Berardi scores, but Leeds make FA Cup exit.
Emirates FA Cup
Newport County 2 (Shaughnessy O.G 76, McCoulsky 89) Leeds United 1 (Berardi 10)
Leeds United exited the Emirates FA Cup at the Third Round stage away at Newport County, after a late goal from substitute Shawn McCoulsky.
The Whites made nine changes for the tie at Rodney Parade, from the side that started the draw against Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day, with only Gaetano Berardi and Kalvin Phillips keeping their places, whilst youngsters, Liam Kitching, Tom Pearce, Oriol Ray and Jack Clarke were named on the bench.
Leeds had an immediate chance from kick off to open the scoring when Jay-Roy Grot latched onto a loose ball but couldn’t beat Joe Day.
Newport captain Josh Labadie then had half a chance for the hosts but he couldn’t direct his header goal bound.
Leeds took the lead on ten minutes when captain for the day Gaetano Berardi strode forward and from 25 yards scored his first ever career goal, setting off mass celebrations in the away end.
Newport almost forced the equaliser when Leeds failed to clear a corner but Padraig Amond’s shot was cleared off the line by a combination of Conor Shaughnessy and Berardi.
Newport again peppered the Leeds goal, this time through Labadie, but his header had little conviction and failed to trouble Andy Lonergan.
Leeds then showed their attacking intent through Vurnon Anita, but he saw his long range effort held by Day.
Labadie continued to cause Leeds problems, this time he saw his shot deflect over after a challenge by Berardi.
The hosts carried on with their attacking threat and following a neat move involving Frank Nouble and Padraig Amond, the latter volleyed just over the bar.
Half Time Newport County 0-1 Leeds United
Leeds made a good start to the second period and Pierre-Michel Lassoga was just off target with his header, following Pawel Cibicki’s cross.
It was then the turn of the hosts to come forward but Dan Butler’s cross from the right went right through the Leeds box and just wide of goal.
Newport again threatened the Leeds goal with Amond’s firing a bicycle kick after the ball fell to him in the area, but his effort hit the side netting.
Lassoga and Grot then combined well, Lasogga played a neat pass, but Grot failed to hit the target.
Hadi Sacko then did well to break into the Newport area, but he saw his shot from a narrow angle go just over the crossbar.
Lassoga then tried his luck from distance but Day palmed it away to safety on 65 minutes, with a good save.
Lassoga continued to threaten and had another chance, but could only firee over the bar from 20 yards.
Newport substitute Shawn McCoulsky then cut into Leeds area but was unable to test Lonergan in the Leeds goal.
Newport got their equaliser 14 minutes from time, when a Nouble cross from the right came in and Conor Shaughnessy could only turn the ball into his own net.
Newport had the chance to go in front from a free kick but Amond’s header was saved by Lonergan, following Willmott’s cross.
Exiles substitute Paul Hayes who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds then saw his dipping volley drop just over Lonergan’s bar from in excess of 30 yards.
The home side then netted, what would be the winner in the 89th minute, when McCoulsky headed home from close range at a corner.
Leeds substitute Samuel Saiz was then shown a red card, as it proved to be a miserable afternoon for the Whites, being dumped out of the competition.
Full time: Newport County 2-1 Leeds United
Newport: Day, Pipe, White, Bennett, Demetriou, Butler, Labadie, Willmott (O’Brien 90), Dolan (McCoulsky 69), Nouble, Amond (Hayes 86): Subs Not used: Bittner, Tozer, Reid, O’Brien, Sheehan.
Leeds: Lonergan, Anita, Shaughnessy, Berardi, Borthwick-Jackson (Cooper 60), Phillips, Klich, Cibicki, Sacko, Grot (Saiz 74), Lasogga, Subs Not Used: Peacock-Farrell, Pearce, Clarke, Kitching, Rey
Referee: M. Dean
Booked: Berardi, Grot (Leeds United)
Sent Off: Saiz (Leeds United)
Attendance: 6887 (1040 Leeds United fans)
Venue: Rodney Parade