WREXHAM drew 0-0 against League Two side Newport County in their FA Cup second round tie following an eventful day at The Racecourse.

Before a ball had been kicked the news broke earlier in the afternoon that manager Sam Ricketts would not be present at the game.

Ricketts, who took charge of Wrexham in May on a three year contract, has been linked with the vacant managerial position at Shrewsbury Town.

Speculation was mounting that League One Shrewsbury were closing in on a move to make Ricketts their new boss and the Wrexham board acted quickly.

A club statement read: "In view of the speculation surrounding the future of our first team manager Sam Ricketts, Wrexham AFC felt it is not appropriate for him to attend this evening's game.

"We will seek to clarify Sam's future as Wrexham AFC manager as soon as is possible.

"Graham Barrow, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Carl Darlington will take charge of tonight's second round tie."

The starting line-up showed three changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Barrow in the previous outing.

Mark Carrington replaced James Jennings at left back, Akil Wright came into the midfield for Luke Young and Paul Rutherford took over from the injured Rekeil Pyke in attack.

There was also a place among the substitutes for Manny Smith, the centre-back included for the first time suffering a knee injury at Solihull Moors in August.

Both sides cancelled each other in the opening exchanges with Newport having the first sight of goal in the 10th minute but Jamille Matt failed to get enough on Padraig Amond's ball into the box and Rob Lainton gathered.

Wrexham, seeing a lot of the ball, saw on-loan striker Bobby Grant fire over the bar from Rutherford's cut back and Brad Walker was also too high after Newport failed to clear their lines following Wright's cross from the by-line.

Dan Butler's ball across goal just needed a touch from a team-mate as Newport countered but Wrexham were giving a good account of themselves and Rutherford's effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Wrexham came even closer to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute as Stuart Beavon laid off Rutherford's pass to Grant whose shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Joe Day with the best chance of the first half.

The Reds made a bright start to the second half and Luke Summerfield appeared to have tripped in the area but failed to win a penalty while Beavon lobbed Day but Mark O'Brien cleared off the line.

Josh Sheehan cleared the bar for Newport but Wrexham came even closer when Walker fed Bobby Grant who fired into the side-netting.

Walker also brought a smart save out of Day while Newport had their best chance 10 minutes from time when Antoine Semenyo planted a free header over from Sheehan's cross.

Semenyo's drive was saved by Lainton but Wrexham countered and Grant struck the crossbar for Wrexham, although the flag was raised for offside.

Neither side could find a winner and there will be a replay at Rodney Parade for a place in the third round.

Wrexham (4-1-2-1-2): Lainton; Roberts, Lawlor, Pearson, Carrington; Walker; Summerfield, Wright (Young 63); Rutherford (Jennings 76); Grant, Beavon (Fondop 85). Subs not used: Dibble, Smith, Holroyd, Deverdics.

Newport (3-4-1-2): Day; Franks, O’Brien, Demetriou; Pipe, Bakinson, Crofts, Butler; Sheehan; Amond (Harris 90), Matt (Semenyo 75). Subs not used: Foulston, Pring, Townsend, Cooper, Collins.

Referee: Craig Hicks.

Attendance: 5,295 (420 from Newport).