PADRAIG Amond is on a mission to “right the wrongs” of last season’s play-off final defeat and he’s determined to fire Newport County AFC back to Wembley tonight.

Top scorer Amond is still haunted by the extra-time loss to Tranmere Rovers last May that denied County a place in League One.

And he’s desperate to get past League Two rivals Salford City in tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy semi-final to ensure that the Exiles have the chance of easing the pain with victory in the Wembley final in April.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get to Wembley again,” said Amond.

“It’s something we’re looking forward to and we want to right the wrongs of the play-off final last year.

“Wembley is a fantastic place to go to, but if you lose it can be a lonely place.

“The first time I went there with Grimsby and we won [in the 2016 National League play-off final] it was the best feeling in the world.

“When you lose it’s the last place you want to be and you have to stand and watch the opposition do what you’ve dreamed of doing.

“Unfortunately for us last year we had to watch Tranmere celebrate and it wasn’t a nice feeling.”

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Amond is expecting a tight game against Salford, who won at Rodney Parade in November, but he’s confident that they can put their poor league form behind them and get back to winning ways tonight.

“If we win it will give everyone a lift and some excitement,” said the 31-year-old.

“The club has been very lucky with the FA Cup runs we’ve had and now we’ve got another chance of Wembley.

“You dream of winning trophies at Wembley and this is a great chance. Hopefully we can put in a performance and get there.

“This match is just about getting a result by whatever means possible.

“It’s probably not going to be the prettiest of games with the weather forecast and the pitch has taken a battering.

“And it’s going to be a tough game for us. Salford have signed some very good players in January and when they were promoted – they’ve invested very heavily in their squad and they know where they want to go.

“They’ve also been to Wembley and won [in last year’s National League play-off final].

“I’m sure a lot of their players will want to go back, but hopefully we come out on top.”

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If Amond is on target tonight it will go down as his 50th goal in County colours, although he disputes the official record books.

“I’m on 50! The MK Dons one [in the Trophy last month] has been taken away from me and I’m not happy about it,” said the Irishman.

“I’m not bitter about it at all. It would be brilliant to get my 50th goal, but it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we get to Wembley.”

Tickets for tonight's match, which will be shown live on Sky Sports, cost just £5 for adults and £1 for under-16s for all areas of the ground.

They are available online at newport-county.co.uk and over the phone on 01633 264572 or from the Kingsway club shop until 4.30pm today, and then from the Rodney Parade ticket office up to kick-off at 7.45pm.

Around 2,900 tickets had been sold up to last night.

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