Boss Michael Flynn hailed the goalscoring achievements of striker Padraig Amond after Newport recorded a 2-0 FA Cup first-round replay win over Grimsby at Rodney Parade.
Amond’s 50th-minute strike was his seventh goal in nine FA Cup games and sent his team through to a meeting with minnows Maldon and Tiptree.
In the last two seasons Newport have gone head-to-head with Premier League giants Tottenham, Leicester City and Manchester City in the FA Cup, with Amond a leading light.
The Irishman opened the scoring against Grimsby, with captain Joss Labadie wrapping up the win.
“The first half was not good enough and I felt sorry for the viewers watching on TV, but the most important thing was getting through to the next round,” Flynn said.
“For Podge (Amond) to score (that many) is a fantastic achievement and it’s a competition I place a great deal of importance on.
“You have to remember where we were financially a few years ago and we have already started to prepare to play Maldon and Tiptree. My assistant went to watch them play at the weekend.
“My players have to have their attitude right in any game they play in and that one will be no different. We don’t take anything for granted that’s for sure.
“When we’ve played Leicester and Spurs in the cup they have had more fans supporting them than we have, but maybe some people will support us now.
“Long may that continue, but we have Oldham to play on Saturday and that will be a tough game.”
A poor first half saw neither Newport or Grimsby come close to scoring.
Referee Darren Handley had to delay the start of the second period as he was concerned about a drone flying overhead.
When the action did resume, Amond slotted home from man-of-the-match Corey Whitely’s cross after he had led a Newport break.
Grimsby could not respond and lost a man late on when defender Mattie Pollock received a second yellow card which allowed Newport to double their advantage.
Labadie was the scorer as his effort crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
Grimsby’s interim manager Anthony Limbrick said: “It’s disappointing to go out of the competition in the way we did.
“James Hanson was a late injury, we thought he would be fit to start but he had a kick on the calf. Ludvig Ohman was ill and we’ve had a bit of that in the camp.
“It wasn’t ideal circumstances, but I thought Mattie came in and did well until the sending off, which I’ll have to see again.
“I thought we edged the first half and did all the things you need to do at Newport in terms of battling, but I thought whoever got the first goal would win the game and I was disappointed with the way we conceded it on the counter-attack.”