NEWPORT County AFC are in the third round of the FA Cup after three second-half goals earned victory against Salford City.

Mickey Demetriou had a penalty saved for the Exiles in a goalless first half but a red card for the visitors’ Brandon Thomas-Asante changed the game.


County went on the front foot and Jamie Proctor nodded home the opener after 55 minutes before fellow forwards Padraig Amond and Saikou Janneh came off the bench to secure the victory.

Here are the talking points from the clash at Rodney Parade...

South Wales Argus: PROTECTION: Scot Bennett on the chasePROTECTION: Scot Bennett on the chase


County have started the season superbly with three at the back, with Matty Dolan holding it all together in between Brandon Cooper and Mickey Demetriou.

This cup tie provided a useful opportunity to see how they could cope without the midfielder-turned-defender.

Flynn and assistant Wayne Hatswell made the call to go with a flat back four and they looked solid throughout. Even when Salford had 11 players their sole opening was a half-chance when George Boyd failed to hit the target.

That was probably bad news for goalkeeper Tom King on his recall to the starting line-up – the Wales squad member didn’t get a chance to really put the heat on Nick Townsend.

The lack of crowd meant you could hear him talking constantly to his defence but the stopper didn’t have to make a single save.

The change of formation didn’t impact the attacking instincts of the full-backs, which leads to the next point…

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Scot Bennett on the ballINFLUENTIAL: Scot Bennett on the ball


Scot Bennett was a vital figure in 2019/20 with his exploits earning the utility man the honour of Argus player of the year, voted for by readers.

He’s been more of a fringe figure since re-signing in the summer, mainly down to the change of formation that has seen Josh Sheehan sitting in front of Cooper, Dolan and Demetriou.

In the absence of the injured Kyle Howkins, Bennett has been next in line at the back but the Salford clash showed his value if County opt for a back four.

The Cornishman offered protection to allow full-backs Haynes and Shephard to bomb on then allowed Flynn to go on the attack against the 10 men by bringing on Saikou Janneh for his left-back.

It was Bennett’s interception that allowed the Bristol City prospect to add the third.

“He was superb and reads the play well,” said Flynn. “He does the unsung things and was excellent.”

In this hectic season, the dependable Bennett will be invaluable whether in defence or midfield.

South Wales Argus: OPENER: Jamie Proctor thanks Robbie Willmott for his superb crossOPENER: Jamie Proctor thanks Robbie Willmott for his superb cross


Jamie Proctor hasn’t made the impact that he would have liked since moving down the leagues from Championship club Rotherham.

He has provided a more physical option up front in the absence of the injured Ryan Taylor but strikers are predominantly measured by goals.

Proctor could have done with an early strike in amber but it proved elusive, so Saturday’s goal will have put a spring in his step.

It was a wonderful header, cushioned back across the goal from Robbie Willmott’s cross, and he then came close to a second with an audacious flick.

Porter is on loan until at least January 17 and will have a big say in ensuring County head into 2021 as promotion contenders, and hopefully still pace-setters.


We’ll all be watching on Monday evening to see who County draw and it could yet be a massive anti-climax, with League Two rivals Morecambe, Oldham or Blackpool away among the underwhelming possibilities.

It could also be a cracker to look forward to in January – Old Trafford, Villa Park, Stamford Bridge, Goodison.

That would present a challenge to Flynn and his staff, who have already had to plot every day carefully through to January 9, when they will now be in round three action rather than heading to Cheltenham.

The Exiles have nine League Two fixtures before they return to knockout action and it is those encounters that can really create memories to cherish in 2020/21.

The manager was quick to state that there will be no complacency after the win against Salford and attention swiftly turns to Forest Green Rovers, who have also started the season strongly, on Tuesday night.

Fingers crossed County can get a tie that boosts the coffers through television coverage, they can put in a spirited display against a big gun then crack on with making it up to League One.

Monday night could put a big date in the diary but it’s about the bread and butter in December.