Albion goalkeeper Jason Steele redeemed himself with four penalty saves as Brighton beat Newport 4-3 in an penalty shootout, following a captivating 1-1 draw.
Steele’s 96th minute error caused Adam Webster to turned the ball into his own net, allowing the hosts to take Brighton to extra time and eventually penalties.
Thankfully, the Seagulls keeper saved from Josh Sheehan, Mickey Demetriou, Liam Shephard and Scot Bennett as Brighton won a 14-penalty shootout in sudden death to break the League Two side’s hearts.
The match itself revolved around the two keepers. Newport’s Tom King made a string of fine saves, keeping out excellent efforts from Zeqiri, Dunk and Mac Allister.
King was the busier of the two keepers with the Seagulls having 72% possession and 20 shots.
Newport have a history of punching well above their weight in the FA Cup in the past few seasons. Since a third-round win over Leeds in January 2018, they have also knocked out Leicester and Middlesbrough, and scared Tottenham and Manchester City.
Unsurprisingly Potter named a strong lineup to try and ensure his sides first victory since November. But Potter’s Premier League stars were still taken to the very death to get the win.
Brighton’s play was neat and tidy, but largely lacking in cutting edge, with both sides having the chance to win it in extra time.
King produced an incredible save from Dunk’s header in the first period of extra time and Newport almost scored at the death, as Dunk bravely blocked Kevin Ellison’s shot, to signal the penalties.
The night ended with the visitors victorious as they won their ninth penalty shootout in the past 10 they have faced with Webster slamming home the decisive kick.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Brighton manager Graham Potter reflected on a “traumatic night” and was full of praise for the hosts.
“Traumatic was the word I would use to sum that up,” he said. “Credit to Newport, they fought and fought and we wish them well for their promotion push.
“We should have won the game and seen that injury time out, but we didn’t, we made a mistake.
“We adapted to a really difficult playing surface and are delighted to go through. Jason Steele pulled it out the bag for us.”
Worryingly for Potter, Lewis Dunk ( a centre-back) was named man of the match against league 2 opposition – highlighting his inadequate front line.
Maupay and Trossard performed poorly once again and Brighton struggled to create clear cut chances from open play. Without Welbeck, Lallana and Lamptey Brighton struggle to look like a threatening side.
The Seagulls will take the positives as they narrowly avoided embarrassment and secured their first win since November. Setting up a FA cup fourth round tie with with Blackpool.
Next up for Brighton is a tough trip to the Etihad stadium to face in-form Manchester City, Wednesday 13 January, 18:00 kick off.