GILLINGHAM manager Steve Evans believes his side deserved to beat a Newport County AFC side who “just launched it” and were lucky to equalise with a stoppage-time penalty.

County fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 down in last night’s Carabao Cup first-round tie at Gillingham, who were awarded three penalties by referee Trevor Kettle.

Padraig Amond levelled in the 94th minute after Mikael Ndjoli was sent off for pulling down Dan Leadbitter in the box.

And the Exiles triumphed 4-1 in the shootout with Tristan Abrahams, who had earlier made it 1-1, slotting in the winning penalty after two saves by goalkeeper Nick Townsend.

“We were dominant and the performance was good,” Gills boss Evans told KentOnline.

“We had to deal with a bit of an aerial threat and that is how Flynn’s team play, they just launch it.

“I thought we played some good stuff and if we had taken our chances, we could have scored six or seven. We didn’t take our chances.

"It was a game of missed chances. We played a lot better than on the Saturday, there was a lot of good play, a lot on the front foot and we should be through in the cup."

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Evans was particularly aggrieved by Amond’s late penalty to take it to a shootout.

“We got three penalties and there was not one that anyone in the ground will dispute,” said the 56-year-old, who was serving a touchline ban last night.

“Everyone in the ground apart from the Newport boys would dispute the equaliser at the end there because it was never a penalty. It was given for a tug by Mikael Ndjoli and there is no tug.

“I have looked at it on the video, slowed it down, there was no tug. That is Mr Kettle for you. The boy who he was meant to have touched said he didn’t get touched, he slipped.

“The referee has given them an equaliser and penalty shootouts are always what they are, but we lost the cup tie because of our inability to take chances.

“We made a lot of chances, and probably between the front boys we could have had six or seven.

“We are disappointed, of course we are disappointed to have gone out, but we build on it and wish Newport every success in the next round.”

County will host Premier League West Ham United in round two on August 27, unless the tie is moved for TV coverage.

Read more: Newport County boss delighted by players' desire to stay in the Carabao Cup