CAPTAIN Mickey Demetriou believes Newport County AFC made “a massive statement” by beating promotion rivals Colchester United at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Jamille Matt and Cameron Pring earned County a 2-0 win over the U’s and ensured that they reclaimed third spot in League Two from the visitors.

And Demetriou is certain that the result will have made the rest of the division sit up and take notice.

He told iFollow Exiles: “This result is a massive statement. We had a good game, they played well in spells also, but the most important thing is that we scored more goals and took more chances.

"It could have been 3-0 right at the end and I think the best thing, as a defender, is that we limited them with the chances they created.

"I don’t think Joe Day had many saves to make and if he did, they were comfortable. It’s nice to get another clean sheet under our belt and it’s a big statement.

"We’ve gone above Colchester with this result and up to third, which is really good for us and the changing room.

“We deserve it on our second half performance at least,” added the skipper.

“Colchester had those little spells in the game, but we managed them as an 11 and defended from the front.

"We had Podge [striker Padraig Amond] clearing balls off the line in the 88th minute so that proves we work as a team.

“Hopefully after a nice week off [with no midweek game], we can go again and get another good result at Cheltenham Town."

It was a third clean sheet in a row for Michael Flynn’s men after three successive 2-0 victories over Metropolitan Police in the FA Cup, Plymouth Argyle in the Checkatrade Trophy and Colchester in League Two.

And Demetriou is confident that they can keep the winning run going if that defensive form continues.

"It’s disappointing when we concede goals, of course it is, and everyone looks at themselves and knows they can do better at times,” said the centre-back.

"It’s been three solid games as a defence, I missed Tuesday night [against Plymouth], but they defended solidly then as well and deserved the clean sheet there and I think we deserved it again.

"The FA Cup game was the other clean sheet, which was massive for us because it helped get us through to the next round.

"Thankfully for us as defenders, we know that if we keep a clean sheet then we are likely to win the game because we’ve got so many players who can get goals for us.”

The crucial opening goal came from a Matty Dolan corner that was flicked on by Amond for Matt to score his 11th of the season.

“Whoever scored the first goal, I think the other team would have gone under a little bit,” said Demetriou.

“We’re thankful that we did get that first goal and Jamma was in the right place at the right time.

“We work really hard on our set-pieces and we’ve got more up our sleeves but we have to mix them up in games because teams can learn our plans.

“We change them week in week out and thankfully one worked.”