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Newport County
FA Cup | Second Round
Dec 2, 2023 at 3pm UK
Rodney Parade
1 - 1
FT(HT: 1-0)
Collinge (89')

Preview: Newport County vs. Barnet - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Newport County and Barnet, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fourth-tier Newport County will welcome National League Barnet to Rodney Parade on Saturday for an FA Cup second-round tie.

The two sides have met on two previous occasions in the main competition, with the Welsh hosts coming out on top most recently in the second round of the 2015-16 edition.

Match preview

Newport County AFC manager Graham Coughlan on August 29, 2023© Reuters

Newport County's latest FA Cup campaign began in the first round at the beginning of November, when they welcomed fifth-tier Oldham Athletic to Rodney Parade in their bid to reach the second round for the second straight year, having also progressed to the third round or further in four consecutive seasons between 2017-18 and 2020-21.

Shane McLoughlin put Graham Coughlan's side ahead after 20 minutes of that contest, and he would go on to hit his and the Welsh side's second of the afternoon 10 minutes from time to book their place in the next stage.

While they were unable to build a run of results on the back of that triumph, going on to draw with MK Dons, lose in the EFL Trophy at the hands of Bristol Rovers and suffer a 2-0 defeat away at Mansfield Town, before bouncing back with consecutive fourth-tier wins heading into the weekend.

The Exiles put a halt to that dip with a surprise 2-1 triumph at home to runaway leaders Stockport County last weekend, with Bryn Morris and McLoughlin on the scoresheet, before they most recently travelled to take on Morecambe on Tuesday and came from behind to win by the same scoreline, as Will Evans drew them level on the half-hour mark before Seb Palmer-Houlden netted the decisive goal in the 57th minute.

Now with a degree of momentum back on their side, having climbed back up to 15th spot in League Two, Newport County will aim to make it three straight victories on Saturday to book their place in the FA Cup third round.

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan in November 2022© Reuters

In their way stand a Barnet side who will aim to pull off an upset away from home to continue their cup run, having entered in the final qualifying round in their bid to replicate and improve on last season's campaign in which they reached the second round proper.

The Bees were drawn away at sixth-tier Aveley, and they did require a replay to advance having been held to a 2-2 draw after going 2-0 up through a Harry Pritchard brace, but they made no mistake at the Hive, dishing out a 4-0 beating to book their place in the first round as Nicke Kabamba hit a hat-trick before Pritchard added a fourth in injury time.

A trip to Curzon Ashton then followed in the previous stage, and after going ahead through Kabamba inside 15 minutes and being reduced to 10 men just before the interval with Connor Stevens sent off, Dean Brennan's side stood strong in the second half to see out the one-goal triumph in Lancashire and book their trip to Wales in the second round.

They now head into Saturday's tough test in the midst of a dismal run in their National League promotion bid, though, having lost four straight games in England's fifth tier since that victory at Ashton, firstly falling at the hands of leaders Chesterfield, Gateshead and Oldham Athletic before most recently suffering a 3-2 defeat away at Wealdstone last Saturday as Charlie Baker netted the decisive goal eight minutes into injury time after Jerome Okimo and Kabamba previously had Brennan's men ahead.

Now hoping to put that disappointment behind them, having dropped 11 points off top spot, Barnet will turn their focus to the FA Cup and bid to continue their run with what would be an eye-catching victory over the fourth-tier hosts.

Newport County FA Cup form:

Newport County form (all competitions):

Barnet FA Cup form:

Barnet form (all competitions):

Team News

Newport County AFC's Bryn Morris looks dejected after missing a penalty during a penalty shootout on August 29, 2023© Reuters

With their sights set on the third round, Newport County will likely field the same starting XI from their back-to-back 2-1 victories in their last two league matches in their 3-4-3 shape, with Omar Bogle again set to lead the line having notched up six goals in all competitions so far this term.

Coughlan should field plenty of attacking talent, with the front man set to be joined by Bristol City loanee Seb Palmer-Houlden and star man Will Evans, who leads their scoring charts with 13 goals this season, including 11 in 20 League Two appearances, while Shane McLoughlin is another danger man from a wing-back role with four goals of his own thus far.

Bryn Morris has been a mainstay since his summer arrival and will continue to play a key role in midfield, with Scot Bennett expected to join him in front of a back three of Matt Baker, Ryan Delaney and James Clarke.

In a similar shape to their hosts, Barnet's attack will be spearheaded on Saturday by Nicke Kabamba, who has notched up 17 goals for the Bees so far this term, including 13 in 22 National League appearances and four in their three FA Cup outings thus far.

Veteran forward Gary Hooper will hope to join him up front, although he may have to settle for another substitute appearance, having managed two goals of his own since his October arrival.

Dale Gorman and Anthony Hartigan may again get the nod to start in midfield, despite competition from former Sheffield United man Zak Brunt, while Danny Collinge, Jerome Okimo and Adebola Oluwo should line up in an unchanged back three.

Newport County possible starting lineup:
Townsend; Baker, Delaney, Clarke; Payne, Bennett, Morris, McLoughlin; Palmer-Houlden, Bogle, Evans

Barnet possible starting lineup:
Walker; Oluwo, Collinge, Okimo; Cropper, Gorman, Hartigan, Pritchard; Kanu, Kabamba, Stead

SM words green background

We say: Newport County 3-1 Barnet

While Barnet are in the midst of a rut in their league campaign, they do still have the tools to pose a threat to Newport County, particularly going forward.

We anticipate them causing problems for the Exiles but ultimately see the hosts booking their place in the third round given their superior quality all over the pitch.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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