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Town and City draw in pre-season derby

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Town and City draw in pre-season derby thumbnailMarty Havern in action

WARRENPOINT Town began brightly in their pre-season friendly against Newry City AFC at Milltown on Saturday. Indeed the Town could have been two up after just 11 minutes.


Warrenpoint Town... 1
Newry City... 1


But after that good start things went steadily downhill for the Seasiders and in fact with a wee bit of luck, City might have snatched a bragging rights' victory in this derby match.

Newry manager Darren Mullen believed this to be the case as he told the Democrat: "I didn't get carried away when Linfield beat us 6-0 and I'm not getting carried away after a draw with Warrenpoint. But I did think we should have beaten the Point."

The Town boss continued: "The result today shows we're progressing and getting a draw against Premier opposition gives us confidence.

"People have criticised me for arranging matches against the likes of Linfield, Glenavon, Cliftonville and Warrenpoint but I think we should be preparing for the new season with hard games as I think it gets us ready us for tough tests ahead.

Today the lads were excellent, their work-rate was good and they were happy afterwards. They are enjoying their football."

On the other hand Town boss Matthew Tipton said he was 'a bit frustrated.'

"We didn't play as well as we could have done. Still we wanted a tough game so from that point of view it was good. Some things obviously weren't as good as we would have liked.

"But we'll be up to speed when the season starts. Then the new players will have bedded in and will be playing the way myself and our coaches want."

On the first match of the new season at home on Saturday, August 12 at 5.30pm, Tipton said: "Glenavon are a good team and we expect the first game to be tough."

But back to Saturday's match. The home side almost went in front after just four minutes when Luke Fisher slammed a blistering drive off the City crossbar with keeper Kieran Gordon a spectator.

But seven minutes later the Town did hit the target. Conor McMenamin crossed from out on the right flank with Darren Murray popping up at the back post to steer a neat header into the far corner.

And after the trouncing Newry received at the hands of Linfield, the City fans must have been fearing the worse. But it just didn't happen. Newry bounced back from this early set-back and went so close on levelling on 16 minutes. After a Jimmy Walker close-range indirect freekick was charged down, Stephen Hughes thumped a wicked drive off the home crossbar.

A warning? Warrenpoint didn't heed it and on 23 minutes Newry equalised. And two ex-Town men were involved. Keith Johnson did great work out on the right before playing a delightful through ball to another former Seasider, with Stephen Hughes taking the pass in his stride before blasting a low drive beyond the right hand of Johnny Parr and into the back of the 'Point net.

For the rest of the match the sides cancelled each other out. Still Newry had the best of the scoring opportunities with substitutes Kevin McArdle and Marty Havern each going close while Jimmy Walker had a half chance.

Best for the home side were skipper Stephen Moan, keeper Johnny Parr and substitute Sean Mackle while Darren King, Stephen Hughes, Mark Hughes and John Boyle each did well against their former club.

Next Saturday Warrenpoint host Comber Rec at Milltown while on the same day Newry City face Portmarnock at the Showgrounds.

 

Warrenpoint Town: Johnny Parr, Seanna Foster, Stephen Moan, Jordan Dane, Luke Fisher, Neil McCaffrey, TJ Murray, Martin Murray, Conor McMenamin, Darren Murray and Stephen Murray with subs: Sean Mackle, Anton Reilly, Matty Parker, Beerat Turker, Jeremiah Dabrowski, Lorcan Forde and Darius Roohi.

 

Newry City AFC: Kieran Gordon, Darren King, Ruairi Cunningham, John Boyle, Mark Patton, Chris McMahon, Jimmy Walker, Keith Johnston, Caolan Gray, Stephen Hughes and Mark Hughes with subs: Timmy Grant, Thomas McCann, Marty Havern, Decky Carville and Kevin McArdle.

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