Crawley Town head coach Dermot Drummy has put James Collins’ red-hot goal streak down to better service.

Collins bagged his fourth goal in as many league games for a resurgent Reds as they claimed a 3-1 success over basement side Newport County at the Stadium.

It was Crawley’s third victory in four League Two games after a nine-game winless run in all competitions.

Drummy’s side – who will now head to Dublin for a bonding session before their Boxing Day game at Leyton Orient – were pegged back when Joss Labadie levelled for the visitors on 33 minutes with a deflected strike.

But defender Josh Yorwerth’s 48th-minute header from captain Jimmy Smith’s free-kick and Smith’s 52nd-minute strike through a crowd of players meant Crawley recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since September.

Newport’s Josh Sheehan also slammed a second-half stoppage time penalty against the bar after Rhys Healey had been brought down to save the hosts having to endure a nervous finale.

Collins, with his 12th of the season and 99th of his career, headed in a cross from Billy Clifford after only three minutes to put Reds in front.

Drummy said: “When Jordan Roberts wasn’t playing due to injury, we didn’t have the balance of a left footer and a right footer.

“Collins was running all over the place and not getting any service.

“We try to play creatively in the final third and don’t play percentage play where you don’t know what’s happening. We’re basically giving him more opportunities.”

Drummy stressed they were made to work hard by physical visitors, who picked up nine of the 13 yellow issued in a feisty affair at the Stadium.

He said: “I said at half-time that we have to remember the values and ethics of what we want here, but you’ve got fight for those.”

Drummy believes Crawley’s form has turned around in part due to a number of players returning after injuries and time away.

He said: “We’ve been more solid at the back.

“Josh Yorwerth had to go away for a period of time (for personal reasons) and he’s come back a stronger person.

“Joe McNerney had a knee injury while Mark Connolly has been performing well.

“Our defenders have been performing when I’ve had all of them available.

“Everybody at the club has to stick together and ride the storm.”

Crawley go to Orient on Boxing Day and Plymouth Argyle on New Year’s Eve and Drummy is pleased with his side’s progress at a pivotal stage.

Drummy said: “We’ve put 20 players together and tried to bring in a different style of play. I think the players have adhered to that.

“I’m happy with where we’re at. I said I would look at where we are at Christmas.

“We were in a dip but we’ve showed strength of character.”

Crawley: Morris, Young, Connolly, Yorwerth, Blackman, Smith, Payne, Boldewijn (Bawling 81),Clifford (Djalo 90), Roberts (Yussuf 87), Collins. Subs not used: Beeney, Davey, McNerney, Henderson.

Booked: Blackman, Roberts, Boldewijn, Connolly.

Goals: Collins 3, Yorwerth 48, Smith 52.

Newport County: Day, Barnum-Bobb, Darren Jones, Bennett, Myrie-Williams, Tozer (Wood 76), Owen-Evans, Sheehan, Labadie (Green 66), Jackson (Healey 46), O’Hanlon. Subs not used: Randall, Bignot, Bittner, Meite.

Booked: Labadie, O’Hanlon, Darren Jones, Bennett, Jackson, Myrie-Williams, Healey, Tozer, Barnum-Bobb.

Goals: Labadie 33.

Attendance: 2,022.