Three picture book goals and three points was the Newry City return from Saturdays Mid Ulster League tie at The Showgrounds against Seapatrick. However, that does not tell the full story of a match in which Seapatrick defended stoutly obviously determined not to suffer a repeat of last Saturdays four goal cup defeat by Newry.
The first twenty minutes of the game saw incessant Newry pressure with half chances falling to Brilly, McMahon and Crilly but very much against the run of play it was Seapatrick who almost opened the scoring. With little threat to the Newry goal and the ball safely at the feet of Peter Murphy, a misplaced short kick out was intercepted by a Seapatrick player now with a free run on goal. With Murphy stranded it looked like Seapatrick only had to get the shot on target to score. However that was not allowing for the excellence of Murphy who got back into position and twisted in mid air as he dived to get a strong hand to the shot deflecting it on to the cross bar also benefiting from a piece of good fortune as the rebound landed within his reach.
The home side made the most of this reprieve going ahead on the hour mark with a goal made by their captain Chris McMahon. Picking up possession inside his own half McMahon drove at the Seapatrick defence beating tackles as he brought the ball to the end line. Composure required McMahon cut back inside before picking out the run of Aaron Brilly across the six yard line, Brilly meeting the cross with a powerful first time shot which crashed to the back of the Seapatrick net.
Similar to many games this season Newry kicked on after the half time break to completely dominate the second period. Straight after the break Niall Crilly took the ball out of defence before finding Mark Patton inside the box. Tightly marked Patton back heeled the ball into the path of Jimmy Walker who was unfortunate to see his shot deflected over the bar. Newry continued to press for the elusive second goal which looked like it would not come due to a combination of some poor final passes, wasteful finishing and a little bit of bad luck especially when Paul Donegan ran from the back post to meet a Walker corner on the penalty spot, his first time volley smacking into the crossbar with the Seapatrick keeper motionless. Pressure eventually told on 80 minutes with a goal made and scored by Man of the Match Walker. Having stifled another Newry attack Seapatrick attempted to walk the ball out of defence. Walker won the ball back and made himself some space before curling his shot from 30 yards out into the far top corner of the Seapatrick net to put Newry 2-0 up. Good as this goal was better was to come. In a one touch passing movement involving half the team beginning with Crilly in his corner back position and ending with Lowry wide on the right wing Newry moved from defence to attack in a matter of moments. Lowry still had much to do to threaten the Seapatrick goal but did so in a flash flicking the ball with the inside of his right foot onto his left which he used to smash a curling shot from 35 yards into the same top corner as Walker hit moments earlier for an early contender for goal of the season.
Newry manager Darren Mullen was happy to have secured maximum points from the game “We must have had 80% possession in this game but when you are only a single goal in the lead there is always the danger of a breakaway. The players were told before the game to be patient and that eventually paid off with three very good goals. That’s now three clean sheets and seven victories in a row and most importantly three league points. But it’s still very early days and we now concentrate on Tuesdays Mid Ulster Cup match against Armagh.”
Don’t forget this match will be on http://www.vadio.ie/newrycityafc at 9pm tonight!!
Newry City AFC: Murphy, Crilly, Edgar, Moan, Donegan, Kearns, McMahon, Walker, Brilly, Patton, Lowry Subs: McMullan, Barr, McCaul, O’Connor, Fay, Curran,
Newry’s next game is on Tuesday 28th Oct away to Armagh City in the Mid Ulster Cup. Newry then travel on the 1st November to play Crewe Utd, kick off 2:15pm. Newry City travel club bus will leave the Stone Bridge for this game at 12:45pm.