NEWPORT County AFC will be in the hat for the third round of the FA Cup – but they will need to win a replay with Barnet to get there after a 1-1 draw.

The Exiles looked set to win three games on the spin for the first time under Graham Coughlan when they led thanks to Shane McLoughlin’s strike just before the break.

However, Barnet got the draw that they deserved, punishing County’s wastefulness on the counter, when Daniele Collinge headed in from a corner in the 89th minute.

The sides will now be in Sunday afternoon’s draw, live on ITV, when the Premier League and Championship sides will be in the hat.

County headed into the tie at Rodney Parade after excellent League Two successes against leaders Stockport and Morecambe.

They certainly weren't at their best but were agonisingly close to battling to victory against the National League promotion hopefuls.

South Wales Argus: Will Evans looks for a way throughWill Evans looks for a way through (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Coughlan fielded the same XI for the third game on the spin and he was able to name a nine-man bench.

That featured fit-again midfielder Aaron Wildig after a back spasm that caused hamstring trouble plus academy prospects Nelson Sanca and Alfie Young.

Barnet boasted former County loanee Anthony Hartigan, a member of the side that suffered Wembley woe in 2021, in midfield with another ex-Exile among the subs in Dale Gorman.

Coughlan’s side were close to hitting the front with just 49 seconds on the clock when Omar Bogle linked up well with Will Evans, whose cross was almost diverted into his own net by Adebola Oluwo only for the defender to be saved by goalkeeper Laurie Walker.

The Bees, comfortable on the ball, responded well and possessed a real weapon in the long throw of Jordan Cropper.

However, one of his missiles led to a chance at the other end in the 10th minute only for the counter-attack to fall to the wrong man in Bryn Morris, who was caught by the scrambling defence after Bogle’s nice lay-off.

The game was stop-start from a County point of view; they had to defend Cropper’s throws and the visitors’ set pieces strongly and make more of opportunities to play off Bogle on the break.

The striker was in the thick of the action and broke the offside trap in the 28th minute only for his cutback, with Lewis Payne the intended target, to be cleared.

Barnet would have been more than happy with their first-half efforts, but that changed just before the whistle.

First Bryn Morris was denied by the left post with a free-kick but County stayed on the attack for McLoughlin to net the simplest of openers in the 44th minute, rolling in after centre-back James Clarke found himself in the role of right winger and played it excellently.

County had their noses in front and it took good covering to keep it that way in the 52nd minute when captain Ryan Delaney got back to clear a Nicke Kabamba shot, admittedly weak, that beat Townsend and was rolling towards goal.

This was not vintage Newport and goalkeeper Nick Townsend had to be alert to tip over in the 59th minute when Zak Brunt overhit a dinked ball into the box.

Coughlan made a double change with 61 on the clock with the introductions of Matty Bondswell and Harry Charsley for Payne and Seb Palmer-Houlden.

County were living dangerously and a Reece Hall-Johnson fizzed-in cross from the right could easily have led to a leveller after 69 minutes but nobody gambled in the box.

Wildig was introduced for Bennett with quarter of an hour to go and the midfielder was soon involved in a break that ended with a Bogle cross for Evans being cleared to Morris, who fired narrowly over from distance.

Bogle should have put the game to bed in the 80th minute when played in by Evans but the striker took his time to assess what to do only to fire straight into the body of the onrushing Walker.

It was then Townsend’s turn to come up with the heroics with a strong left hand to deny Kabamba’s angled-drive at his near post.

However, the pressure mounted as 90 approached and a series of corners ended with Collinge heading in.

The Bees piled on the pressure to try and force a winner but County held on for a draw, now they will know what prize awaits them when they head to the Hive later this month.

County: Townsend, Payne (Bondswell 61), Baker, Clarke, Delaney (captain), McLoughlin, Bennett (Wildig 74), Morris, Evans, Bogle, Palmer-Houlden (Charsley 61).

Subs not used: Maxted, Waite, Rai, Wood, Wildig, Sanca, Young.

Barnet scorers: Collinge.

Referee: Jacob Miles.

Attendance: 2,707 (226 Barnet).