by Dan Cope
NEWPORT County travel to eighth-tier side Maldon & Tiptree as both sides hope to create magical cup runs.
The Jammers stunned League Two side Leyton Orient in the first round when goals from Danny Parish and Jorome Slew gave the non-league club a 2-1 victory at The Breyer Group Stadium.
Wayne Brown’s men now face another challenge from League Two, in the form of last season’s FA Cup dream chasers Newport County, who will be hoping to repeat the heroics of the previous campaign when they reached the last 16.
County managed to kickstart this year’s competition by defeating fellow League Two outfit Grimsby Town 2-0 via a replay, but Michael Flynn will be hoping for his team to advance at the first time of asking this time around, to avoid a possible fixture congestion.
Maldon & Tiptree have been in fine form this season, but Saturday saw them lose a match for the first time, bowing out of the FA Trophy after a 4-3 defeat to Enfield Town. They currently sit second in the Isthmian League North Division with eight wins and one draw in nine games.
The Exiles will need to be partciularly wary of Malden’s attacking trio of Slew, Charlee Hughes and Parish who have scored 64 goals between them so far this season, with 24, 22 and 18 respectively.
However, despite sitting in 11th place in League Two, the hosts have only conceded 14 league goals so far this season, which makes for an interesting matchup, as a menacing attack competes against one of the most resolute defences in League Two.
🎥 | Ahead of Friday's #EmiratesFACup Second Round clash against @MaldonTiptreeFC, we got @mdolan63 and Robbie Willmott to re-watch last season's historic matches against @Boro and the result was hilarious! 🤣
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) November 27, 2019
Flynn feels that County will have to be at the top of their game to advance to the third round. He said: “Wayne (Hatswell) went to watch them last Saturday (a 1-1 home draw to Histon).”
“It’s a very tight ground and it’s going to be overtaken with TV cameras. It’s going to be a classic FA Cup tie and it will be very difficult.
“They’ve already caused an upset by beating Leyton Orient so we know they’re a very capable team and we’ll have to be at our best.”
County defender Scot Bennett feels Newport can relate to Maldon being the “underdogs” and believes there’s a chance of another cup upset.
He said: “We know all about the magic of the FA Cup.”
“We’ve been in Maldon’s shoes as the underdogs and we all know that it’s been selected for TV because there’s obviously the chance of an upset.
“We know their fans will be up for it and they will come at us, thinking they can beat us.
“We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“We have to be professional, be switched on and take our chances.
Newport can take inspiration from last year’s first round 2-0 victory of Metropolitan Police into their fixture at Wallace Binder Ground.
“The boys did it at Met Police last year,” Bennett added.
“That was a similar sort of challenge and we handled it brilliantly.
“We have to do the same again. We need to be prepared to battle before we express ourselves and show our quality.”
Kick off: 19:55pm