EASTLEIGH's Richard Hill claimed his side used the sense of injustice after George Langston’s red card to inspire them from a goal down to earn a replay with a 1-1 draw against Newport County at Rodney Parade.

Centre-back Langston was sent off for an elbow on County midfielder Harry Charsley seven minutes before the break, leaving the National League side with an uphill task.

League Two County looked to be on their way to the FA Cup fourth round once defender James Clarke turned in Shane McLoughlin’s corner in the 56th minute.

But Clarke brought down 25-goal Spitfires striker Paul McCallum in the box. Chris Maguire, who had earlier hit the post, levelled with a confident penalty eight minutes from time.

“We had to give it a go,” said Hill, whose side dumped out League One Reading in the second round. “There was no point just keeping the score down in the last 20 minutes.

“We made positive substitutions and we’ve got players who are pretty special in certain areas of the pitch, and anything can happen.”

Hill was unhappy with the decision to show Langston a straight red and felt the home crowd influenced the officials.

“I’ve got to be careful – the FA police will be watching – it was a foul to us. Will Evans was fouling our boys throughout the game.

"Sometimes the officials aren’t good enough to see that because they haven’t played the game. The crowd affected the linesman for the whole game as well.

“We felt a little bit aggrieved, and it motivated us. We sailed by the seat of our pants, but we were resolute. And when it went 1-1, I was telling the lads to go and win it.”

Maguire was the hero for the 1,000 travelling fans and Hill paid tribute to the experienced former Aberdeen, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland man for his composure.

“There’s no better in the National League, or in League Two, than Chris Maguire to be in that position,” he insisted.

“He said to me as he was coming off the pitch ‘never in doubt’ and you have to believe him.

“We’ve only done half a job and we have to be mindful of that. We can’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, but we’ve got another chance.”

Exiles boss Graham Coughlan was also angry at referee Ed Duckworth for the penalty decision.

“It was a shocker,” said Coughlan. “It was based around the first-half decision to send their centre-half off.

“As a former centre-half I have taken a few and chucked a few, so know when one is chucked deliberately.”

The replay at the Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday week is an unwanted extra fixture for the Welsh side, who could have been out of sight before the equaliser.

“I have mixed emotions,” added Coughlan. “We played really well, were the dominant team and moved the ball well to get into good positions.

“Before the sending off we were good and created chances that we just didn’t finish. Unfortunately, we are coming away from a game yet again talking about a ridiculous decision.

“We should have seen the game through, but the game was always likely to swing on a naive refereeing decision.

“We shoot ourselves in the foot, that’s evident, and I’ve got to take ownership for that. Overall, we need to realise how well we played, it was just that finishing touch."