TAYLOR Maloney and Tristan Abrahams both bagged hat-tricks as Newport County AFC romped to a remarkable 7-4 victory at Cheltenham Town in the Leasing.com Trophy.

Captain Matty Dolan was also on target from the penalty spot as County scored seven goals for the first time since Gateshead away in 2011.

The thrilling win means the Exiles can still qualify for the second round of the competition, if Exeter City beat West Ham United under-21s on Wednesday night.

There was no indication of the drama to come as manager Michael Flynn made nine changes from the weekend, with only Abrahams and George Nurse retaining their starting spot.

There was a debut for 16-year-old scholar Joe Woodiwiss in central defence, while fellow academy players Dom Jefferies and Lewis Collins also started.

All three acquitted themselves well and fringe players Maloney and Corey Whitely certainly took their chance to impress.

After Alex Addai had missed two early chances, Maloney took advantage of an error from Cheltenham goalkeeper Rhys Lovett to open the scoring in the eighth minute.

Abrahams put the young stopper under pressure and the ball squirmed from his grip on the deck, allowing Maloney to roll it into an empty net from the edge of the area for his first goal in senior football.

Dominic Poleon then blasted over and Whitely crashed a shot against the post before Addai split the County defence with a clever flick and Max Sheaf confidently finished past Nick Townsend to level the match in the 17th minute.

Lovett, one of five changes for the hosts, was enduring a difficult start and he was perhaps lucky to escape with a yellow card when he hauled down Abrahams in the box.

Dolan confidently sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot to restore County’s lead on 27 minutes.

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Just three minutes later, Abrahams made it 3-1 as he raced on to a great ball from Whitely, rounded Lovett and squeezed his shot inside the post from the angle.

Maloney then blotted his copybook by tripping Chris Hussey in the box and Addai halved the deficit 10 minutes before half-time as he scored from the rebound after Townsend had saved his penalty.

Three minutes after that it was 3-3 as Sean Long headed a Hussey cross into the top corner but that wasn’t the end of the drama.

Nurse crossed from the left and Abrahams’ bagged his second of the match with a neat half volley on 43 minutes.

And Maloney then followed suit as he hammered in his second and County’s fifth in first-half stoppage time.

It was difficult for the second half to live up to a ridiculous first 45 minutes, but the Exiles continued to attack and both Maloney and Abrahams took full advantage to complete their tremendous trebles.

Maloney’s arrived seven minutes after the restart with a great finish from outside the area after good work from Collins.

And, not to be outdone, Abrahams produced the goal of the night to stake his claim for the match ball with a sublime curler into the top corner from 20 yards out.

The striker marked his stunning strike with a sliding celebration in front of a small cluster of home fans as the 63 travelling supporters went wild behind Lovett’s goal.

Abrahams and Dolan made way for youngsters Ryan Hillier and Callum Jones and former Exiles man Ben Tozer pulled one back for the hosts six minutes from time, but this was the visitors’ night.

County: Townsend; Jefferies, Howkins, Woodiwiss (Bennett, 90), Nurse; Maloney, Dolan (Jones, 82), Collins; Whitely; Abrahams (Hillier, 76), Poleon

Subs not used: Haynes, Labadie, Amond, Matt

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 774 (63 County)

Argus star man: Abrahams