Photo above: Jimmy Walker receives his Man of The Match award from Newry Coach Jervis McCaul. Photo:Brendan Monaghan
Wins in seven out of eight cup matches played so far this season will have pleased Newry manager Darren Mullen with the latest coming at the Showgrounds on Saturday when his team beat Loughall Reserves 3-1 in the Marshall Cup.
In an entertaining game Loughall went ahead against the run of play after 7th minutes when Nathaniel Ferris latched onto a long pass into the Newry penalty before brushing off a challenge and dispatching his shot past Chris Davison to put Loughall a goal up. This came minutes after Newry had themselves gone close to scoring. Mark Patton, back in his familiar centre forward role, guided a knock down header to the feet of Keith Johnson who twisted one way and then the other before side footing his shot towards the corner of the Loughall goal, unfortunate to see the ball hit the post. Newry continued to dominate possession making a series of decent goal scoring chances. On the quarter hour mark Man of the Match Jimmy Walker chipped a centrally positioned free kick over the defence which Paul Donegan met with a side foot volley across the face of the Loughall goal, the cross cleared as the waiting Neil Barr was about to pounce. Minutes later it was Mark Lowrys turn to threaten. Receiving a pass from Niall Crilly on the edge of the box Lowry spun his marker and fired in a low shot which Robinson in the Loughall nets held at the second attempt. The home side had a great chance to equalize with 25 minutes gone. Graeme Edgar floated a high ball in towards target man Patton who was winning every ball which came his way. Patton nodded the ball into the path of Barr now with a free run on goal, the usually clinical striker unable to get control into his shot which went harmlessly wide. The only remaining threat to either goal came on the half hour mark, Lowry coming short to receive a free kick from Walker and setting up Kenny Kearns who from 30 yards out slammed his shot into the mid drift of the Loughall keeper to leave the half time score 0-1.
The defining moments of the tie came in the 46th minute when Barr and the Loughall keeper Robinson were set in a race for the ball on the edge of the Loughall penalty box. When both players met with the ball at the same moment the ball spun to just outside the box where Robinson, perhaps in the belief that he had been fouled, picked it up. Awarding a free kick outside the box the referee was left with little option other than to show Robinson a red card. If Loughall felt aggrieved by this their hurt was doubled when Walker stepped up to curl the free kick around the wall and into the bottom corner of the net to level the score. Newry scored again on the 50th minute when Lowry used his pace to run onto a Crilly through ball, shrugging off a challenge as he bore down on goal before shooting low into the near corner of the Loughall goal. Lowry was again involved on the hour mark when Kearns played a clever ball inside the corner back, Lowry cutting in from the wing to drill a low cross across the penalty area which was met by Barr who brought an excellent reaction save from the Loughall stand in keeper John McConville.
For their part even though a man down Loughall had moments when they looked dangerous, twice in successive movements Crilly was called upon to rescue the home side as he swept up some threatening positions.
The game also saw the introduction to the 1st team of Newrys youth team player Gary Crummy who showed his potential getting involved in play immediately after coming onto the pitch with 20 minutes remaining. Released by Crilly, Crummy swung over a high cross which was met by Patton on the back post, his knock down header wasted as no Newry player’s had anticipated the chance. Crummy was again involved minutes later carrying the ball from midfield to outside the Loughall penalty area where he set up Johnston with a shooting chance, his effort alas wide of the post.
Newry wrapped the game up in the final minutes when a perfectly guided long pass from defence by Donegan gave Chrissy Fay a free run on the Loughall goal, the speedy winger making no mistake as he drilled a low shot into the far bottom corner of the net to send Newry into the next round as 3-1 winners.
Speaking after the game Newry manager Mullen said “We were frustrated at half time as we had enough chances to be in front but paid the price for some poor defending. They were a good young side but apart from the first 20 minutes we controlled most of the game but were wasteful in possession. The sending off of their keeper obviously had a bearing on the game but we had shown enough signs in the last 25 minutes of the first half that we were in the ascendency. It’s another cup win and we look forward to the next round. It was also pleasing to give young Gary Crummy his debut and he certainly did not look out of place. He showed up really well in training this week and at 17 looks a good prospect”
Newry City AFC: Davison, Crilly, Edgar, Donegan, McMahon, Kearns, Walker, Patton, Barr, Johnston, Lowry Subs: McMullan, Fay, Crummy, Brilly, Moan.
Newrys next game is on Tuesday 14th Oct @ 8pm at home to Dromore Amateurs in the Mid Ulster Cup. On Saturday 18th Newry travel to Seapatrick for a Premier Cup fixture with a 2:15pm kick off. NCAFC travel club bus will leave the Stonebridge @ 1.30 pm, all welcome.