THEY say revenge is a dish best served cold and, 11 months on from an agonising stoppage-time defeat at Brunton Park, Newport County AFC got their own back on Carlisle United in spectacular style on Saturday.

County and their travelling fans endured a miserable 290-mile journey home from Cumbria last November after a last-gasp loss to United.

But the roles were reversed at Rodney Parade at the weekend when a 96th-minute missile from substitute George Nurse arrowed into the top corner to secure a fortunate three points for Michael Flynn’s men.

Carlisle just about edged a low-quality contest, which produced few chances for either side, and their determined display merited a point at the very least.

They thought they’d got it as the clock ticked down but they reckoned without some generous time-keeping from referee Antony Coggins and the left foot of Bristol City loanee Nurse, who won’t forget his first Football League goal in a hurry.

Coggins had indicated a minimum of five minutes of time added on at the end and visiting manager Steven Pressley raced onto the pitch after the final whistle finally sounded to remonstrate with the officials.

And he hadn’t calmed down by the time he spoke to the media.

“I asked the referee why he played beyond the 95 minutes,” said Pressley.

“When the goalkeeper put the ball down for the goal kick Michael Flynn said to me ‘that’s time, it’s done’, but he played on. I was disappointed he played beyond that period.

“That was our most complete away performance since I’ve been at the club,” added the former Scotland international, who replaced John Sheridan in January.

“I thought we were terrific in all aspects. We always looked like the team that was going to score and then to lose to a goal beyond the 95 minutes – it was 95.50 – is devastating. I am devastated for the players.

“To take nothing from a performance like that is hard to take, but we will lick our wounds and go again.

“The good thing is we can take great confidence from that display. To come here and give up virtually no opportunities in the game is a really good sign for us.”

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Flynn was sympathetic but he hadn’t forgotten that long trek to Carlisle last year.

“I had 95.25 on my watch,” said the Exiles boss. “It was over. It is harsh on Carlisle and Steven Pressley.

“It will be hard for them to take, but I reminded some of their players that they did it to us with another wonder goal up there last season. That made it 3-2 in the 93rd minute, so it is quite ironic.”

Flynn admitted that his side didn’t deserve the win but another excellent defensive effort and an incredible eighth clean sheet in 12 league games gave them the platform to steal all three points and move up to third in the table.

“I thought we just edged the first half, but they were the better team in the second half – until the last five or 10 minutes,” he said.

“I couldn’t see where the goal was coming from. I don’t think we had a shot on target all game and we couldn’t build any momentum.

“But you earn your own luck. We defended very well when we had to and we kept a clean sheet and that then allows us to go on and win the football match.”

And, while Carlisle felt the icy chill of a gut-wrenching defeat, County were left to savour the warm glow that comes from somehow snatching a victory out of nowhere and winning without hitting top gear.

County: King, Howkins, Bennett, O’Brien, McNamara (Abrahams, 46), Sheehan, Dolan (Nurse, 87), Haynes, Willmott, Matt, Amond (Whitely, 69)

Subs not used: Townsend, Maloney, Collins, Poleon

Booked: Haynes, Howkins

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 3,681 (167 Carlisle)