Newry City Reserves 3 – 0 Ballymena United Reserves (06/10/18)
Newry City Reserves welcomed league high fliers Ballymena United to the Showgrounds hoping to bounce back from the previous week’s disappointment away to Coleraine.
The away side started very brightly with Lewis Hunter being called into action in the first minute to keep out a stunning long range effort from ex-Glentoran ace Steven McAlorum.
As the game progressed, Newry got themselves a foothold in the game and were rewarded when a clever reverse pass from TJ Hughes was picked up on the edge of the box by Josh Durnin who cooly curled a left footed effort into the bottom corner in the 35 minute to give the home side a 1-0 lead going into the interval.
As expected, Ballymena threw everything at Newry in the second half and showed just exactly why they are sitting so high in the table. In doing that though, they left gaps which were cleverly exposed by the young Newry team. A wonderful run in the 78th minute from his own penalty area down the right hand side by skipper Matty Taylor was justly rewarded when his cross was met by Sokei John at the back post to make it 2 -0.
Before Ballymena had time to regroup it was 3-0 when in the 80th minute, when Sokei John grabbed his second of the game rounding the keeper and tapping into an empty net after a through ball from Lee Hutchinson.
Newry remained firm to maintain a clean sheet and put another three points on the board.
Newry City: Lewis Hunter, Leigh Crooks, Zach Annett, Mark McCullough, Thomas McGreevy, Matthew Taylor ©, Josh Durnin, Lee Hutchinson, Sokei John, TJ Hughes, Ryan Duffy
Subs: Kealan Morgan, Dean Morgan, Jordan Mackey, Jervis McCaul, Jordan Copeland
Newry City U20s 1 – 1 Linfield Swifts (17/10/18)
Newry City Reserves welcomed table toppers Linfield Swifts to the Showgrounds on Wednesday night in the hope of ending the Swifts unbeaten league record to date.
In front of a big crowd and under the watchful eye of first team boss David Healy, Linfield started the game at a frantic pace and it took a last ditch tackle from centre half Mark McCullough in the second minute from stopping local lad Adam Carroll from opening the scoring for the away side.
Chances were aplenty at both ends thereafter with Josh Durnin, TJ Hughes and Conal Delaney going close for Newry whilst Daniel Reynolds and Mark Stafford saw efforts well stopped by Hunter. Although the pace was relentless both teams went in at the break level at 0-0.
The half time break didn’t seem to count for either side as the second half began in a similar fashion to the way in which the first ended, with both sides have a real go at it. It was Linfield though who drew first blood in the 62nd minute when Caomhan McGuiness’ cross into the box from the right evaded everyone in the Newry defence and Brandon Doyle headed home at the back post to make it 1 – 0 to the visitors much to the delight of the travelling away support.
Full credit to the young Newry side as they didn’t allow this setback to affect them and after a brilliant piece of link up play in midfield between Matty Taylor and Conal Delaney, the latter’s deep cross was met by the onrushing Taylor on the six yard box to powerfully head home the equaliser in the 65th minute.
Less than two minutes later it could have and probably should have another for the home side when Delaney’s ball from the right was powerfully volleyed against the upright from TJ Hughes from 12 yards with Dylan Stewart in the Linfield goal rooted to the spot.
As the game drew to a finish, Newry had one last chance to snatch it in injury time when skipper Taylor’s powerful surge into the box and stinging drive drew a magnificent save from Stewart to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.
Newry City: Lewis Hunter, Thomas McGreevy, Noel Healy, Jordan Mackey, Mark McCullough, Matthew Taylor ©, Josh Durnin, Dale Montgomery, TJ Hughes, Conal Delaney, Zach Annett
Subs: Lee Hutchinson, Sokei John, Ryan Duffy, Jervis McCaul, Kealan Morgan
Commenting on the two results, Newry Reserves’ boss Ronan Casey said:
“Since our defeat in Coleraine, the lads have been magnificent. The performance against Ballymena was first class as they were extremely strong and I could see why they are highly regarded in this league. Full credit to our boys in that game though. Their pressing and movement was superb and at no stage did they panic when Ballymena held possession for long periods. Three nil certainly didn’t flatter us.
Coming up against Linfield was always going to be the yardstick for us. They have been hitting teams for cricket scores this season which isn’t surprising when you see the wealth of talent they have at their disposal. We had spoken at length in training through the week about giving a good account of ourselves and focusing on all of our own attributes and performing those well. If we did that, we felt we could we could really trouble them and that we did. On another night we could well have taken all the points but to take 4 points in a week from the top two sides in the division isn’t a bad return. We look forward to welcoming Moneyslane to the Showgrounds on Saturday in the Premier Intermediate Cup before our next outing in the league at home to Glenavon on Halloween night.”