LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Newport County provided the weekend’s second sizeable FA Cup shock as the Welsh club knocked out former winners Leeds United in the third round with a last-gasp 2-1 victory on Sunday.
The fourth-tier outfit bridged a 53-place gap in the standings as substitute Shawn McCoulsky, the day after his 21st birthday, condemned the Championship side to a humbling defeat with a powerful 89th-minute header.
On Saturday 1987 winners Coventry City, who are now languishing in the fourth tier, knocked out Premier League strugglers Stoke City by the same score — a result that cost Stoke boss Mark Hughes his job.
Top flight West Ham United also flirted with danger at League One (third-tier) high-flyers Shrewsbury Town on Sunday, escaping with a 0-0 draw after being largely outplayed.
Eight-times winners Tottenham Hotspur were in action at home against third-tier AFC Wimbledon and holders Arsenal were at Nottingham Forest later on Sunday.
For old-fashioned Cup magic the place to be was Rodney Parade in south Wales where Newport became the latest underdogs to embarrass once mighty Leeds — sparking a joyful pitch invasion by the home faithful.
Gaetano Berardi’s deflected ninth-minute strike had looked like winning the tie for Leeds, who were knocked out by minor league Sutton United last season, but Conor Shaughnessy’s own goal 15 minutes from fulltime set up a thrilling climax.
McCoulsky ensured it was one of the best days in modest Newport’s history with an unstoppable header.
“I can’t remember most of it, it was a blur to be honest. It is definitely one of my best goals, to knock Leeds out of the FA Cup is what dreams are made of,” he said.
It is not the first time Leeds have suffered a Cup shock across the other side of the Severn Bridge — having fallen to Cardiff, also 53 places lower than them when they were a Premier League side, in 2002.
To complete a dismal day for Leeds they had substitute Samuel Saiz sent off in stoppage time. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)