Newry City gathered another valuable three points on Tuesday night with an emphatic win over Seapatrick thanks to a hat trick from the mercurial Jimmy Walker, a brace from Sean Hand and the obligatory strike from Sean McMullan. Although that six goal victory was probably the minimum winning margin that the home side deserved Newry manager Darren Mullen was happy to seal the points and move on to the weekend game at Ballymacash “Although the scoreline doesn’t flatter us we still made hard work of the game in the first half. We needed to improve in the second and certainly did that without ever really being troubled. The conditions didn’t help either team but we created loads of chances and looked dangerous every time we went forward. Decky Carville’s return to the team gives us another dimension and he works well alongside Walker and McCann. It was also great to see Stephen McCabe back in action and I’ve no doubt he will be a huge asset to us for the remainder of the season. The clean sheet was also pleasing considering we uncharacteristically conceded three in our last game. Saturday’s game will be a lot tougher but one we are looking forward to.’
In a game that they would have expected to win it was important that Newry got off to a good start and they got the early goal they needed after only eight minutes, Keith Johnston crossing from the right wing, McMullan’s run to the front post attracting the Seapatrick defence, the ball eluding everyone except Hand who had held his run outside the box and was now able to take a touch before drilling the ball into the bottom corner of the net to put Newry an early goal up.
Seapatrick had an immediate chance to reply Michael Cunningham’s shot from the edge of the box squirming under Newry keeper Peter Murphy who quickly reacted to smother the ball with Cunningham following up.
At the other end McMullan almost made it two, taking possession on the edge of the box with his back to goal the big man shifted the ball to his left in doing so losing his marker and with Buchanan advancing from his line McMullan took the clever option, deftly chipping the ball over his head only to be denied by Adam Kerr who got back to hook the ball over his own crossbar.
On twenty minutes it was to be 2-0, neat interplay between Decky Carville and Hand ended when the later was taken down inside the box, the referee with little option but to award a penalty to Newry which was safely tucked home by McMullan for his 33rd goal of the season.
Completely dominant, Newry’s failure was that they only added a further goal before half time and a collector’s item it was. Carville and Johnston combining to make room to cross into the box finding the unlikely head of Jimmy Walker who cleverly nodded the ball over Buchanan to put Newry 3-0 up at the break.
Straight after the break it was 4-0, Hand winning a race with Walker for a loose ball which he took on the bounce lobbing over the advancing Buchanan to seal any faint hopes which Seapatrick might have harboured.
That said the visitors never stopped competing and broke forward in numbers at every opportunity. However they never looked like breaching a composed Newry defence and ultimately this attacking attitude produced further chances for Newry.
Goal number five came on the hour mark, Walker broke forward and with a host of choices he slipped the ball to the recently introduced Mark Patton who blasted in a shot which Buchanan could only block out to Walker who had continued his run into the box and was now perfectly placed to give the keeper no chance as he claimed Newry’s fifth.
In miserable conditions Newry were content to keep possession but still created enough opportunities to hit double figures before the final whistle with wayward shooting and some fine saves from Buchanan keeping the score line respectable. That was until the final moments when Newry could have had three goals in as many minutes. First Thomas McCann, who had yet another power house display in the Newry mid field, picked the ball upon the half way line, carrying possession to the edge of the box before bringing the best out of Buchanan with a dipping shot which the keeper did well to push wide. Newry had also introduced Mark Lowry and he created the next chance slipping a clever ball through the Seapatrick defence for Walker to run onto, Walker’s fleet of foot to twist in possession too much for a weary Seapatrick defender who took his legs away resulting in Newrys second penalty of the evening. Eyeing a hat trick Walker claimed the spot kick but was denied the goal, pulling the spot kick the wrong side of the post. However, he was not to be denied the match ball for long as with time running out the mid fielder picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch and ran at Seapatrick defence before picking his spot from the edge of the area to claim his hat trick and much deserved Man of the Match award!
Newry City: Murphy, McMahon, Edgar, Mullen, Curran, McCann, Walker, Johnston, Carville, Hand Subs: Patton, Lowry, McCabe, McVerry, Martin