IT HASN’T been a bad week for Newport County AFC striker Tristan Abrahams – a first Exiles start and goal, a penalty shootout winner and a chance to rub shoulders with a former Premier League star.

The 20-year-old, released by Norwich City in the summer, was one of 11 new signings Rodney Parade chief Michael Flynn made during pre-season.

After two appearances off the bench in the draws with Mansfield Town and Cambridge United, Abrahams was handed his first start in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Gillingham.

And what a night it turned out to be for the former Leyton Orient forward, who made his Football League debut for the O’s in Newport two years ago.

Abrahams poked in from close range to level the tie at 1-1 and, after conceding a spot-kick which was ultimately cancelled out by Padraig Amond’s late penalty, he came up trumps in the shootout.

After keeper Nick Townsend’s heroics, Abrahams kept his cool to secure County a second-round encounter with Premier League side West Ham United.

On top of that, the Londoner also got the opportunity to pick up some tips from ex-Swansea City and Manchester City powerhouse Wilfried Bony, who trained with County earlier this week.

Reflecting on an eventful few days, Abrahams said: “It was a crazy game (at Gillingham). We know we should have performed better, but we’ll take the result and try and improve for the next round.

“It was a good night for me. Like I said before, I believe I should have done much better, but I always like to get a goal, and I scored the winning penalty.

“I didn’t feel much pressure taking the penalty. I was studying the keeper from the beginning of the shootout so I kind of knew what I had to do to beat him.

“Getting a result there was something that we needed after the two draws in the league which we feel we should have got more from.

“Now we’ve got the first win of the season I feel like it’s something we can build on and hopefully get another one on Saturday.”

Commenting on his own performance and the likelihood of getting more starts, he added: “I’m not really happy with how I played if I’m being totally honest.

“Obviously, to get a goal is always a plus so I’ll take it and build on it.

“I definitely want more starts. I’m here to play games and I hope I showed in spells that I can do well, and hopefully the gaffer puts me in a little bit more.

“If I do get the chance to play then I’ll try and grab the opportunity with both hands.”

And on playing the Hammers in round two, he added: “You always want to play the best teams and test yourself against them because that’s the level that everyone in the changing room is aspiring to play at.”

As for training alongside Ivory Coast ace Bony, Abrahams said: “He was with us the other day and the standard of players like that is awe-inspiring.

“He’s a striker as well, so for me that session was great. I was watching everything he did, and I did get to have a little conversation with him.

“I was surprised when he turned up and all of the boys were like, ‘what’s going on?’ “Everyone has been in his situation before. You know you’ve got to get fit and hopefully go again.

“If he does come in again, I’ll just treat it like another class and learn from it again, see what I can take from his game and try and improve my own.”