NEWPORT County AFC suffered successive League Two defeats for the first time under manager Michael Flynn as they went down 2-0 at Colchester United.

In a game of few chances, the hosts were rewarded for a much-improved second-half showing as they deservedly claimed the victory and leapfrogged County in the table.

The Exiles drop to 11th and manager Michael Flynn will know his team have some catching up to do on their play-off rivals after Wednesday’s FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Mark O’Brien recovered from illness to return in central defence and Tyler Reid was handed a first start at right-back, with Ben White ruled out by injury and Scot Bennett dropping to the bench.

O’Brien picked up an early booking but otherwise settled in well, making several important interceptions and blocks as the hosts started brightly.

Reid also acquitted himself reasonably well in the first half, growing into the game after a slightly tentative first 15 minutes.

South Wales Argus:

Neither side really create much of note in a low-key first half.

Courtney Senior had two efforts deflected behind inside 60 seconds for Colchester but Joe Day did not have a proper save to make until the 45th minute when he just got his fingertips to a rasping drive from former County man Ryan Jackson.

Ben Tozer, whose long throws were again a potent weapon, shot just over the top from the edge of the area and Matty Dolan’s goalbound effort was blocked by the impressive Luke Prosser.

The hosts noticeably upped the tempo at the start of the second half and early pressure saw them break the deadlock in the 59th minute.

Senior breezed past Reid, who was covering on the left touchline, and ran 40 yards before cutting back for substitute Ben Stevenson to flick in from close range.

Flynn called on Paul Hayes, Shawn McCoulsky and Emmannuel Osadebe from the bench as his side chased the game.

But it was Colchester who went closest to adding to the score sheet when Mikael Mandron curled a shot just inches over the bar from the edge of the area.

And Tom Eastman sealed all three points as he reacted quickest after some pinball in the box to poke the ball beyond Day’s dive 10 minutes from time.

County: Day; Reid (Osadebe, 74), O’Brien, Demetriou, Butler; Dolan (McCoulsky, 62), Tozer, Labadie; Willmott, Amond (Hayes, 59), Nouble

Subs not used: Bittner, Pipe, Bennett, Sheehan

Booked: O’Brien, Hayes

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 2,874 (184 County)

Argus star man: O’Brien