By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Newport County AFC 3 AET
The Albion lost to the Football League’s newest team, who were playing their first League Cup tie in almost 26 years.
The Seagulls gave a debut to Rohan Ince and the midfielder impressed throughout his time on the pitch.
The Albion had the ball in the net early on through Jake Forster-Caskey but his effort was ruled out for offside.
A few minutes later however, the Seagulls were front. Ince and Will Buckley combined well and Ashley Barnes swept the ball home from close range.
Not long afterwards Casper Ankergren was forced to palm over Chris Zebroski’s header.
Albion tried to control the tempo but seemed surprised by Newport’s tenacity in attack.
Christian Jolley raced clear for County but his shot flew just over.
It was end to end stuff. Ince, outside the penalty area, let fly with a shot but Newport keeper Jamie Stephens parried the ball to Barnes. It hit Barnes’s hand and although Buckley fired home the rebound it was disallowed.
The Seagulls coaching staff have swapped benches and now sit on the left hand side of the tunnel. This appears to make communication better with those players warming up.
Albion went in at half time a goal in front.
As the second half got going, so did Ince. A long-legged player, he twists and turns well. He ran at Newport, causing them a few problems. At 6ft tall he cuts an imposing figure and looks a fine prospect.
Just as Albion were beginning to gain the upper hand, the match took a shocking turning point. Albion’s Inigo Calderon and Newport’s Byron Anthony went for a loose ball and the latter suffered a broken leg in what appeared to be a simple accidental collision.
Sadly the crack of breaking bone could be heard all over the Amex filled with just 8,409 supporters.
Calderon was harshly sent off and looked in some distress.
Soon after this incident Newport equalised with a superb bullet header from the impressive Danny Crow – the club’s first League Cup goal since 1987.
With their man advantage the League 2 newcomers looked the more likely to win the tie in normal time.
Before the end of normal time Adam Chapman wriggled his way through the Albion defence but his shot with the outside of his boot sailed just wide of Ankergren’s post.
Extra time was needed at the Amex for only the second time in the stadium’s two-year history even though Albion and Newport played almost 10 minutes of injury time.
Four minutes into the first period Crow put the Welshmen 2-1 up with a fine curling effort which had Ankergren beaten all ends up.
Ten-man Albion looked out of ideas and, with three minutes of the first period still left, the recently introduced Leo Ulloa got in a mix up with Gordon Greer. Conor Washington raced clear for County and was able to round the hesitant Ankergren and put Newport 3-1 up and out of sight with the whole second extra time period to go.
Albion had a few chances to get back in it, mainly from Barnes headers, but they all went wide or over.
With three minutes left Liam Bridcutt, Ulloa and Barnes all had clear chances but were thwarted by Stephens and his defence.
The match finished at 10:31pm.
The Albion, true to form, have lost more times to lower league opposition than any other team in the competition’s history.
Oscar Garcia will see the match against Derby County at the Amex on Saturday (10 August) as a far more important proposition.