Sports

City suffer second loss

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

City suffer second loss thumbnail NEWRY fullback Kevin McArdle shakes off a tackle from PSNI player Owen Moody during Saturday's Championship clash at the Showgrounds.

NEWRY City must wait for their first Bluefin Sport Championship point after losing their second game of the season on Saturday at home to PSNI.

NEWRY CITY...1
PSNI...2

The game swung on a crucial offside after 25 minutes, Decky Carville crossing for Mark McCabe to turn the ball into the net, but the Newry celebrations were cut short by the linesman's offside flag.

To rub salt in the wounds, from the resulting clearance it was the PSNI who grabbed the opening goal. Goalkeeper Jordan Williamson's long ball deceived the Newry defence but not the PSNI striker Owen Moody who ran onto the bouncing ball to cleverly lob Kieran Gordon to put the visitors a goal up, a lead which they held to half time.

The visitors almost doubled their advantage shortly after the restart, Mark McCullagh getting behind the Newry defence before whipping in a low cross which Kevin McArdle had to turn around the back post with Joe McWilliams waiting to tap in.

Newry drew level after 50 minutes with a goal made and scored by their best players on the day. Decky Carville picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove forward before splitting the police defence with a ball which invited Mark Hughes to run onto and slide the ball past Williamson for a clinical finish.

PSNI were unlucky not to regain the lead after 53 minutes, James Wright smashed a shot from all of 30 yards out which had Gordon beaten, only to rattle off the upright.

Although Newry dominated possession they struggled to find that necessary incisive pass and it was the visitors who took the lead with 15 minutes left.

Chris Watts turned the Newry defence inside out only to have his shot blocked by Gordon, however it fell to Joe McWilliams who turned the ball home from close range.

Newry battled back with McArdle testing Williamson with a free kick which the keeper tipped over his crossbar.

With time running out a low cross from McCabe was volleyed over the crossbar by Carville but in truth, an equaliser would have been harsh on the visitors who ran out worthy winners.

Newry manager Darren Mullen commented after the game: "This was a performance that was far from acceptable and I can only apologise to the fans.

"Unlike last week where we deserved something from the game we deserved absolutely nothing from this one.

"Whilst we had plenty of possession there's no point in having the ball when there's no end product. We looked comfortable without really threatening them in the first half and then fell behind to a sloppy goal that could easily have been prevented.

"We then got ourselves back into the game but never looked like building on that goal and got punished.

"As manager I take responsibility for any defeat but the players will need to realise how difficult this season is going to be and apply themselves accordingly.

"Losing Darren King and Jimmy Walker in the warm up along with Rambo's absence and injuries to Ian Curran, Conor McCaul and Paddy Mooney has stretched us but it's up to others to step up and take their chance.

"What we need to do now as a group is make sure we learn from our mistakes and take that frustration into the game on Friday night (v Loughgall at The Showgrounds - kick off 7.45pm)."

Newry City AFC: Gordon, McArdle, Cunningham, Patton, Boyle, McMahon, McCann, Havern, McCabe, Carville, Hughes.

Subs: Johnston, Gray, Grant, Mullen, Richmond.

PSNI: Williamson, McCullagh, McCrory, McDermott, A Wright, Douglas, Wilson, J Wright, Watts, Moody, McWilliams.

Subs: Khan, McClurg, Riddle, Montgomery, Cairns.

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