MANCHESTER United progressed but Newport County AFC enjoyed another famous FA Cup night at Rodney Parade after giving the Premier League giants one hell of a scare.

The Red Devils will face either Bristol City or Nottingham Forest in round five after winning 4-2 in Newport, but only after a routine game turned extremely uncomfortable.

The 12-time winners raced into a 2-0 lead against their League Two hosts thanks to clinical strikes by Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo and a repeat of Southampton’s 8-0 in the League Cup looked possible for the Exiles.

However, County stunned their Premier League visitors when Bryn Morris fired in from distance in the 36th minute to make it 2-1 at the break.

The Red Devils should have been out of sight but the Exiles were right in the contest at half-time, and level soon after the restart thanks to top scorer Will Evans sliding in Adam Lewis’ cross.

United were jittery yet got their noses back in front after 67 minutes when Antony scored on the rebound after Luke Shaw had been denied by the woodwork, then sealed the win in added time through Rasmus Hojlund.

South Wales Argus: BOOM: Bryn Morris fires in for County against Manchester UnitedBOOM: Bryn Morris fires in for County against Manchester United (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

The Red Devils made it through but only after becoming the latest Premier League side to learn that County fight to the end under Graham Coughlan, just as they did under Michael Flynn.

They could have crumbled at 2-0 but showed the tenacity, and flashes of quality, to suggest that there is little danger of the second half of their league campaign drifting off.

United, meanwhile, will hunt a day out at Wembley, when Coughlan would no doubt be present as a fan.

Erik ten Hag didn’t repeat the mistake made by Leicester’s Claude Puel and fielded his big hitters in the only competition they can win.

United’s XI was worth more than £400million with Lisandro Martinez, Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Hojlund and Shaw gracing a pitch last used by the Dragons and Sharks in a rainy Challenge Cup rugby clash.

Could County follow in the footsteps of National League South Maidstone, who stunned Championship Ipswich on Saturday? Would United field Marcus Rashford after the ‘ill’ England forward reportedly enjoyed a night out in Belfast? Is a half-and-half scarf acceptable on such an occasion?

No. No. Depends on age and if leads to an amber one being worn against Swindon.

Coughlan named an unchanged side for the third game on the spin with a pair of surprise names on the bench.

Defender Kyle Jameson, who an unused sub at Eastleigh who hadn’t made a competitive appearance since August because of a hip injury, was joined by striker Offrande Zanzala, absent since rupturing knee ligaments last February.

County started with real intent but were undone by United’s Premier League quality.

The visitors had their first opening in the third minute when Antony cut in from his wing and curled a left-footed shot wide of Nick Townsend’s right post.

However, there was no let-off in the seventh minute when the visitors got in down the left and Antony cut the ball back for Fernandes to drill in.

United were on it and doubled their lead with 12 on the clock, Mainoo calmly curling in from just inside the area after being given far, far too much time.

It was almost three in the 18th minute when Adam Lewis made a second mistake in quick succession to allow Alejandro Garnacho to race away and smash against the top of the cross bar from a tight angle.

County had their first effort after 24 minutes but Will Evans’ shot on the rebound of his own effort was safely held by debutant Altay Bayindir.

That was a rare moment in front of the travelling supporters in the first half with another incident in front of the North Terrace (and temporary stand) on the half hour, Townsend tipping a fierce Antony shot over.

That proved to be a key moment because the Exiles got back in it in the 36th minute when the ball fell to Morris and he leathered a shot that took a slight deflection to give Bayindir no chance.

South Wales Argus: JOY: Bryn Morris celebrates scoring for County against Manchester UnitedJOY: Bryn Morris celebrates scoring for County against Manchester United (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

It was swiftly followed by the opportunity to test United from a free-kick and the hosts used the same routine that scored the opener in the shock win over League Two leaders Stockport.

Rather than whip a ball into the box, it was passed to Morris on the edge of the box but he failed to reproduce the connection that did for the Hatters.

County went into the break just one goal down, knowing that just one slice of luck or a mistake was need to go level.

Instead it was a moment of quality.

Lewis crossed from the left and top scorer Evans scored his 19th, and most high-profile, goal of a remarkable season.

The atmosphere had turned from deflated at 2-0 to the same level as Wrexham eight days earlier.

County, who had prospered from Scot Bennett’s move to midfield on his 350th club appearance, were suddenly level on the scoreboard and in a 50/50 game.

Alas, United got their lead back after 67 minutes when Shaw curled a right-footed shot against Townsend’s left post and Antony slotted and then celebrated after a look to check there was no offside flag.

County brought on fresh legs for the bid to score the sixth goal with Lewis Payne, Matt Baker, James Waite and Kiban Rai all introduced, while England centre-back Harry Maguire came on in the closing stages to firm up the United defence for any crosses.

Evans fired a yard wide with a powerful shot from distance just before nine minutes of added time was signalled.

Sadly the next goal wasn’t one to earn a trip to Old Trafford and instead it was a clincher by Hojlund, but County earned their standing ovation from the Amber Army.

County: County: Townsend, McLoughlin, Clarke, Bennett (Baker 77), Delaney (captain), Lewis (Payne 69), Morris, Wildig (Waite 77), Charsley (Rai 77), Palmer-Houlden (Wood 90), Evans.

Substitutes not used: Maxted, Bondswell, Jameson, Zanzala.

Goals: Morris, Evans.

Manchester United: Bayindir, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, Maino, Fernandes (captain), Antony, Hojlund, Garnacho.

Substitutes: Heaton, Maguire, Eriksen, Diallo, Pellistri, Evans, McTominay, Kambwala, Forson.

Goals: Fernandes, Mainoo, Antony, Hojlund.

Referee: David Coote.

Attendance: 9,086 (1,483 away).