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POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn hails battling performance in victory over Crawley Town

27 September 2017

Mike Flynn says he was pleased with the battling determination of his squad in the 2-1 victory over Crawley Town.

The Exiles had to come from behind in the game, after Mark Connolly gave the home-side the lead on the half-hour, with a looping header in the box from an Enzio Boldewijn free-kick.

But the lead didn’t last long for the home-side as the equaliser came just 10 minutes later, as Mickey Demetriou got his first goal since the opening day with a header from four yards following a Sean Rigg corner.

And it was a carbon-copy of the first goal that won it for the Exiles. On 51 minutes, the same combination combined as Demetriou fired another header past home goalkeeper Glenn Morris from a similar distance.

The home-side threw everything at the Exiles in the latter stages, even hitting the post in the final 60 seconds, but County held on to secure a second away league victory this campaign.

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And Flynn was pleased with the fighting spirit shown from his players.

“It was a very hard battle and a pleasing win,” he affirmed.

“I think Crawley started better than us if I’m honest. They looked to play football and we didn’t string two passes together at the beginning.

“We went 1-0 down and the boys just responded like they have done 99% of the time previously. They’ve been outstanding and they are showing how much they are fighting for their shirts.

“Towards the end, we were winning 2-1 away from home so we knew they were going to throw everything at it. Thankfully there was a lot of straight balls and it suited us in getting the three points.”

Demetriou’s double was the first time that the defender had scored two goals in a game for the club.

And Flynn was pleased to get a win which keeps the momentum building within the team.

“I gave Mickey a rocket at half-time if I’m honest,” he admitted.

“It was his man who scored their goal and he had a free header just before that.

“But listen, when he’s on his game, he’s arguably one of the best defenders in the league. He’s deadly at set-plays, not just the headers you saw tonight but taking free-kicks, penalties, he’s a real handful and he’s come up with two crucial goals tonight because it keeps our momentum going.”

Ben White also came in for some individual plaudits from Flynn after showing his versatility during the game.

The defender started the game at left-back, only to shift to centre-back at half-time with Mark O’Brien needing to be substituted.

He then moved to right-back upon David Pipe coming off, something Flynn says is testament to his character.

He added: “I wish I had three of him – I want to clone him.

“He’s outstanding and he’s fitting in with the ethics that we have at the club.

“His attitude is outstanding, he trains with the right attitude and he has a bright future ahead of him.”

And while victory saw County regain their spot in the play-off positions, Flynn remained adamant that he will not be letting the players get carried away with their positive opening to the campaign.

“Time will tell at the end of the season,” he affirmed.  

“I’m not getting carried away, it’s a great start, better than everybody else expected.

“We know what we can do and we know that we have to keep people fit because we’ve got a small squad.  

“All we do is take one game at a time, concentrate on ourselves and how we are going to set up against the opposition that we are playing next.

“I think we can play better than we did tonight but I thought it showed a different side to us. We were solid, resolute in how we came back from a goal down again.

“I’ll take where we are at now and again it is pleasing that we have come from behind and it’s shown the belief that we have here.

“We’re on 18 points now and we have to keep building on that tally.”

The Exiles will be looking to make it three wins in a week when they travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town on Saturday.

And Flynn wants his players to go there without fear this weekend, against one of the pre-season promotion favourites.   

He said: “I’m sure we are going to go there and give Luton a good game. They are one of the bigger spenders in the league, they are a big club with big crowds but we’ll go there and hopefully spoil their party on Saturday.”

Some early team-news for that game with the Hatters sees doubts cast over the availability of defensive duo David Pipe and Mark O’Brien, who both left the field during the Crawley game with injury complaints.

Flynn commented: “Mark O’Brien got elbowed a couple of times and he was in a bit of a bad way at half-time.

“I had no choice with that one, I had to put the players safety first and that’s what we did.

“Pipey has a stiff calf so we’ll have to wait and see on that one as-well.”

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Newport County AFC vs Yeovil Town FC
7th October
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