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Spurs star Kane denies Newport in FA Cup

Newport (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Harry Kane kept Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup with an 82nd-minute equaliser that denied League Two Newport County a famous giant-killing win on Saturday.

The England striker scored from close range as the Welsh club let him out of their sights for almost the first time in a game at fourth-tier Newport’s Rodney Parade ground that ended all square at 1-1.

The goal denied Newport a first victory over top-flight opposition for 54 years.

But Newport can now look forward to a lucrative replay at Wembley, Spurs’s temporary home, and they have already banked £500,000 ($708,000, 570,000 euros) — a huge sum for a team in their position — so far from this Cup run.

Irish striker Padraig Amond had given Newport a deserved 1-0 lead in the 38th minute with a superb header and the Welsh club had chances both before and after that effort to score more goals.

But Spurs –- who sent on Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli in the second half –- became more dominant as Newport started to tire.

They finally got their reward when a corner from the left was flicked on by Son for Kane to sweep in at the far post.

The opening goal was beautifully simple, but good enough to catch out a Spurs defence that had appeared hesitant whenever accurate crosses were delivered.

A throw-in on the right was efficiently moved on to Robbie Wilmott whose accurate cross was met with Amond’s powerful header at the far post.

It was too good for the visitors stand-in goalkeeper Michel Vorm, but even Hugo Lloris would have struggled to deny the Irishman. 

– Stumbling Kane –

It was a lead Newport, 72 places behind a Spurs team who are fifth in the Premier League, fully deserved. 

Spurs sent on Son for Kyle Walker at half-time and immediately looked more menacing, but clearcut chances for the visitors were few and far between.

With Mickey Demetriou and David Pipe in dogged mood in the home defence, County continued to block and frustrate Spurs without any real alarm..

When a 57th minute cross from Kieran Trippier found Kane, the stumbling England striker headed over from six yards out.

Kane then had the ball flicked off him just as he was about to fire in a shot inside the Newport box and the travelling Spurs fans began to suspect it may not be their evening.

When Alli was sent on with little more than 20 minutes remaining, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino’s frustration at his side’s lack of impact was evident.

England midfielder Alli’s first contribution was a sharp ball to set up Son, but Day’s outstretched leg defied the Korean.

Newport continued to thwart Spurs at every turn, but just when it appeared the Welsh club were about to pull off one of the most memorable victories in their long history, their hearts were broken.

A corner from Trippier was flicked on by Son and for once there was no-one at home in the centre of the Newport defence, allowing Kane to sweep the ball home at the far post.

It was a crushing blow for County, but their energy levels had begun to drain in the final stages as they came under sustained pressure and in the end they did well to hold out for a replay.

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