Manchester City, still fresh in the memories of all Exiles supporters.

And this season we also saw County thrive in the Carabao Cup as they reached the fourth round and were only knocked out by Newcastle United on penalties.

Boss Flynn was honest after the full-time whistle on Saturday, freely admitting that the league is his primary focus.

But he knows just how lucrative a good cup run is to a League Two club like his, particularly given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic keeping spectators away.


County now turn their attention to Tuesday’s EFL Trophy game away to Plymouth Argyle.

The injuries have been mounting up for the League Two leaders, with seven players unavailable for the Orient game.

Manager Flynn says there will be wholesale changes for Plymouth, before a break due to international call-ups can give those nursing knocks the opportunity to return to full fitness.

The likes of Scott Twine and Liam Shepard have been big misses for Flynn, and he will want them back firing on all cylinders.