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  1. ITV Report

The city of Newport prepares for a fairytale football match

The city of Newport is preparing for one of the biggest nights in the club's history this weekend as they take on Manchester City at Rodney Parade.

The League Two side have not reached the 5th Round of the FA Cup for more than 70 years, and they face a Manchester City side who ran away with the Premier League last year with a record points total.

Shops selling merchandise are selling out of everything from half-and-half scarves, bucket hats and novelty t-shirts.

It's been manic in the shop, especially this week, with people coming in, with online orders, everyone wants these scarves, they've really flown out of the door.

– Susan Herrin, Volunteer Newport County shop
Susan Herrin in the Newport County club shop Credit: ITV News

Newport County's journey to this stage of the competition has been extraordinary.

Unlike City who started their FA Cup campaign in January in the third round, County took on Metropolitan Police F.C in the first round in November.

The Exiles won 2-0, against a side in the 7th tier of English football.

In a second round all-Welsh derby, Newport were taken to a replay by Wrexham, which they eventually won 4-0 at Rodney Parade, teeing up a third round tie with Leicester City.

County stunned the 2016 Premier League Championswith a late 2-1 victory in that game, with goals from Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond.

Credit: PA Images

Many fans would have been forgiven for thinking the fourth round tie away at Championship side Middlesbrough would be the end of the road for the Exiles.

After securing a replay, once again optimism was high among the County fans despite Tony Pulis' homecoming to Newport pre-writing the script before a ball was kicked at Rodney Parade.

But Newport County delivered another shock.

Two stunning goals from Robbie Willmott and Padraig Amond gave Newport fans yet another night to remember.

Willmott, who was stacking supermarket shelves less than two years ago, ran clear and rifled a shot in from 20 yards.

Not to be outdone, cup hero Amond scored with an emphatic finish from the edge of the box after a well-worked Newport corner.

Credit: PA Images

Newport 'keeper Joe Day could not hang around to celebrate at the final whistle, as his wife Lizzie had gone into labour before kick-off and he left the field as the father of twins.

The prospect of bringing up children for one - meanwhile the prospect of the Premier League champions and Pep Guardiola visiting Newport is suddenly the reality for County fans, players and the manager.

And to prepare for Saturday's game, one seven-year-old from Newport has been busy coming up with his own chant, which has been shared thousands of times on social media.

Lennon Jones, sang the names of his favourite players to the tune of 'Sugar Sugar' by The Archies.

Fans, schoolchildren politicians and football managers have also been sending their good luck messages to the team.

Newport-born Middlesborough manager Tony Pulis said it is going to be a "fantastic day" for the team and the whole city.

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Credit: PA Images

Newport manager Michael Flynn says beating Manchester City in would represent the biggest shock in the history of the competition.

County are 82 places below Premier League leaders City in the football pyramid.

"If we win this, whether it's extra time or penalties and I don't care how we do it, it will be the biggest shock in FA Cup history," Flynn said at his pre-match press conference.

"I say that with the biggest respect to other big giant-killings.

"My reasons for that are because of the sheer gulf in finances, the quality of the players Man City have, the level they are playing at, and that they have the best manager in the world right now. So for those reasons it will be the biggest shock the FA Cup has ever seen."