A BRILLIANT brace of headers from Mickey Demetriou saw Newport County AFC battle back from a goal down to beat Crawley Town at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

The defender headed in from two corners either side of half-time to earn County a first away win since their shock victory at Coventry City on August 19.

Crawley, managed by former Premier League star Harry Kewell, who has former Exiles boss Warren Feeney as his assistant, took the lead through Mark Connolly but were second best once the visitors got going.

Manager Michael Flynn named an unchanged starting XI from the 1-0 weekend win over Grimsby Town and his side picked up where they left off in the opening exchanges with Joss Labadie, Padraig Amond and Frank Nouble linking up superbly.

Nouble could have ended his September goal drought as early as the fourth minute as he collected a pass from Amond, cut inside from the right and fired into the side netting.

But County’s early momentum soon fizzled out and the hosts began to take control of the contest.

Ibrahim Meite appeared to foul Demetriou on 12 minutes but there was no flag and he should have done better than slashing his half volley a yard wide from inside the area.

The Reds almost prospered with a rapid breakaway after the Exiles messed up a short corner routine and captain Jimmy Smith claimed a penalty when his shot appeared to hit the chest of Mark O’Brien.

Sean Rigg went straight then launched a shot high over the bar and into orbit but there was little threat from the visitors by the midway point of the first half.

It was still something of a surprise when Crawley broke the deadlock on 30 minutes, however.

Enzio Boldewijn floated a free-kick into the box and defender Connolly got above Demetriou and sent a looping header beyond Joe Day and into the far corner of the net.

It was nearly two when Lewis Young was released down the right and sent in a dangerous cross that would surely have produced a goal if Jordan Roberts had been able to get his head to it at the far post.

Demetriou then served notice of his aerial threat as he rose unchallenged to head Ben Tozer’s cross just wide.

But Crawley did not heed the warning and, after great work from Nouble to win a corner, the defender again climbed highest to head in Rigg’s corner from a yard out (below) to level five minutes before the break.

South Wales Argus:

It was a great response from Flynn’s men and they could easily have been ahead before half-time.

First Robbie Willmott hit the angle of post and bar with a quick turn and audacious shot before Tozer curled one just over the bar from 20 yards.

Then Rigg wriggled through the middle of the home defence after a brilliant passing move involving four or five of his teammates but his shot was a yard off target.

Dan Butler replaced the injured O’Brien at the start of the second half but the change didn’t seem to disrupt County’s momentum.

Nouble saw another low drive deflected into the side netting two minutes after the restart and the turnaround was completed on 51 minutes.

It was déjà vu for the Crawley defence as Demetriou again found space in the area to head in another corner from close range.

David Pipe made way for Scot Bennett, meaning Ben White was moved again – from left-back to centre-back and on to right-back.

Boldewijn showed good trickery but his shot was well wide of Day’s right hand post and substitute Josh Payne curled a free-kick against the upright with the Exiles goalkeeper beaten.

Mark Randall made a late appearance from the bench for he hosts but he couldn’t conjure up an equaliser against his former club.

Amond sent a looping header onto the roof of the net from Rigg’s deep cross and, deep into stoppage time Josh Yorwerth headed inches wide for the hosts, but Demetriou’s double was enough to seal all three points.

County: Day; Pipe (Bennett, 62), O’Brien (Butler, 46) Demetriou, White; Willmott, Labadie, Tozer, Rigg; Nouble, Amond (Dolan, 90)

Subs not used: Bittner, Reynolds, McCoulsky, Quigley

Booked: Butler, Tozer

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,455 (75 County)

Argus star man: Demetriou