NEWPORT County AFC and Wrexham will have to do it all again at Rodney Parade after a Saturday night stalemate in front of the TV cameras.

Wrexham started the day in turmoil with manager Sam Ricketts asked to stay away as he closes in on a move to League One Shrewsbury Town.

But they had the better of this FA Cup second-round tie at The Racecourse and the National League promotion hopefuls would have won it if it wasn’t for some superb goalkeeping from Exiles number one Joe Day.

With Matty Dolan and Robbie Willmott failing to recover from hamstring injuries and Joss Labadie part of the BT Sport team for the night, manager Michael Flynn named an unchanged starting XI.

In fact it was exactly the same squad of 18 that overcame Northampton Town on Tuesday as County looked to carry on where they left off at Rodney Parade.

Apart from the big change in the dugout, the hosts brought in Mark Carrington, Akil Wright and Paul Rutherford for James Jennings, Luke Young and the injured Rekeil Pyke following their 0-0 draw at Barrow in midweek.

In Ricketts’ absence, Graham Barrow took charge of the Dragons and he was assisted by Jussi Jaaskelainen and Carl Darlington. What effect that had in the dressing room was difficult to measure during a cagey first 45 minutes but Wrexham went closest to breaking the deadlock when Day pulled off a stunning reflex save to deny Bobby Grant 10 minutes before the break.

Before that it was tight with both sides carving out half-chances and neither goalkeeper seriously troubled.

A clever back heel from David Pipe freed Padraig Amond down the right after 10 minutes and his cross just evaded Jamille Matt in the middle as Wrexham skipper Shaun Pearson and ‘keeper Rob Lainton smothered the danger.

Matt then battled his way through two tackles before Josh Sheehan fired wide from the edge of the area.

At the other end Grant curled a shot well over the top and Brad Walker twice tried his luck from distance but he cleared the bar on both occasions.

Dan Butler made some inroads down the left flank and put in a dangerous cross just before the half-hour mark but Andrew Crofts couldn’t quite connect in the middle.

Wrexham ended the first half on top with a curling effort from Rutherford deflected behind and Day doing brilliantly to keep out Grant’s powerful effort but they couldn’t force the breakthrough before the interval.

They came mighty close eight minutes into the second half when there were big appeals from the home crowd for a penalty as Luke Summerfield appeared to be tripped in the area.

And moments later Stuart Beavon chipped the ball over Day only for Mickey Demetriou to volley the ball away on the line.

Young replaced Wright for the hosts as they looked to turn that pressure into a lead.

County enjoyed a brief bright spell as Crofts dragged a shot wide soon when a Demetriou long throw caused problems in the home defence and the Sheehan drilled one just over the bar from 20 yards.

But Wrexham soon took a grip on the game again and the home fans in the main stand thought their side had the lead midway through the second half when Grant shot into the side netting after a marauding run from Walker.

Day then pulled off another impressive save as Walker’s cross-shot was deflected goalwards and he managed to claw it to safety.

Flynn had clearly seen enough and he threw on Antoine Semenyo for Matt in an effort to inject some urgency up front.

And the Bristol City loanee had two chances to grab the winner in the final 10 minutes.

First Sheehan served up a perfect cross from the left but Semenyo got underneath it and headed over from eight yards out.

Then the teenager fashioned his own chance six minutes from time but his powerful low effort was beaten away by Lainton.

There was still time for Grant to smash a volley onto the bar at the other end from an offside position but neither side could find a winner, meaning both will be in the hat for Monday’s third-round draw.

County: Day; Franks, O’Brien, Demetriou; Pipe, Bakinson, Crofts, Butler; Sheehan; Matt (Semenyo, 75), Amond (Harris, 90)

Subs not used: Townsend, Foulston, Pring, Cooper, Collins

Booked: Sheehan, O’Brien

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 5,295 (420 County)

Argus star man: Day