Ladies suffer opening home defeat

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Ladies suffer opening home defeat thumbnailAIMEE Mackin on the attack for Newry City Ladies against Glentoran last Wednesday night.

NEWRY City Ladies slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Glentoran Belfast United, in their opening home fixture of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership last Wednesday (March 29).

Newry City Ladies ...0
Glentoran Belfast United 3

Confidence was high in the Newry camp going into this match, following their impressive 4-2 win away to Crusaders Ladies, in their league opener the previous week.

But at the Showgrounds on Wednesday evening, this new look Newry team found the going tough against a strong Glentoran side.

The scoreline wasn't as one sided it suggests though, as the Newry Ladies gave as good as they got for long periods of the game.

Newry's starting eleven featured just three surviving members from last season's squad - Amy McAllister, Moya Feehan and Aimee Mackin.

No less than seven Brazilian players, all of whom were signed in the close season by Newry manager Stephen Hatfield, had their first taste of competitive football on the Showgrounds turf.

While another new signing, ex-Chelsea and Manchester City player Trudi Harbinson, who netted a hat-trick on her competitive debut for Newry against Crusaders Ladies last week, also made her home debut for the club.

Newry started the brighter of the two teams, with both Amanda Dias and Aimee Mackin registering efforts for the home side early on in the game.

In the 17th minute, Newry were dealt a blow when star player Moya Feehan was forced to leave the field of play with a hamstring injury.

Feehan was having a fine game, and the loss of the Newry ace undoubtedly had a detrimental effect on the outcome of the game for the hosts.

Newry received a further setback midway through the first half, falling behind to a header from veteran Glentoran centre-half Kellie Bailie.

In the 26th minute, Newry responded with a fiercely struck effort from the lively Aimee Mackin, which flew straight into the grateful arms of Glentoran 'keeper McKinnon.

Mackin, whose influence on the game was growing as the half progressed, was Newry's biggest threat going forward.

On the stroke of half time, Mackin launched a powerful surging run through the Glentoran defence, only to be denied by a terrific interception by Glentoran's Jess Foy at the final hurdle.

Newry began the second half pressing at every opportunity, with Trudi Harbinson and Elenize Belem dictating play in the midfield.

But the wind was knocked from Newry's sails when they fell further behind in the 70th minute.

Glentoran were awarded an indirect free-kick, after Newry 'keeper Dhebora Barbosa mistakenly picked up a back pass.

The dead ball was laid off to ex-Newry player Ali McMaster, and from ten yards out she thumped the ball into the roof of the net against her former team.

Newry were now desperately trying to find a way back into this match, but they struggled to break down a resolute Glentoran rearguard.

Deep into injury time, Newry's misery was further compounded when Glentoran's Rebecca McKenna took advantage of a mix up in the home defence and slotted home, moments before the full time whistle.

Speaking to the Democrat after the match, Newry manager Stephen Hatfield was less than impressed with his side's performance.

“We were absolutely brutal, there's no two ways about it. I think after last week a wee bit of complacency set in," said Hatfield.

“It was just a bad day at the office. Glentoran took their chances well and they were full value for their win."

Despite the defeat, Hatfield, who replaced outgoing Ladies manager Ryan McConville in the close season, is remaining optimistic about his side's prospects for the rest of the campaign.

“Hopefully we can't play as badly as that again. There's still plenty of games left to play in this league, so there's plenty of time to turn it around. We've still players to come back into the side as well," he said.

“Republic of Ireland international, Grace Murray, has to come back to us, she's been in London lately with work.

“Kate Flood, who came off the bench in the second half, is only coming back from injury. She's a very strong player as well.

“We've a few others missing at the moment as well with Gaelic football, so we're waiting on them coming back in too."

Newry City Ladies will hope to get back on the winning trail in their next league fixture away to Cliftonville Ladies tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 5).


NEWRY CITY LADIES: Dhebora Barbosa, Amy McAllister, Luany De Sousa, Jaqueline Gomes, Elenize Belem (Replaced by Clara Mulvenna, 62'), Moya Feehan (Replaced by Blaithin Mackin, 17'), Trudi Harbinson, Rayza De Souza, Amanda Dias, Patricia Da Silva (Replaced by Kate Flood, 62'), Aimee Mackin. Subs not used: Aine Hoye and Megan Cinnamond.


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