Salford City will visit Wembley Stadium for the second time in less than 12 months after a dramatic 6-5 penalty shoot-out victory over Newport County in the Leasing.com Trophy semi-final.
Adam Rooney, Ibou Touray, Jake Jervis, Craig Conway, Darron Gibson and James Wilson all scored penalties to reach the final where they will play 2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth on April 5.
Graham Alexander, who was managing his 100th game for Salford, made seven changes to the side that defeated Stevenage on Saturday and it took a while for his side to get going at Rodney Parade.
Chances were few and far between in the first half on a horrendous surface in south Wales. Neither side actually had a shot on target in the first half but hosts best chance came in the 12th minute as captain Josh Labadie latched onto a Robbie Willmott cross but his effort was deflected behind by Cameron Burgess.
11 minutes later, the Ammies had their best chance of the half as Brandon Thomas-Asante fired a shot into the gloves of Tom King from short-range.
The end-to-end football continued in the second half as both sides tried to break the deadlock. Salford were under pressure early on and they could have found themselves a goal down, but the referee waved away a penalty shout as Labadie was felled nine minutes after the break.
Newport could have gone ahead shortly after the hour mark as Josh Sheehan drilled a low shot towards Chris Neal forcing a save at full stretch.
For the rest of regular time, Salford defended well, surviving wave after wave of attack, keeping the County strikers at bay to make sure the game finished 0-0 and take the game to a shootout.
Newport County: King, Haynes (Collins 82′), Demetriou, Inniss, Bennett, Labadie (c), Dolan, Sheehan, Willmott (Abrahams 90+4′), Amond (Green 69′), Matt
Salford City: Neal, Touray, Threlkeld, Pond (c), Burgess, Towell (Conway 80′), Baldwin (Rooney 90+4′), Jervis, Gibson, Asante-Thomas, Elliott (Wilson 80′)
Referee: Andy Backhouse
Image Credit: PA Images