Millwall avoided a potential banana-skin as they reached the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-0 win against Newport.
Matt Smith’s seventh minute goal gave the hosts the perfect start at The Den, the striker reacting quickest as Millwall’s first corner was fizzed across the box.
Newport, who have become FA Cup giant killers in recent seasons, came out strongly in the second half and should have been level but Jamille Matt could not beat Bartosz Białkowski from seven yards out.
And the League Two side were left to rue that miss as Jón Böðvarsson was fouled by Mark O’Brien inside the area and Connor Mahoney converted the penalty confidently.
And Millwall’s progression was sealed when Wales international Tom Bradshaw’s deft touch diverted a cross over Tom King in the Newport goal to put the hosts three goals up.
Smith, who made a name for himself in the FA Cup as he scored twice to knock Liverpool out in 2013, eased any early nerves with his goal and continued to cause the Exiles trouble until he was replaced on the hour mark.
Matt should have equalised with Newport’s best chance of the game and Padraig Amond almost levelled from the rebound but he could only hit the side netting.
It was not to be for Amond, who failed in his bid to score in a ninth consecutive FA Cup game having been chasing Stan Mortensen’s record of 12 games successive games.
Instead the Championship side weathered the pressure from Newport before hitting back with Mahoney and Bradshaw’s goals.