City exit Radcliffe Cup on penalties
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
NEWRY City AFC fluffed an opportunity to snap up some early-season silverware when they exited the Rob Radcliffe Cup at the semi-final stage after a penalty shoot-out at the Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.
Newry City AFC...2
Coagh United ...2
(Coagh won 8-7 on penalties)
It wasn't a great night to be a City fan and despite an explosive start when, with any luck, they could have gone four goals in front, Newry dropped off the pace in alarming fashion to let the visitors back into contention.
After two defeats on the bounce Darren Mullen's side obviously lacked a little confidence, but still after netting two goals in the first seven minutes, it was disappointing to see their early almost total dominance vanish as the match progressed.
Newry blasted out of the blocks and with just three minutes gone Keith Johnston ran though and fired into the net from 12 yards. Four minutes later City doubled their advantage with Johnston the play-maker, the wee man cutting the ball back from the left to Decky Carville who bulged the net from 15 yards.
At this stage Newry were rampant and could have added to their tally and indeed killed off their rivals, but the United keeper William Hassan denied Mark Patton, Jimmy Walker, Carville and Johnston in the space of 10 minutes.
In that opening 25-minutes Coagh scarcely had a kick. Newry kept the pressure on and again Hassan bailed out his side when he dropped to deny Johnston and then after a Mark Hughes cut-back from the left, Carville fired over the top.
The first hint that Coagh were in the match came on 32 minutes when keeper Peter Murphy had to be nippy to save when Daniel McKinless read a short Chris McMahon back-pass.
Still a minute later at the other end Keith Johnston broke through and was one-on-one with Hassan but the net-minder saved superbly. However, at the break few would have doubted Newry's chances of reaching the Bob Radcliffe final.
That opinion rapidly changed as just two minutes after the restart Richard Donaghy broke through on the right to fire past Murphy's right hand and into the bottom corner.
Coagh's tails were up and they had the ball in the Newry net again on 61 minutes but the referee saw a push on Murphy. It was a warning though and just 60 seconds later came the real thing. After a James Ferguson free-kick into a crowded box, Mark Taylor poked low into the net from 10-yards.
Murphy then did well to keep out a McKindless drive while Mark Patton made an excellent goal-line clearance with his keeper beaten.
Newry did have a few half chances: Jimmy Walker side-footed past the post while substitute Marty Havern was too high after a Johnston cross from the left.
But Newry must have guessed it wasn't going to be their night when on 87 minutes Hassan tipped a beautiful Mark Hughes free-kick onto and over the bar.
Ten minutes each way of extra-time brought no further scoring but in the final minute of that extra-time the referee flashed a red-card at Decky Carville for a seemingly harmless push on Coagh's James Ferguson.
Anyway into the penalty shoot-out and there were some beautiful spot kicks and indeed 15 in succession were scored. Coagh went first and netted all five, via Andrew Neill, Richard Donaghy, James Ferguson, William Hassan and Davy McMullan while Timmy Grant, Marty Havern, Ian Curran, Mark Hughes and Jimmy Walker kept the scoring level by also netting.
It then went to sudden death with Stephen Glasgow, Jason Ferry and Robert Allen drilling into the home net. And although keeper Peter Murphy and Jordan King netted for the City, sadly the Coagh keeper Hassan guessed right and won the match for his side when he dropped to his right to save from Neil Mullen.
NEWRY CITY: Peter Murphy, Chris McMahon, Jordan King, Neil Mullen, Conor McCaul, Mark Patton, James Walker, Thomas McCaul, Decky Carville, Keith Johnston, Mark Hughes. Subs: Marty Havern, Ian Curran and Timmy Grant.
COAGH UNITED: William Hassan, Scott McGeown, James Ferguson, Stephen Glasgow, Davy McMullan, Jason Ferry, Matthew Glendenning, Daniel McKinless, Andrew Neill, Stuart Glasgow, Mark Taylor. Subs: Richard Donaghy and Robert Allen.
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