Annagh 1 : 4 Newry City (Under 18’s)
Newry U18s continued their winning streak with a third successive victory, this coming against Annagh U18s on Saturday morning. Right from the start Newry set about their opponents with D’Arcy and Cunningham having early strikes on goal. It wasn’t long before the breakthrough came when a free kick from Hodgett sent the ball goal wards from 35 yards, the ball evading everyone including the goalkeeper and ending up nestled in the net.
Although Newry continued to dominate possession Annagh drew level when they scored from a penalty awarded when Doak was adjudged to have pushed the striker in the back. Newry responded well to this setback and Gourley was unlucky when he attacked the Annagh defence, his shot past the post sending the keeper scrambling. Edgar then let loose with a stunning strike which went narrowly wide and the pressure finally told as Gourley set up Cunningham who stole in at the near post to slot home.
Annagh’s woes were added to when the referee had enough of persistent questioning from their midfielder who was shown a straight red card. Buoyed by this, Edgar added a third when his determination to win the ball ended in good possession 25 yards from goal, which he capitalised on by unleashing another terrific drive which gave the ‘keeper no chance. Right on the half time whistle Gourley played in Cunningham again and just as he was about to shoot it appeared to everyone except the referee that he had been clipped from behind. Alas the referee waved play on and the half ended 3-1.
Newry, now with an extra man, were in total control of the match and should have added a few more goals early in the second half. Indeed, some of their build up play was superb at times, the highlight being when Newry kept the ball for at least 10 minutes without any Annagh player touching it. This flowing movement of at least 60 passes ended when Gourley set up Redpath whose effort was deflected wide for a corner. It really would have been goal of the season but from the resulting corner kick Redpath got Newry’s reward when he rose majestically to head home.
There was still time for more drama as Annagh were awarded another penalty. Up stepped former Newry player Hill who struck his shot well only to see his shot brilliantly saved by Rowney in the Newry goal. Substitute Dillon could have added to the scoreline for Newry after another great ball in by Gourley but the game ended 4-1, a good job well done once again by a confident Newry side.
Newry City Team: Rowney, Redpath, Hodgett, Doak, Hastewell, Annett, Gourley, D’Arcy, Edgar, Cunningham, Lenaghan. Subs: King, Dillon.
Newry Times Man Of The Match: Ryan Gourley.
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