Monday 20 August 2018

Ireland's Padraig Amond on target as Newport earn FA Cup replay against Tottenham

Newport County's Padraig Amond celebrates scoring against Tottenham
Newport County's Padraig Amond celebrates scoring against Tottenham

Phil Blanche

Harry Kane rescued Tottenham's FA Cup hopes as his late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw at Newport.

Kane struck his 30th goal of the season eight minutes from time after Spurs had trailed to Padraig Amond's first-half header.

The Sky Bet League Two side had not featured in the fourth round of the FA Cup for 39 years, but Irish striker Amond had Rodney Parade rocking when he headed home Robbie Willmott's 38th-minute cross.

For much of a full-blooded contest it looked as if that would be enough to condemn Spurs to a shock defeat against opponents 71 places below them on the league ladder.

But with the visitors seemingly fast running out of ideas, substitute Son Heung-min flicked on a corner and Kane ended a frustrating night in front of goal with the simplest of far-post tap-ins.

It was cruel on gallant Newport who had given so much to the contest, but at least they have the consolation of another substantial pay day with a Wembley replay to come.

The two sides' previous FA Cup meeting was in January 1960 when Danny Blanchflower was among the Spurs scorers in a 4-0 third-round win at Somerton Park.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino kept some first-team players in reserve - among them Dele Alli and Son - but the presence of Kane, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen showed this was a game Spurs were taking seriously.

But the Premier League side were forced onto the back foot from the off as Newport started at a furious pace.

Joss Labadie hustled Vertonghen into a third-minute mistake to set up Frank Nouble but the striker skied horribly from 12 yards.

Labadie then robbed Victor Wanyama to deliver a 20-yard shot which Michel Vorm held in the Spurs goal.

Tottenham were struggling to find any fluency on a muddy pitch, although Kane did side-foot over from 25 yards after linking well with Fernando Llorente.

Newport continued to press and Vorm held Willmott's free-kick before Ben White dragged his volley wide.

Spurs finally stirred from their slumber just after the half-hour mark as Moussa Sissoko raced onto Llorente's pass.

Sissoko picked out Kane, arriving into the penalty area at pace, but his shot was pushed onto the post by Joe Day.

It was a rare moment of concern for Newport but Rodney Parade erupted six minutes later.

Spurs failed to clear Ben Tozer's long throw and the ball fell to Willmott, who swung over a cross which Amond planted past Vorm with a firm header.

Amond was denied a second when Vorm pushed his volley wide and Pochettino responded to the situation at half-time by ripping up his wing-backs formation and replacing Kyle Walker-Peters with Son.

The switch allowed Vertonghen to rampage from his new left-back position and he linked up well with Son before the South Korean was crowded out by home defenders.

Spurs were now dominating possession but clear-cut chances were hard to come by with the Newport defence standing firm and Kane's assured touch for once letting him down.

Alli was sent on in the 65th minute and he instantly set up an opportunity for Son, whose effort was blocked by the legs of the diving Day.

The pressure was mounting on the Newport goal and Kane went close twice before he found himself in the right place to turn Tottenham's fortunes.

Press Association

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