Preview: Newport County v Brighton & Hove Albion

Newport County's Rodney Parade. Image Callum Ellis.

By Jack Cook

Emirates FA Cup: Newport County v Brighton & Hove Albion

Date: Sunday January 10, 2021

Kick Off: 19:45

Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport

NEWPORT County will be hoping for another Cup upset as they take on Premier League’s Brighton & Hove Albion at Rodney Parade.

Newport County are no stranger to a ‘giant killing’ as they have enjoyed the FA Cup in recent years as they have beaten the likes of Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Leicester City.

Newport currently sits in second in League Two but have a game in hand over the team above them. Newport manager Mike Flynn will be hoping that his team can take their league form into the Cup to cause an upset.

“The players deserve all the credit as usual. They are the ones that do the business on the pitch. They’ve been exceptional for majority of the season.”

Mike Flynn will hope that his team again can cause an upset in the cup as he faces off against Premier league opposition Brighton. He will look to get one over on them and their manager Graham Potter.

“I’ve met Graham a few times. He’s a very intelligent man, he’s somebody I got a lot of time for. He’s done really well in his managerial career so far, but I’m going to try and beat him on Sunday. They have a lot of top professional players, but it’s Rodney Parade and we know anything can happen there.”

When the sides last met Newport were the victors as they beat Brighton 3-1 in the league cup in 2013, but when the sides last met in the FA Cup it was in 1966 and Brighton were the winners that day.

Newport will be without Scott Twine, Brandon Cooper Aaron Lewis, Bradley Webb and Saikou Janneh as they have all returned to their parent clubs. The two stand out players for Newport has been Scott Twine and Brandon Cooper who they no longer have, but Mike Flynn will be looking at other players to step up and fill their boots.

He said, “It’s down to a couple of other now to step up and stat their claim for a spot on the team. I’m hoping it won’t be such a big loss, but they are two very good players and if you look from the start of the season, they have been exceptional for us.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter said, “Newport have done brilliantly in terms of their cup record, it’s a challenge for us.”

Newport could see the return of former loanee Ben White as Brighton hope for his return back into the side. Mike Flynn labels him as “the best loan the club has ever had.”

There are fears that the game could potentially be called off because Newport had to postpone last week’s League Two fixture due to a frozen pitch, but the club and rugby union club Newport Dragons who ground share will hope that the pitch will keep in playable condition as the sides have invested in a dome cover to protect the pitch. The Dragons also play that weekend a day before Newport face Brighton.

Mike Flynn said, “I think it’s a good idea from the football club and the Dragons. They are doing everything they can to make sure that the game is on.”