League Two Newport County dumped Championship side Leeds United out of the FA Cup thanks to Shawn McCoulsky’s late header at a rocking Rodney Parade.
McCoulsky’s winner in the 89th minute was deserved reward for the home side, who were superb throughout.
Conor Shaughnessy’s own goal drew them level with 15 minutes remaining after Gaetano Berardi’s deflected ninth-minute opener for the visitors.
Leeds’ misery was completed when Samuel Saiz was sent off in time added on.
Newport’s dramatic recovery caps an incredible few months for the Exiles, who only stayed in the Football League last season with a winner in the closing stages of their final match of the campaign.
Their last-gasp heroics continued against Leeds in a win that will be remembered in south Wales for years.
The joy of 53
The omens were there for Newport before the tie.
Fifty-three places also separated Cardiff City and Leeds in 2002, when the Welsh side stunned the David O’Leary team who were contending for the Premier League title.
Newport and Leeds had not met in the FA Cup since January 1949, when the Welsh side won 3-1 at Elland Road in a third-round tie, but this was again to be a famous afternoon for County.
The two teams were however hardly strangers, having already played at Elland Road in the Carabao Cup, with Leeds winning 5-1.
However, Newport created several chances in the first half of that game and did so again at a freezing Rodney Parade.
First, Padraig Amond spun and shot after Leeds failed to clear a corner, but Mateusz Klich blocked on the line.
Skipper Joss Labadie then saw two efforts blocked as Newport bombarded Leeds with crosses, before Amond and Robbie Willmott fired over with the angle against them.
County trailed at the break, but it was hard to see how.
Nine changes cost Leeds
Leeds looked vulnerable and lacked fluency, which was perhaps no surprise given that only Berardi and Kalvin Phillips maintained their places from the side that started the goalless draw with Nottingham Forest in their last game.
Thomas Christiansen’s side were on the back foot for much of the match yet took the lead when Berardi’s 30-yard drive struck Pierre-Michel Lasogga leg and wrong-footed Newport goalkeeper Joe Day.
The goal sparked wild celebrations and flares let off from the travelling fans, but Newport were unperturbed and missed a handful of good chances to level before and after the break.
Amond volleyed wide acrobatically just before the hour mark, while a wicked delivery from Scot Bennett just needed a touch as it fizzed across Andy Lonergan’s goal.
Leeds, who tried to slow down the game after the break, occasionally threatened on the counter, with Lasogga forcing Day to parry a robust shot.
Labadie volleyed over with 20 remaining before the home side’s magic moment arrived with Frank Nouble’s cross deflecting off Amond and then Shaughnessy with Lonergan helpless in Leeds’ goal.
Amond’s late header from another Willmott set piece was held by the goalkeeper and substitute Paul Hayes fired over on his debut as the Exiles looked like they would just fall just short of a famous win.
However, substitute McCoulsky struck and County held on comfortable once Saiz saw red for his part in a melee.
Man of the match: Robbie Willmott
What they said:
Newport County manager Michael Flynn, speaking to BBC One Wales: “This is much better, beating Championship teams like Leeds. I don’t want to be winning relegation battles, I want to be winning FA Cup ties and climbing the table.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half. The goal was unfortunate, but we had chances and kept going. I told them we don’t have to win the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half and we got crosses into the box.
“It was an outstanding header. He (McCoulsky) has 11 goals for us this season and he has been superb for us. He was hungry and wanted it and I am delighted.”
- 7WillmottSubstituted forO’Brienat 90+3′minutes
- 8DolanSubstituted forMcCoulskyat 69′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9AmondSubstituted forHayesat 86′minutes
- 28BerardiBooked at 10mins
- 3Borthwick-JacksonSubstituted forCooperat 60′minutes
- 11GrotBooked at 67minsSubstituted forSáizat 75′minutesBooked at 90mins
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Newport County 2, Leeds United 1.
Second Half ends, Newport County 2, Leeds United 1.
Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).
Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Gaetano Berardi.
Substitution, Newport County. Mark O’Brien replaces Robbie Willmott.
Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) is shown the yellow card.
Samuel Sáiz (Leeds United) is shown the red card.
Goal! Newport County 2, Leeds United 1. Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Robbie Willmott with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Kalvin Phillips.
Attempt blocked. Scot Bennett (Newport County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Pawel Cibicki.
Attempt missed. Paul Hayes (Newport County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Frank Nouble with a headed pass.
Substitution, Newport County. Paul Hayes replaces Padraig Amond.
Attempt missed. Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mateusz Klich.
Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joss Labadie (Newport County).
Attempt saved. Padraig Amond (Newport County) header from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mickey Demetriou.
Attempt saved. Padraig Amond (Newport County) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Scot Bennett with a headed pass.
Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).
Frank Nouble (Newport County) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Leeds United. Liam Cooper tries a through ball, but Pierre-Michel Lasogga is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Hadi Sacko with a cross.
Attempt missed. Scot Bennett (Newport County) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Liam Cooper.
Attempt missed. Frank Nouble (Newport County) header from very close range is too high.
Own Goal by Conor Shaughnessy, Leeds United. Newport County 1, Leeds United 1.
Attempt blocked. Frank Nouble (Newport County) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Shawn McCoulsky.
Substitution, Leeds United. Samuel Sáiz replaces Jay-Roy Grot.
Attempt missed. Shawn McCoulsky (Newport County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Joss Labadie.
Corner, Newport County. Conceded by Vurnon Anita.
Attempt missed. Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Dan Butler.
Attempt blocked. Hadi Sacko (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kalvin Phillips.
Substitution, Newport County. Shawn McCoulsky replaces Matthew Dolan.
Attempt missed. Joss Labadie (Newport County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Jay-Roy Grot (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jay-Roy Grot (Leeds United).
Robbie Willmott (Newport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mateusz Klich.