Steve Evans has blasted the "horrendous" refereeing decision that saw Port Vale take Stevenage to a replay after a contentious penalty award in their FA Cup second round tie.

It was a scrappy game with few clear chances that ended 1-1, Ojo burying the penalty in the 76th minute after Jamie Reid had put Stevenage ahead a few minutes earlier.

Terence Vancooten slid into Uche Ikpeazu in the box, and thought he had won the ball. The linesman pointed for a corner, but the referee thought otherwise and gave the penalty after a moment's hesitation.

Evans said: "It's just the worst decision with eight minutes to go that one can imagine, to give a penalty. But it's not the first time this referee [Tom Reeves] has done it to us. He's done it again to us.

"I've already spoken to somebody senior in refereeing in the tunnel and just said, quite simply, 'it's not a penalty', but we'll get nothing other than an apology.

"If anything, we did enough to get through despite not being at our best. There's no way we shouldn't be going through on the basis of such a bad decision.

"It's just horrendous. But I'll go and speak to him [Mr Reeves] and I'll get his normal rubbish that I normally get from him.

"Two of their players said to me in the tunnel [that] it's just not a penalty.

"It's not a dive, I can't say it's a dive, it's not simulation, the big fella is an honest kid. But the referee has just ... once again, been our downfall.

"TVC wins the ball very, very clearly. It goes out for a goal kick and the referee comes from nowhere, doesn't he? He seems to take an age to make his decision and I think maybe in the back of his head as soon as the ball was in the box he was going to give a penalty - that's how it felt.

"But we're still in it, we'll go to Port Vale and we'll do our best to try and get through in the competition, but really we should be through and resting next midweek."

He admitted that some players hadn't been at their best, quoting Bill Shankly and saying that if the first 60 minutes had been "played at the bottom of my garden, I'd have shut the curtain".

"Did we do enough to win today? Yes. Was it marginal? Yes. Were we far from our best? Yes.

"But when we made the changes, were we far better? Yes. [Were] some players that started the game maybe not at the levels they need to be to win any game? That's a clear yes.

"When we made the changes [after 60 minutes], we instantly became a team on the front foot, we instantly had more options, we had more range about us - a brilliant pass by Harvey, a great finish by Reidy."

Evans praised Harvey White in particular, who provided a stunning assist for Reid's goal. He said: "If we didn't think highly of him, he wouldn't be coming onto the pitch today at a key stage in an FA Cup tie".

"He's got that class, he can pass a ball - his ball for the goal is outstanding, and his contribution other than that, but he has to do that on a real consistent basis to get into the starting team."

Thinking ahead to the replay, Evans continued: "We're still in there. We'll go there and it'll be really tough, it's always tough to go to Port Vale at any time ... but it won't be easy for them either.

"Our only focus now is Burton Albion next Saturday, we forget about the FA Cup until we leave the Midlands."