A goal in each half from Decky Carville and a professional team display saw Newry City return to winning ways away to previously unbeaten Tobermore on Saturday. With Ian Curran and Conor McCaul completely dominant at the back the Newry goal was rarely threatened although on 15 minutes it did take a Thomas McCann clearance at the front post to deflect a whipped cross from Trevor Parkhill for a corner to keep the Newry goal intact. Newry created what looked to be their first goal scoring opportunity after 20 minutes when Marty Havern sliced the home defence with a pass which gave Mark Hughes a run on goal which was only stopped by a despairing foul on the edge of the box from a Tobermore defender. With Newry probing for an opening their next chance fell to a defender creating an extra option, Conor McCaul with a superb ball picking out the run of Neil Mullen who’s first touch took the ball inside the box alas crowded out of possession by home defenders.
Newry deservedly grabbed the opening goal after 34 minutes, Carville knocking the ball wide to Hughes who drilled a dangerous ball into the six-yard box from where Conor Kearns attempted to clear. When his scuffed clearance only found Carville, who is in rich goal scoring form having netted in the previous two games, the travelling Newry fans expected a goal and Carville made no mistake drilling the ball past Matthew McGaw to give Newry the lead. That lead was almost doubled minutes later when Curran pitched a free kick from the half way line straight onto the chest of Hughes who controlled the ball instantly and swivelled to volley on goal, his effort unfortunately flying over the crossbar. Hughes almost made more of less obvious chance just before half time when he rose highest to win a long ball from Jordan King, looping his header from the edge of the box over McGaw who had to back pedal to tip Hughes header over the cross bar to leave the half time score 1-0 to Newry.
No doubt spurred on by the half time team talk the home side were better after the break and were the first to threaten the goal, Peter Duffin breaking down the left wing before whipping in a low cross which Peter Murphy did well to smother at the feet of Neil Lamont. In reply Havern created a chance for Newry, nicking the ball from Kearns as the centre half dwelt on the ball on the halfway line. Now in a race for goal Kearns did well to get back forcing Havern to pull his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area. Newry handed Tobermore a chance to get back into the game with 20 minutes left. With Parkhill marauding down the right wing Newry defended well to win possession. However, the decision not to clear the ball, instead attempting to pass their way out of the danger area, came a cropper when Parkhill regained the ball only to be fouled on the edge of the penalty area. This time it was McCaul who came to Newry’s rescue, joining the end of the wall at the last moment to first charge down the free kick and then reacting quickest to clear the loose ball.
The home side had a better chance to score on 78 minutes when a cross into the Newry penalty area found Lamont unmarked, fortunately for Newry Peter Murphy was well placed to save the centre forwards header. That was to be Tobermores last chance to take anything from the game as moments later Newry made the points safe. Throughout the game Carville and his marker Kearns had enjoyed a running battle and with the game entering its final stages the pair tussled for the ball down the right wing, referee Ben McMaster awarding Newry a free kick. When Walker floated a perfect ball into the box once more Hughes rose highest to nod the ball on, Carville losing the close marking Kearns to help Hughes effort over the line from close range for his and Newry’s second goal of the game to secure the win for Newry which pleased manager Darren Mullen “That was exactly the reaction we needed after last week’s defeat. We were solid from the start and restricted them to one attempt on target for the whole game. There’s no easy games in this league and we knew Tobermore would be difficult to break down. We were on the front foot from early on and should have been more than a goal up at halftime. The players are learning as we go and now know that patience and hard work are vital components if we are to progress. We continued to press whilst working hard all over the pitch and with the attacking threat which we have a second goal always looked likely. As I said last week after the defeat by Newington the players need to learn from those games and we showed signs today that the players are doing exactly that. It was a very important win against a team that hadn’t been beaten and sets us up for a good game away to Donegal Celtic next week”.
Newry City AFC: Murphy, Mullen, King, McCaul, Curran, McMahon, Walker, McCann, Hughes, Carville, Havern. Subs: Johnston, McMullan, Smith, Patton, M McCabe.
Newry City now travel on Saturday 15th October to play Donegal Celtic KO 3pm. NCAFC Travel Club bus will leave The Stonebridge at 1pm, all welcome.