NEWPORT County AFC striker Padraig Amond wants to extend his love affair with the FA Cup for as long as possible.

The Irishman was the joint top scorer in the competition last season with Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus only matching his tally of five goals with a brace in the final at Wembley.

And Amond came off the bench to equalise with a penalty at Grimsby Town on Saturday and earn a first-round replay at Rodney Parade.

That goal means the 31-year-old has now scored in seven successive rounds in the FA Cup, having also netted in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth-round in 2018 (below).

“I like this competition!” said Amond. “It’s a good competition and I’ll be trying to go through every round again this year.

“It’s nice to be scoring again and to be contributing on the pitch.

“I’m pleased to get on the scoresheet and pleased to still be in the hat for the next round, which is the main thing.”

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Saturday was the second time this season that Amond has been dropped to the bench with Jamille Matt and Tristan Abrahams selected ahead of him up front.

The striker scored 23 goals last season and is top scorer again this term with seven so far, but he does not have an issue with manager Michael Flynn’s decision.

“The gaffer is paid to make those decisions and I’m always ready to do a job, whether it’s starting a game or coming off the bench,” he said.

“I want to start every game, but there’s no sulking. You make sure you’re professional and take the decision because he’s not going to change his mind if you have a little nibble at him.

“We have a good relationship. He told me his decision and that was it. All I was doing was concentrating on making sure I knew what was happening on the pitch and encouraging the two boys who were playing up front.

“It’s an important job to be that supporting player as well, because you need to be coming on and making an impact.

“And I think, any time anyone has come off the bench this year, the majority of times they’ve had an impact because there’s been no sulking and that’s really important.

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“I don’t feel like I need to prove a point [when I come off the bench,” he added. “I think you have to prove a point every week.

“You want to prove to the manager that you deserve to be in the team every week but every player in the squad wants to do that.

“But he can only pick 11 and he’s got a lot more than 11 to choose from now so it’s hard decisions for him.

“It can’t be an easy decision to leave certain players out and I suppose we do want to prove him wrong when we do come onto the pitch.

“But, at the same time, you can’t look at it like that because you want the boys to be doing well.

“You don’t want somebody to have an unfortunate day for you to come on.

“You want to be getting on on your own merit and showing him that way and not because someone’s had an off day."

Amond will hope to start in tomorrow night’s Trophy tie at Cheltenham Town.

He hasn’t featured in the competition so far this season but he did score in his last appearance in the Trophy – at Whaddon Road last December.

County and Grimsby will find out their potential FA Cup second-round opponents in tonight's draw, which takes place at 7pm.

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