TYRONE Barnett scored twice in five minutes to keep Oxford United in the FA Cup, but they will need to win a replay at Tranmere Rovers to take their place in the third round.

United would have probably settled for a draw after a poor first half display, during which Cole Stockton put the visitors in front.

But the hosts played with far more intensity after the interval and Barnett's quick double put them in front.

United appeared to be heading through, but Jason Koumas came off the bench to equalise.

Despite a frantic finish to the game to round off a pulsating second half, neither side could find a winner, so they will meet again on Merseyside in ten days' time to decide who goes through.

United's teamsheet showed one change from the XI which began last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.

Michael Collins came on for Alfie Potter, playing in a more advanced role than he has done for most of the season.

A coveted place in the third round draw was at stake, but there was precious little quality on display in the first half.

Neither side was able to hold on to the ball for long, making it easy for the respective defences to gain the upper hand.

The scrappy nature of the game was summed up in the 14th minute, when a poor back pass saw Rovers goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams slice the ball behind for a corner.

Danny Rose's delivery hit the first man and when the ball came back to the midfielder, he over-hit the ball behind for a goal kick.

It took 26 minutes for any flash of quality, when Tareiq Holmes-Dennis spun away from Danny Holmes by the corner flag and cut the ball back for Collins, whose shot was deflected over.

Stockton fired a warning shot wide just after the half hour mark and the striker opened the scoring on 33 minutes.

Shamir Fenelon broke down the left, surging into the penalty area and crossing for Stockton who, with his back to goal, improvised a back-heeled finish which wrong-footed goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and snuck in at the near post.

There were plenty of discontented murmurs from the home fans when the half-time whistle, but it could have been much worse.

Five minutes before the break Fenelon looked a certainty to double the lead when he chased down a long ball and outmuscled Johnny Mullins.

The striker only had Clarke to beat, but he smashed a shot well over the crossbar.

United needed the interval to regroup and emerged with renewed purpose when the game restarted.

They should have levelled within six minutes, when Callum O'Dowda squirted a shot wide after a superb run and cut-back from Danny Hylton.

The added urgency did bring its rewards, though, as Barnett struck twice in five minutes to turn the game around.

Just before the hour, he leapt to head in Rose's corner.

The on-loan striker then showed his class, collecting a pass from Joe Riley and twisting away into space before smashing a low shot past Fon Williams.

Barnett came within inches of a rapid hat-trick, as he narrowly failed to divert a shot from Hylton on target minutes later.

United looked a completely different side to the one which had struggled in the first half.

O'Dowda forced an excellent save from Fon Williams, while Hylton had a goal ruled out for offside after Collins' shot was parried.

But Rovers were not finished and with 15 minutes remaining Koumas was allowed space 25 yards out and the former Wales international bent a shot into the far corner to make it 2-2.

Neither side looked particularly keen to settle for a replay and the game became stretched in the closing stages.

Barnett came closest to settling the game, volleying wide with one chance and then forcing Fon Williams into a brave block in stoppage time.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Riley, Mullins, Wright, Holmes-Dennis, Whing, Rose, O'Dowda (Potter 83), Collins, Hylton, Barnett.

Unused subs: Crocombe, Meades, Ruffels, Ashby, Howard, Humphreys.

Tranmere Rov: Fon Williams, Holmes (Koumas 72), Donacien, Holness, Ihiekwe, Ridehalgh, Power, Jennings, Jahraldo-Martin (Madjo 66), Stockton (Odejayi 72) Fenelon.

Unused subs: Brezovan, Woodwards, Laird, Rowe.

Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 4,681 (725 visitors).