Newport defender Kyle Howkins is “stable” in hospital after a nasty head injury in his side’s hard-fought FA Cup win over eighth-tier Maldon & Tiptree.
Padraig Amond scored the only goal in the first of nine minutes of stoppage time after a long delay for treatment to Howkins, who suffered a clash of heads with Maldon’s Charlee Hughes.
“The most important thing is that he’s OK,” Newport boss Michael Flynn told BBC Sport after the game.
“He’s stable, he’s fine. He’ll be staying (in hospital) overnight but they’ve said he’s stable and that’s the most important thing.
“It makes you think about life and family and puts football on the back step.”
Amond scored for the eighth FA Cup round in succession across this season and last to finally see off the non-league side, who beat Leyton Orient in round one.
Flynn said in his post-match press conference: “They made it very difficult for us tonight.
“I know we missed a few chances but I want to give all the credit to Maldon. Their players played without fear and they were outstanding.
“They’re a credit to non-league football. We weren’t at our best and we lacked that cutting edge up front again. We’re delighted to be in that third-round draw.”
It was an agonising defeat for Maldon, who could have won it but for Newport goalkeeper Nick Townsend brilliantly saving Stephane Ngamvoulou’s long-range effort in the second half.
Maldon boss Wayne Brown said: “I’m really proud of my players. They gave it their all and pushed Newport all the way.
“They paid us a lot of respect by picking a strong team and my players did themselves proud against a good League Two team.
“We’ve had a great run in the FA Cup and the win at Leyton Orient will be one we’ll always remember.”