Newry progress in divisional cup!

Newry City gained swift revenge over their Mid-Ulster opponents Hanover at the Showgrounds on Friday evening. Having suffered a penalty shootout exit in the Marshall cup mid-January in Portadown the Newry boys were not in the mood to let another competition slip away and took severe retribution dominating this Wilson Cup match from start to finish running out very comfortable 5-0 winners.

As in Newrys last game Jimmy Walker was at the centre of everything that was good with their play and again gave a man of the match display in wet and holding conditions which were not necessarily designed for his style of silky passing football.

It only took 4 minutes for Walker to show that he was in the mood. Picking up a throw in some 40 yards from goal wide on the right Walker worked his way in field before curling a left foot shot from 30 yards which beat the despairing dive of Short in the Hanover goal who was unfortunate to see the ball cannon down from the crossbar and rebound of his prostrate body into the net to put Newry 1-0 up.

Walker had an opportunity to double the advantage on the quarter hour mark. Falling deep inside his own half to take a pass from Joel Annett, Walker moved into the Hanover half before finding Niall Crilly on the right wing. Crilly made some ground before returning the ball to Walker who skipped around a couple of defenders bringing him inside the box with only Short to beat, his low shot alas blocked by the legs of the keeper.

Goal number two came on 30 minutes. Mark Lowry, who with Paddy Mooney, had been showing up well on either wing, won and took a corner from the right. Mark Patton, who as usual won every ball which came his way, did well to get his head to the cross on the edge of the box finding Neil Barr on the penalty spot. With his back to goal Barr swivelled to blast the bouncing ball high to the roof of the Hanover net to put Newry 2-0 up.

Paddy Mooney made it two goals in two games since his transfer back to Newry from Warrenpoint Town five minutes later. From right back Crilly repeatedly gets involved in Newry attacks and he again weighed in with assists in this match, for this goal bringing the ball from his own half to an attacking position inside the Hanover half from where he found Lowry. Lowry beat his marker and made for the by line before crossing the ball along the ground where it was met on the edge of the six yard box by a perfectly timed run from Mooney who calmly slotted his shot past Short for goal number three.

Matters got worse for Hanover on 40 minutes when with the only bad challenge of the game Hanover’s right back Alex Scott scythed Mooney down with a sliding challenge from behind which gave referee Gerard Murray little option but to show him a straight red card.

There was still more to come from Newry before half time with perhaps the best passing based goal of the season. Walker again picked the ball up around midfield and bounced passes off Chris McMahon, Gary McVicker and Andy McLarty as he progressed up field and into the Hanover penalty area this time making no mistake placing his shot wide of Short to give Newry an unassailable 4-0 lead at half time.

Newry continued on the front foot in the second half with both Patton and McLarty giving the Hanover rear guard all sorts of trouble. Indeed the bustling McLarty could have added to the tally with a few efforts which he created himself with some strong runs down Newrys right wing.

The sustained pressure did eventually culminate in goal number five on the hour mark when Crilly won possession on the edge of the Hanover penalty area before dinking a delightful chip to Walker inside the box. Walker instantly controlled the ball and dummied the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the open net.

With the match decided and the requisite amount of time played to allow the result to stand referee Gerard Murray blew the final whistle around the 75 minute mark to give all present some respite from the appalling conditions.

This was a solid performance from Newry which was gilded by the skill of Jimmy Walker. Solid at the back with Murphy, McElroy and Annett mopping up the little which came their way, the rest of the team spent the evening attacking the Hanover goal and on another day could have had more goals.

Speaking after the game Newry manager Darren Mullen said “I’m delighted with the performance, the result and also with the debut of young local lad Lee Courtney who started the season playing for the under 17 side. Lee’s debut shows that young players will get the chance at the Showgrounds if they are good enough and willing to work hard.”

Newrys next game is a Mid Ulster Intermediate B fixture on Saturday 15th Feb, 14:15hrs away to Moneyslane.  The Newry City travel club will be running a bus to this game. The bus will leave the Stonebridge at 13:00hrs and all are welcome.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Walker

Newry City AFC Team: Peter Murphy, Chris McMahon, Niall Crilly, Joel Annett, Paul McElroy, Gary McVicker, Paddy Mooney, Mark Lowry, Neil Barr, Mark Patton, Jimmy Walker. Subs: Graeme Edgar (Walker), Andy McLarty (Lowry), Lee Courtney (Crilly), David Anderson, Joe Campbell, Ian Curran and Peter Thompson.