NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn admitted he laid into match-winner Mickey Demetriou at half-time but he was all smiles after the final whistle as the defender’s two goals sealed victory over Crawley Town.

Flynn felt Demetriou was at fault for the hosts’ opener at the Stadium as Mark Connolly sent a looping header past Joe Day after half an hour.

But Demetriou levelled with a header from Sean Rigg’s corner five minutes before the break and repeated the trick on 51 minutes to secure all three points.

“It was a very hard battle and it was a pleasing win because I think Crawley started better than us, if I’m honest,” said Flynn.

“They looked to play football and we didn’t string two passes together at the beginning and we went 1-0 down.

“But the boys responded like they have done 99 per cent of the time.

“They’ve been outstanding and they’re showing how much they’re fighting for the shirt.

“I gave Mickey a rocket at half-time because it was his man who scored [for Crawely] and he had a free header just before that,” he added.

“Mickey is one of those that you need to keep on top of but when he’s on his game he’s probably one of the best defenders in the league.

“And he’s deadly on set-plays, not just headers but free-kicks and penalties as well.

“He’s a real handful and he’s come up with two crucial goals that keeps the momentum going.”

South Wales Argus:

The win lifts County up to seventh in the League Two table, level on points with fifth-placed Luton Town.

Flynn’s men take on the Hatters at Kenilworth Road on Saturday and both Mark O’Brien and David Pipe could be doubtful for that game after being forced off tonight.