Newry City Reserves welcomed Dungannon Swifts second string to the Showgrounds on Wednesday night. Having picked up a valuable away point on the road the previous week at Ballymena, Newry hoped to secure further points ahead of a really tough run of fixtures over the festive period.
The game got off to an unbelievable start with three goals in the first four minutes to put Newry 2- 1 ahead. A brace from Keith Johnston either side of a Marcio Soares strike for the visitors saw Newry race into an early lead. However they were quickly pegged back when Daniel Hughes equalised from a free-kick on the edge of the area in the tenth minute. It went downhill spectacularly after that with a further two goals from Hughes and a tap in from Caolian Coyle saw the visitors go into the break with a 5 – 2 advantage.
Half time: Newry City Reserves 2 – 5 Dungannon Swifts Reserves
Newry started the second half brightly in an attempt to salvage some pride after the late collapse in the first. TJ Hughes made it 5-3 when he rifled home from the edge of the area after a clever knock back from Keith Johnston in the 50th minute. Two minutes later it was 5-4 when Johnston saw his effort go in off the post to complete his hat-trick.
On the hour mark though, the visitors extended their lead when Daniel Hughes’ shot was well stopped by Lewis Hunter but the rebound hit the unfortunate Zach Annett who turned it into his own net. Straight from the kick off it was Newry who hit the net again when Josh Durnin raced through and tapped home after an excellent through ball from Matty Taylor. The game continued end to end for the next half hour and as Newry committed more bodies forward in an attempt to get an equaliser, they were picked off twice at the end to seal the win for the visitors
Full time: Newry City Reserves 5 – 8 Dungannon Swifts Reserves
Speaking to newrycityafc.co.uk after the match, Newry Reserves boss Ronan Casey was less than enamoured with his side’s display.
“Anybody looking at the result may think this game was a thriller but it was far from it. It was the worst team performance these lads have served up in my time here. There was a complete lack of fight, belief, energy and an unwillingness to do the dirty work that this fixture required,” blasted Casey. “Fair play to Dungannon who rolled their sleeves up on a cold and wet winter’s night and our boys should pay heed to that. If we aren’t prepared to work hard first and foremost, we will be in serious trouble for the rest of the season. We have a few new faces coming in January when the window opens and that can’t come quick enough on tonight’s showing.”
Next up for Casey’s men is successive away trips to Linfield and Glentoran in the next 10 days.
Newry City Reserves: Lewis Hunter, Leigh Crooks, Zach Annett, Jordan Mackey, Dean Morgan, Conal Delaney, Josh Durnin, Keith Johnston, Sokemeibi John, TJ Hughes, Ryan Duffy
Subs: Keelan Morgan, Matthew Taylor, Tiarnan Murphy, Niall McGivern, Adam Taylor