Jason Steele the hero as Brighton overcome Newport via penalty shootout

Date published: Sunday 10th January 2021 10:36

Jason Steele saved four penalties in a shootout as Brighton overcame Newport after a gruelling FA Cup third round tie.

Earlier in the day, Crawley had beaten Leeds to show that League Two sides could cause problems for those from the Premier League.

Brighton found themselves in for a challenge as well, but eventually their persistence paid off in Wales.

There was a sigh of relief for Brighton – and particularly Lewis Dunk – within the first five minutes.

Dunk misplaced a backpass, allowing Padraig Amond to snatch the ball and go one-on-one with Jason Steele. Fortunately for the Premier League side, though, Amond fired wide.

Brighton then produced the game’s first shot on target, when Yves Bissouma aimed an effort at goal. Tom King kept hold of it in the Newport goal, though.

Around half an hour in, Brighton began to grow into the game more and there were further chances for Lewis Dunk and Alexis Mac Allister. However, King denied them both.

The Newport keeper produced his finest save yet to thwart a close-range effort from Dunk, clawing it away for a corner – which led to nothing.

At the other end, the League Two side went close when Steele failed to clear the ball as it came back to him and Amond took it off him in the air.

However, as he lobbed it towards the goal, Dunk cleared it away.

The two sides continued to go toe-to-toe in the second half, although they still struggled to break the deadlock.

Brighton substitute Davy Propper had a go from inside the box, but pulled his shot wide.

Next, Solly Match sent the ball in from the left wing, forcing a reactionary save from King.

Neal Maupay was the next to try his luck, but his attempt also ended up going wide.

While Brighton were on top, Newport hadn’t faded out of the game either, and Josh Sheehan sent a stinging effort on goal to keep Steele alert.

Both sides score late to set up extra time

Late on, though, Brighton delivered a hammer blow to Newport’s rising hopes of taking them to extra time. After some good team play in and around the box, the ball ended up at March’s feet.

The wide man let fly from the edge of the area, curling the ball home to give Brighton the advantage.

However, it wasn’t enough to send Newport out just yet. Beyond the allocated stoppage time, Steele failed to deal with a cross, and the ball went in off defender Adam Webster.

It gave Newport a dramatic equaliser, sending the game to extra time.

Brighton had the best chance to take the lead in the additional 30 minutes. A good cross came in from Bernardo on the left, but King batted away Dunk’s header to add to his collection of fine saves from the evening.

In stoppage time of extra time, Dunk made a vital block to prevent a powerful strike from Kevin Ellison on the bounce. The resulting corner was cleared away with the last action of the match.

Hence, the game went to penalties, giving the goalkeepers their chance to impress again.

Indeed, three of the first four penalties were saved. Brighton’s Steele kept out the first two Newport efforts, and opposite number King pushed away Maupay’s attempt.

Before that, Pascal Gross had rolled Brighton’s first penalty in, but Newport levelled it up with their third spot kick via Joss Labadie – and then Bissouma hit the post as things stayed all square.

It became effectively sudden death when Newport scored their fourth penalty through Ryan Taylor and Brighton immediately hit back through Dunk.

Steele then produced his third save of the shootout to leave Brighton one kick away from progression. But Leandro Trossard aimed his penalty straight down the middle, and King kept it out with his feet.

With the score all square at 2-2 after five penalties each, it went to sudden death.

Jamie Proctor scored to put Newport in front, and Propper calmly dispatched to keep the shootout going.

Scot Bennett then tried to chip the ball in, but Steele pushed it away. Newport were aggrieved that he may have been off his line, but with no VAR, the decision had to stand.

It left Webster, the man who had scored the own goal for Brighton, just needing to finish to earn himself redemption. He sent King the wrong way to win it 4-3 for Brighton.

Hence, the Premier League side survived the scare and advanced to the next round.

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