Newport County hopes of a lucrative Carabao Cup run were wrecked on a night when the Exiles, the Bluebirds and Swansea City crashed out of the competition.
Manager Mike Flynn’s team lost 3-0 against League One Oxford United at Rodney Parade and the first two of their goals came inside the first four minutes.
County were in turmoil after two minutes when Oxford’s Luke Garbutt and Shandon Baptiste combined and a cross from the left bounced off Newport’s Mickey Demetriou and over goalkeeper Nick Townsend.
That lead was doubled in the fourth minute when Baptiste fired home from outside the box.
Gavin Whyte made it 3-0 during second half injury time and the U’s progressed comfortably into the last 32 of the competition.
Oxford had Jamie Hanson sent off after 78 minutes, but that Newport could not battle back into the tie.
“You can’t start any game like that,” said Flynn. “It’s tough to come back from that in any match and Oxford are a good team from the league above. It was a terrible, terrible start from us.
“Between the two areas I thought we did quite well and in the second half we were the better team.
“But we didn’t really create too much and when we did we took the wrong options. It’s frustrating because the way we started the game killed it off.
“It summed it up when they had a man sent off and we had to lose a player injured with no subs left, so it was 10 against 10. That topped the night off.”
County’s quest for a place in the League Cup third round, which dates back to 1962, continues.
Flynn made five changes to the team who won against Grimsby Town.
Two County, Charlie Cooper and Antoine Semenyo, made their competitive debuts, replacing Matty Dolan and Padraig Amond.
Nick Townsend was in goal, while captain Andrew Crofts returned in place of Josh Sheehan.
Jamille Matt was the final change for the Exiles, stepping in for Mark Harris.
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson made four changes to his starting line-up that secured their first victory in League One at the weekend against Burton Albion.
After 14 minutes both sets of supporters joined together in a minute’s applause in memory of County supporter Kieran Sanges.
On the half-hour Semenyo showed his lightning pace, drifting through two challenges on the left before drilling a delivery across the face of goal which Matt turned goalwards. Unfortunately, it was straight at Jonathan Mitchell from four yards.
Mickey Demetriou sent a header narrowly wide from Charlie Cooper’s free-kick.
Defeat in the League Cup means there is no cash windfall for the Exiles from a place in the last 32 and a possible tie against Premier League opposition.
Manager Flynn will hope the club’s directors still have the confidence to back him in bringing a new loan signing to the club.
Newport County AFC (3-5-2): Townsend, Butler, Franks, Demetriou, Bennett, Forbes, Crofts, capt (Sheehan 75), Cooper (Marsh-Brown 61), Bakinson, Matt (Amond 68), Semenyo. Subs not used: Day, Pipe, Foulston, O’Brien
Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Mitchell, Garbutt, Mousinho (capt), Dickie, Norman, Ruffels (Brannagan 75), Hanson, Whyte, Obika (Henry 61), Baptiste, Smith (Long 82). Subs not used: Raglan, Dai, Stevens, Lopes
Referee: Scott Duncan
Attendance: 2,228 (282 away)