Newry City secured three valuable points with a very comfortable victory away to Crewe Utd on Saturday. In a game which they dominated from start to finish the final five goal winning margin was far from flattering. Marshalled superbly by central defensive duo of Paul Donegan and Conor McCaul the Newry goal was never under any risk and with Man of the Match Chris McMahon and Kenny Kearns dominating midfield it was always only a matter of getting the first goal.
Newry looked like scoring as early as the second minute when Aaron Brilly released Mark Lowry with a long diagonal pass over the defence giving Lowry a free run at goal, the Newry man forcing Rogan Crothers in the Crewe goal into a fine save.
Brilly created Newrys next chance minutes later when he broke down the left wing, cut back from the end line and spotted Mark Patton unmarked on the edge of the box, Patton unfortunate to see his first time shot graze the cross bar as it skimmed the top of the net.
Newry were attacking down both flanks with both full backs pushing forward Niall Crilly supplying the next Newry chance when he linked up with Lowry to create a chance for Kenny Kearns who flashed his half volley just wide from the edge of the area.
The pressure had to tell and Newry duly opened the scoring on the half hour mark when Lowry crossed from the left wing, Kearns nodded the ball down to Patton who swivelled and shot low and hard past Rogan Crothers to put Newry 1-0 up.
The second goal nearly came straight from the kick off. McMahon regained possession before hitting a long ball towards Patton which the big man won nodding the ball into the path of the over lapping Crilly who bore down on goal and from an acute angle fired in a low cross which the Crewe defence did well to deflect around the post with Brilly lurking.
Newry manager Darren Mullen has drilled patience into his players and this match was a great example of a team willing to maintain possession and wait for the correct opportunity. This theory bore fruit just before half time. Since scoring Newry enjoyed almost 100% possession content to recycle the ball around the team waiting for an opening. That moment came on 42 minutes when Kearns spotted Lowry’s run along the Crewe defence and from 30 yards out played a penetrating ball perfectly into his path, Lowry not breaking his stride as he collected the pass and rounded the keeper to score from a wide angle.
The second half was similar to the first with Newry dominating play content to pick their moment. Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the day for Newry was that the third goal did not come until the 75th minute. As with many Newry goals number three was down to the pace of Lowry. Crilly played the ball into space with Lowry chasing. When the Crewe defender committed to winning the ball Lowry’s speed got him there first nipping in to knock the ball to the end line from where he whipped in a cross which was cleared from the goal line by a Crewe defender. Unfortunately for Crewe the clearance only reached Keith Johnston who instantly controlled before shooting to the far bottom corner of the Crewe net with the outside of his right foot for an assured finish.
Goals four and five came in the final minutes. On 85 minutes Kearns again played a through ball which Johnston latched on to, his shot from the corner of the box finished to the net by Lowry as he slid in at the far post. And it was the old war horse McMullan who rounded up the scoring when Crilly and Johnston combined to give him a shooting chance from inside the box which he took with aplomb.
Newry manager Darren Mullen was content with his team’s performance “After playing well in our defeat to Armagh City during the week it was important that we carried that level of performance into this league game. We did exactly that and could have been three or four up after 15 minutes. Our first half was some of the best football we have played this season. We made sure that the players knew that that had to be maintained for the full 90 minutes and in the end we ran out easy winners. It was an excellent team performance and with a bench that had another five players who could all start for us having a big squad is now paying dividends”.
Newry City AFC: Murphy, Crilly, O’Connor, Donegan, McCaul, Kearns, Walker, McMahon, Brilly, Patton, Lowry, Subs: McMullan, Johnston, Barr, Moan, Edgar.
Newrys next match is at home on Saturday 8th November in the Irish Cup against Hanover, kick off 3pm. Come and show your city your support!!!