It would be hard to dream up a better redemption story on a football pitch. After flapping at a stoppage-time cross to gift Newport County of League Two an extraordinary equaliser, the Brighton goalkeeper, Jason Steele, made four fine saves as the Premier League strugglers survived a nailbiting penalty shootout to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Adam Webster, whose own goal paved the way for extra time, scored the decisive spot-kick as Brighton won 4-3 on penalties following Scot Bennett’s miss.
Newport’s form for an upset has been one of the most charismatic stories in recent years and they almost topped the lot when Kevin Ellison powered at goal with only seconds of extra time to play. A day which began with Ellison, who turns 42 next month, winding up the club physio by calling to say he was overcome with “FA Cup fever” ended up with the former Morecambe winger wondering how Lewis Dunk managed to block a thunderous half-volley. The game went into extra time after Newport levelled following Solly March’s strike.