BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have praised Newport County’s shock 2-1 FA Cup win over Leicester City, with Shearer hailing their effort has “absolutely magnificent”.
County led at half-time through Jamille Matt’s header but were pegged back late on by their Premier League opponents.
There would be an even later twist, however, with Padraig Amond stroking home a penalty to clinch a place in the fourth round.
Rodney Parade was bouncing and in the studio Shearer and Wright – along with presenter and Leicester fan Gary Lineker – waxed lyrical over Newport’s achievement.
Shearer said: “This is what it is all about. This is why we came here. There was a small chance this could happen, they grew in confidence, they were hanging on for dear life in that second half. You could see what it meant to the players. To be hit hard by the equaliser so late in the game but then to show the courage to come back into the game and go and win it, what a day for him (manager Mike Flynn), what a day for the players, enjoy it, you deserve it.
“You were absolutely magnificent. Everything you want to see in footballers, that it means absolutely everything to them for 90-odd minutes, they gave their all. They deserved it.”
Wright was similarly impressed, but criticised the Foxes’ team selection.
He said: “Newport would have fancied it. For me Leicester should have gone stronger, simply because you want to get through this round, you want the fans off your back, when you make decisions like this and put a team out like that, they wouldn’t frighten me, and Newport have done it.”
Shearer added: “You could see the work they put in, the set-pieces that they worked on during the week, you could see all the effort and commitment that they’ve put in over the last few days. It has all paid off today. This is what they did it for. For this moment. Because they believed that, with a bit of luck, yes Leicester missed one or two chances, but do not take anything away from Newport, they were sensational.”
Former Arsenal striker Wright reserved praise for Flynn, adding: “We are talking about Flynn, the manager, who has done so much for the club, he took over when they were 11 points adrift, we’ve heard about the fact they nearly went out of business, to beat like them like they did was an incredible performance from them.”