Newry City reserved their best performance of the season for the visit of league leaders Limavady Utd producing a 4-0 win to keep alive their hopes of the league title. The opening exchanges of the game were largely level, Joe McCready proving a hand full for the Newry defence the, home side twice rescued by last ditch challenges from the central defensive pair of Paddy Mooney and John Boyle.
Newry opened the scoring on twenty minutes with a goal created by right back Kevin McArdle, the defender playing a one-two with Mark McCabe to take the ball to the end line before pulling it back into the danger area, Mark Hughes the first to react to the chance with a clinical finish to put Newry 1-0 up. The home side doubled their advantage on 41 minutes, Boyle placing a long free kick into the Limavady box, Decky Carville winning the aerial battle to nod the ball down to Mark McCabe who swivelled to shoot home.
It could have been three for Newry before half time with what would have been a contender for goal of the season. Once more it was McArdle pushing forward playing a give and go with Jimmy Walker before smashing a half volley from all of 40 yards which took a splendid save from Limavady keeper Wells to tip the ball onto the inside of the post and rebound to safety to leave the half time score 2-0 for Newry.
Limavady had the first chance of the second half and again it was McCready posing the threat, the striker shrugging off challenges down the Newry left before playing a ball across the face of the Newry goal, unfortunate that there was no Limavady player to turn the ball home.
Newry were quick to reply, an in-swinging corner from Jimmy Walker rebounding off the Limavady crossbar, the ball falling to Newry’s Man of the Match Paddy Mooney, his first time shot also rattling off the crossbar. The home side were very much on top with Walker and Thomas McCann pulling the strings from centre midfield. And it wasn’t long before Newry had their third, Hughes laying the ball to Keith Johnston just inside the box, the winger getting to the ball just ahead of Limavady’s Declan McKeever who took the legs from under the Newry man, referee Ben McMaster immediately pointing to the spot. This week penalty duty for Newry was given to Jimmy Walker and he made no mistake sending Wells the wrong way for goal number three.
On 65 minutes for the first time in the game Limavady got behind the Newry defence Jordan Thompson finding himself with only Kieran Gordon in nets to beat, the Newry keeper quickly off his line to block Thompsons effort with Stephen McCabe on hand to sweep up. Limavady continued to press and it took a super clearance from McCabe to clear a Conor Harkin shot off the goal line with Gordon stranded to keep the Newry sheet clean.
In the final minutes the home side capped off a fine display with goal number four, Thomas McCann slicing the Limavady defence finding Hughes wide on the left, his low ball into the six-yard box neatly turned home by Carville for a goal he richly deserved.
After the game Newry manager Darren Mullen was obviously happy with his sides display “This was a super performance from start to finish and the score line certainly doesn’t flatter us. Limavady are a very good side and are still in a very strong position but we needed this win today to keep on their tails. We were excellent all over the pitch and limited what has been the best attack in the league this season to very little. The message before the game was to get at them early and we certainly did that. Our movement, work rate and energy throughout the team was great to watch and it was a very satisfying win especially after last week’s disappointing result. We have a minimum of 6 games left and must treat each one of them like a cup final. Today’s performance has set a very high standard and we need to make sure it doesn’t drop for the remainder of those games. I would also like to mention the support that we had today which the players really appreciate and hopefully they continue to follow us in large numbers.”
Newry now travel to play Sport & Leisure on Tuesday 11th April, kick off @ 6:30 in their last fixture before the league splits. Further announcements on post-split fixtures will be posted both on the club’s web site and on social media.
Match Day Mascot Erin Harris definitely brought the boys good luck!!
Match Highights courtesy of NCAFC TV Ally McKenzie & Tommy Harris. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qr7vDtIzsc
Newry City AFC: Kieran Gordon, Kevin McArdle, Stephen McCabe, Paddy Mooney, John Boyle, Thomas McCann, Jimmy Walker, Keith Johnston, Mark McCabe, Declan Carville, Mark Hughes. Subs: Sean McMullan, Timmy Grant, Mark Patton, Marty Havern, Conor McCaul.
Limavady Utd: Paul Wells, Declan McKeever, Colin Murray, Graham Crown, John Watt, Paul Owens, Conor Harkin, Gary McFadden, Conor McCluskey, Robbie Hume, Joe McCready. Subs: Ray Kelly, Jordon Thompson, Marcus O’Kane, Conor Logue.