Newport County came from behind twice to beat Portsmouth 3-2 in a stunning comeback win to book their place in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night at a raucous Rodney Parade.
In a frantic opening sequence Ronan Curtis had given League One side Pompey the lead before it was cancelled out by Will Evans' first goal in County colours.
Curtis restored the visitors’ lead with a composed finish only for Aaron Wildig equalise for a second time in a ding-dong battle, also netting his first for the club.
James Waite then stepped off the bench to send the home supporters into a state of delirium with a delightful finish as the clocked ticked down to secure the win.
The hosts made a positive start to proceedings with some strong but fair challenges from Adam Lewis and Lewis Collins.
And in only the third minute of the match County came close to opening the scoring. First, Priestley Farquharson was denied by a fine stop from Portsmouth goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
From the resulting corner-kick, Evans was inches from glancing a delicious Collins cross into the far-right corner only to see his effort drop just wide.
Wildig was the next to worry the visitors’ back-line, but despite bringing the ball down just six yards out from goal, he was denied by the heroic challenge of Haji Mnoga.
Against the run of play Pompey took the lead, Curtis was slid through on goal after sustained pressure from County, and with the freedom of the penalty area he rolled the ball calmly into the bottom-right corner.
Dane Scarlett tried his luck from a tight angle inside the Newport box, however Joe Day was equal to it and denied the striker with a strong right hand.
Reeco Hackett had a wonderful chance to double Pompey’s lead on 12 minutes having been put through on goal by Curtis, but Day got down low again to block the shot.
And Evans made him pay just moments later, playing a lovely one-two with Chanka Zimba inside the area before finishing brilliantly into the top-right corner with a right-footed shot.
Collins, having netted in the first round win against Luton Town, attempted an ambitious shot from 25-yards with his left foot but it fell harmlessly wide.
Curtis put Portsmouth ahead once again on 26 minutes after converting Scarlett’s cut-back with an unstoppable first-time finish high into the roof of the net.
Joe Pigott twice came close to extending the lead on 28 minutes, hitting the crossbar with a side-footed volley from Tom Lowery’s cross before blazing over one-on-one.
Farquharson had a good chance to bring County level ten minutes before the break, heading Cameron Norman’s looped cross into the palms of Griffiths from six yards out.
Scarlett came close again before half-time, jinking past Declan Drysdale only to be denied by a fine save from Day.
Wildig then got the home side's second equaliser of the night early in the second half, flicking home Adam Lewis' dangerous crossed with his head.
Wilmott had an ambitious drive from about 35 yards out on 70 minutes, which sailed high and wide of the goal, moments later Evans climbed high at the back post but saw his header drift wide.
James Waite then sent the home crowd into raptures with a brilliant solo goal. He picked the ball up 25 yards out and drove at the Portsmouth back-line before placing the ball past a rooted Griffiths.
Waite thought he had extended the lead with 5 minutes remaining, twisting and turning on the edge of the box before firing a powerful left-footed shot on goal, which Griffiths did well to be equal to.
NEWPORT COUNTY XI: Day (GK), Norman, Drysdale, Farquharson (Demetriou, 60’), Adam Lewis, Bowen (Moriah-Welsh, 70’), Wilmott ©, Wildig (Waite, 70’), Collins, Evans, Zimba (Bogle, 83’).
Subs not used: Townsend (GK), Dolan, Lewis, Nevers, Stokes.
PORTSMOUTH XI: Griffiths (GK), Swanson (Freeman, 32’) Robertson ©(Raggett, 67’), Mnoga, Ogilvie, Pigott, Curtis, Hackett (Dale, 67’), Scarlett (Jacobs, 62’), Mingi, Lowery(Pack, 63’).
Subs not used: Rafferty, Oluwayemi, Payce, Dockerill.
Referee: John Busby
Assistant referee: Adam Crysell
Assistant referee: James Wilson
Fourth official: Sam Allison