by Colm Murphy, Newry City U14 Manager
Newry played their second league game against Ballybot Celtic on Saturday at the Barley Field. Away from home for the second week running, Newry started the game with some quick passing and neat football, putting pressure on the home team right from the off.
Ballybot were finding it hard to cope with the quick movement of the Newry attack and found themselves a goal down after some excellent footwork from Matthew Trainor found Tiernan O’Reilly on the left wing, who skipped past a Ballybot defender and slotted the ball into the net to put Newry 1-0 up.
The momentum was now with Newry and although Ballybot tried to get back into the game they found the Newry defence, in particular Tiarnan Russell, in excellent form. Indeed from a long ball played by Russell, this set Sean Mc Conville in on goal only to be denied by an excellent save from the Ballybot ‘keeper.
Goal number two wasn’t far away and after a foul on Matthew Trainor, Tiarnan Murphy floated a beautiful free kick to the far post where Tiernan O’Reilly sent the ball crashing into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to Newry. With half-time approaching fast, Newry looked to be on their way to another victory.
It was Ballybot who came out of the blocks quicker in the second half. After some positional switches in the Ballybot midfield, they started to gain control of the match and soon shortened arrears when a a blistering shot gave the Newry ‘keeper no chance. 2-1 and Match on!
Newry began to struggle and could have conceded another goal but for the quick feet of Tiarnan Russell who was having a fantastic game in the Newry defence. The game flowed from side to side but Newry were caught on the break by the home side and after some nice passing Ballybot levelled the match at 2-2. Newry struggled to get hold of the ball and apart from one or two attacks they were limited to a couple of strikes on goal. Ballybot could have sealed victory at the death only for some fine defensive work from Newry. In the end both sides had to settle for a draw!
While it was nice to get such an excellent start, a lot of work needs to be done to finish opponents off and this is something that management will work on. Again it was team work that got Newry through this match and this is something that the team can be proud of. Ballybot are a strong side and will certainly cause problems for many teams this season, so to get a draw away from home is a great credit to all. Next week’s game is our first home match of the league campaign against Camlough Rovers, so it’s important that we regroup at training and prepare well for another tough game.