Newport County 1-1 Tottenham: Harry Kane spares visitors' blushes
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 28/01/18 7:52am
Harry Kane's late strike earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw with Newport County in their FA Cup fourth-round tie at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
The League Two side had appeared on course for a huge shock when Padraig Amond broke the deadlock after 38 minutes, heading home Scot Bennett's cross.
However, Kane was on hand to spare Tottenham's blushes with an 82nd-minute equaliser, the striker's 12th goal in just his last seven matches.
As a result, Newport will head to Wembley Stadium for a replay in the week commencing February 5.
Newport County: Day (7), Pipe (6), Demetriou (7), White (6), Bennett (7), Butler (6), Willmott (7), Tozer (7), Labadie (8), Nouble (7), Amond (7)
Subs: Dolan (6), McCoulsky (6)
Tottenhamn: Vorm (6), Trippier (6), Foyth (6), Vertonghen (6), Walker-Peters (6), Dier (6), Wanyama (5), Sissoko (5), Dembele (6), Llorente (4), Kane (6)
Subs: Son Heung-min (7), Alli (7), Davies (7)
Man of the match: Joss Labadie
The League Two promotion hopefuls made an impressive start in front of a sell-out crowd at Rodney Parade, dominating the first 45 minutes against their more illustrious opponents.
Former West Ham forward Frank Nouble - the only Newport player with Premier League experience - missed a great chance to open the scoring after just four minutes, only for the forward to blaze horribly over the bar with just Michel Vorm to beat.
That miss was soon forgotten, however, when Mike Flynn's side took a deserved lead seven minutes before the break. Ben Tozer launched a long throw into the Spurs penalty area, which the visitors failed to clear properly, allowing Bennett the chance to centre.
Newport captain Joss Labadie and Ben White returned, while Matty Dolan was also back, but only on the bench.
Spurs made five changes from their draw at Southampton on Sunday, but striker Harry Kane started in attack. However, Toby Alderweireld (hamstring), Danny Rose (knee), Hugo Lloris (illness), Eriksen (illness), Harry Winks (ankle), Erik Lamela (bruised gluteus muscle) and Serge Aurier (calf) all missed out.
And the midfielder's curling cross from the right edge of the area was then headed home by Amond, who rose high above Kieran Trippier at the far post to send Rodney Parade into raptures.
Tottenham were desperate in the first half, failing to have a shot on target before the break, with the closest Mauricio Pochettino's team coming to finding the back of the net was when Kane hit the outside of a post three minutes before the interval after good work by Moussa Sissoko.
However, Spurs improved markedly in the second period, helped by the half-time introduction of Heung-Min Son in place of right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, and Kane really should have equalised just before the hour-mark.
Again, though, the England international's radar was surprisingly malfunctioning as the frontman headed over the bar from six yards out with just Joe Day to beat in the Newport goal.
1 - Padraig Amond has scored his first goal in the FA Cup since November 2015, when he scored twice against St Albans City for Grimsby. Surprise.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2018
Day also had to be alert to deny Son midway through the second period as the Tottenham pressure increased, although the 'keeper was helpless to prevent Kane levelling matters eight minutes from time.
A left-wing corner was flicked on at the near post by Son, with Kane there in the right place at the right time to tap in from virtually on the goal line for his 30th strike of the campaign.
- Spurs failed to beat a fourth tier side in an FA Cup match for the first time since January 1996, when they drew away at Hereford United.
- Newport avoided defeat against Spurs for the first time in their history, having previously lost all four meetings.
- Harry Kane has now scored 30 goals in all competitions this season, more than any other Premier League player.
- Kane has scored in four consecutive games for Spurs in all competitions, his best run since November 2016.
- Padraig Amond scored his first FA Cup goal since November 2015, when he scored a brace against St Albans City for Grimsby Town.
- Robbie Willmott has assisted seven goals for Newport in all competitions this season, more than any other Exiles player.
Man of the Match - Joss Labadie
The Newport captain was touch and go to even play at Rodney Parade after recent injury, but I bet boss Mike Flynn was glad he was passed fit after an impressive display in midfield.
The 27-year-old was the standout performer in the first half with his neat passing and tough tackling, only for a 32nd-minute booking to put a brake on his excellent display.
4 - Harry Kane has scored in each of his last four games for Tottenham in all competitions, his best scoring streak since November 2016. Equaliser.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2018
Mike Flynn: "I'm absolutely gutted for them because they scored so late. It was always going to hard in the second half but they've made me the proudest manager in the country today.
"I could've maybe been a bit selfish and tried to be the hero and put a few more strikers on and gone for it, but I would never jeopardise the finances of the football club and I'm not selfish.
"We kept it as we were, we just had to get them back focus again and let's be honest, it was the only mistake we made all day and we got punished."
Mauricio Pochettino: "We cannot use [the pitch] as an excuse. We were so poor in the first half and we were aware about how Newport play and their quality and I think never in the first half did we match their level.
"I think that we were aware that the key to playing today was having the capacity to challenge them. The most important thing from the start of the game was to show more desire, or the same desire as them and the same motivation as them."
Newport travel to Lincoln City in League Two on Tuesday night, while Spurs host Manchester United at Wembley in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.