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Report | Clinical Exiles Secure Place in the FA Cup Third Round

12 December 2023

Club News

Report | Clinical Exiles Secure Place in the FA Cup Third Round

12 December 2023

A counter-attacking masterclass saw Newport County secure a 4-1 win over Barnet at The Hive.

Manager Graham Coughlan made just one change from Saturday’s defeat at Tranmere. Scot Bennett was named in the starting XI over Will Evans. Evans was removed from the squad before kick-off when he failed a late fitness test. 

Goals from Lewis Payne, Omar Bogle, Seb-Palmer Houlden, and an own-goal from Barnet's Danny Collinge saw Newport secure a 4-1 win on a cold Tuesday night in the English capital. 

Newport hit the ground running, setting an early tone for the action that was to come, with Seb Palmer-Houlden chasing down a ball and forcing an error from Barnet stopper Laurie Walker. The striker played the ball back across the box, but Walker was able to recover. 

Just minutes later, Newport expertly broke down a Barnet attack. Idris Kanu swung a ball in, with Delaney clearing. McLoughlin then quickly drove forward a counter-attack, playing it across to Morris, who found Bogle with his first touch. 

The striker played a dangerous ball across the box, which beat Walker and was met at the back post by Lewis Payne, who grabbed his first of the competition and gave us the lead in the sixth minute. 

Seven minutes later, our counter-attacking quality was on display again. Scot Bennett picked up the ball in the middle of the park and found Lewis Payne just inside the box. Our first scorer turned provider, playing the ball across the face of the goal, with Seb Palmer-Houlden getting a slight touch to flick the ball past Walker, allowing Omar Bogle to tap into an open net to double our lead. 

Barnet went in search of a way back into the game in the fifteenth minute. Idris Kanu ran directly at the defence, firing a dangerous shot just wide of the top corner. 

The tempo of the game refused to let up. Just a minute later, Bryn Morris curled an excellent free-kick over the Barnet wall only to see it tipped onto the bar by Laurie Walker. 

After slowing down a little, the game burst into life again in the 24th minute, with Barnet’s top scorer, Nicke Kabamba, being played into the box only to be met by an oncoming Nick Townsend. 

Immediately following this, Townsend would assist our third of the evening. His long kick confused the Barnet defence, with Walker coming off his line only to have the ball headed over his head by Danny Collinge, who had been Barnet’s hero at Rodney Parade ten days ago. 

The hosts would pull on back in the 36th minute. A Jordan Cropper long throw was flicked on by Finley Potter and hit home at the back post by Barnet captain Harry Pritchard to make it 3-1 with just under ten minutes left of the first half. 

Barnet would push for a second before the break, but to no avail. Their best opportunity came in stoppage time. Some fancy footwork on the edge of the area from Idris Kanu ended with him firing an effort from outside the area that Townsend brilliantly tipped over. 


The Bees came flying out of the traps in the second half, setting up another lively 45 minutes. Ibris Kanu, a constant threat for the home team, fired a strike from outside the box in the 46th minute, which took a wicked deflection off Nicke Kabamba and went just wide of the post. 

Newport caught Barnet on the counter-attack once again in the 51st minute. Omar Bogle found Seb Palmer-Houlden, with the striker forcing Walker to tip a shot off the outside of the post. 

Our next chance would come in the 62nd minute. Another counter-attack ended with Seb Palmer-Houlden pulling the ball back to the edge of the area, but an oncoming Shane McLoughlin couldn't connect cleanly with the resulting effort. 

Idris Kanu came close to scoring again in the 65th minute. The Sierra Leone international ran at the defence before rattling an excellent effort off the crossbar. 

We responded instantly, with Bryn Morris stepping up again to take another expertly hit free-kick, which was palmed wide by Walker in the Barnet goal. 

Another fine counter-attack saw us secure our place in the third round. A Barnet cross was cleared long by Scot Bennett, exposing Barnet's high line and allowing Seb Palmer-Houlden to run through one-on-one and cooly slot past Walker to grab his fourth of the season and our fourth of the night. 

Experienced striker Gary Hooper, subbed on by Barnet in the 74th minute, came close to pulling one back for the hosts with ten minutes left on the clock. A clever pull-back from fellow substitute Callum Stead was fired just wide by the striker. 

Seb Palmer-Houlden came close to doubling his tally for the night in the 84th minute. A delightful chipped ball from Scot Bennett was met on the half-volley, but the striker was unable to direct it either side of Walker in the Barnet goal. 

Kiban Rai was subbed on for Bogle in the 90th minute, and he nearly announced his appearance with a goal. An amazing run into the area saw his effort blocked by Barnet substitute Stevens. 

This would prove to be the last moment of note, with the final whistle confirming our spot in the FA Cup third round for the first time in three seasons. 

Attention will now turn to our run of three league games in ten days, starting on Saturday, when we take on Grimsby Town at Rodney Parade. 

​​Newport County: Townsend, Payne, Delaney (C), Clarke, McLoughlin, Baker, Bennett, Morris, Wildig (Charsley 78'), Palmer-Houlden, Bogle (Rai 90')

Subs: Maxted, Waite, Rai, Charsley, Wood, Bondeswell, Sanca, Young

Barnet: Walker, Collinge, Armstrong (Stead 46'), Okimo (Stevens 71'), Kabamba, Kanu, Pritchard (C), Hartigan, Potter, Cropper (Hooper 74'), Brunt

Subs: Gillmore, Coker, Gorman, Stead, Blower, Stevens, Oluwo, Revan, Hooper

Attendance: 1,451 (162 away)

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