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Newspaper prepares two front pages ahead of FA cup result

A daily newspaper prepared two different front pages as it awaited the outcome of an FA Cup replay on its patch.

Newport County swept into the fourth round of the Cup and a potentially lucrative tie against Premier League giants Manchester United with a 3-1 win over Eastleigh.

But with the match not kicking off until 7,45pm, it was a nailbiting evening for staff at Newport-based South Wales Argus, who were unsure whether the match would be over in time for its final deadline.

As a result two different front pages were prepared – one with the simple headline ‘United Await’ and another with no mention of the game at all.

The 'real' Argus front page (left) together with the 'Plan B' alternative

The ‘real’ Argus front page (left) together with the ‘Plan B’ alternative

Gavin told HTFP: “When Newport County drew Man Utd in the FA draw, we knew it would be a big story. The only trouble was they had to get through a replay with Eastleigh on Tuesday night first after being held to a draw.
“Our normal print slot is 8pm but when County play on Tuesday, the Newsquest press in Weymouth normally find us a 10pm slot instead, which they did in this case.
“If County won, I wanted to lead on it as I knew this would be the story everyone was talking about. But as well as putting together the sports pages with the on-the-whistle report, there was no way our print content editor would able to create a striking front page on the fly.
“We decided to create two front pages. Plan A for if County won and Plan B if they lost. Plan B led on a different story because County losing wasn’t going to sell so many papers.
“We also had the risk of a nightmare third scenario where the game goes to penalties and we might have had to go press without the result, so we designed plan B without any reference to the football.
“Craig Gibbons, who designs most of our front pages on top of his day job subbing our sister titles in Worcester, kindly pulled together the two splashes.
“We didn’t put the winning version on the edition though as we didn’t want to jinx anything, it was on an advance page to be called in if needed. Thankfully, County did the job in normal time, and our sports writer Chris Kirwan battled internet outages to get the copy over so we hit deadline.
“It’s an exciting few weeks for County fans as this weekend they host League 2 glamour side Wrexham then Man Utd the following weekend, which we hope will help us sell more newspapers and digital subscriptions to those wanting to read our second-to-none coverage.”