Sports Direct Premiership: Matchday 12

Newry City 0 - 2 Coleraine
13 Oct 2023 - 19:45Newry Showgrounds

CONOR McKendry’s goals either side of the half-time whistle saw Coleraine win 2-0 against a determined 10-man Newry City…

By: Charlie Cooke

Oran Kearney named an unchanged starting eleven from last weekend’s victory against Glenavon for the fixture at the Newry Showgrounds. The weather conditions didn’t affect the game, but it effected the spectators as the conditions made it a cold stand for the travelling Bannsiders.

With three minutes on the clock, McKendry had his first shot on target as he picked up the ball on the right wing, cut in and saw his near post shot saved by Steven Maguire.

Four minutes later,  Stephen Moan received a straight red card after a rash tackle which saw the defender make contact with Andy Scott’s upper calf with his studs and got none of the ball, leaving referee Steven Gregg no choice but to brandish a red card.

With 16 minutes played, Newry nearly scored through Ciaran O’Connor who rattled the post with a header, but fortunately for Coleraine, Gareth Deane was alert to the danger as the ball rebounded off the post.

Soon after, City would hit the upright yet again as a cut back found Barney McKeown inside the box and the ex-Portadown ace could only look on in anguish as his attempt smashed the post.

With 36 minutes on the clock, Deane made a brilliant save from a long-range free kick which saw the ball clipped into the box and onto the head of Ryan McGivern. The former Northern Ireland international guided his attempt on target which was instinctively pushed over the crossbar by an outstretched Deane.

Three minutes later, Matthew Shevlin made himself some space just outside the box with quick feet and he drilled his shot straight at Maguire who was able to deal with it comfortably.

As the game entered the latter stages of the first-half, McKendry sent a ball just by the post and into the side netting of the goal as Jack O’Mahony and Scott combined to create Conor’s scoring opportunity.

However, last action of the first-half saw Shevlin beat Maguire to the ball in the air, with the ball landing down in the box. A scramble would then ensue but McKendry was able to gain control of the ball and tap into an empty net to break the deadlock.

With three minutes gone in the second-half, Lyndon Kane intervened well as he was last man back as the defender shielded the ball with his body from the onrushing Daniel Hughes which allowed Deane to pick the ball up.

With 56 minutes played, Shevlin made a lung bursting run after a long through ball was played over the top and laid the ball back to McKendry. The winger’s first touch seemed to have ended any chances of getting a shot on goal but his endeavour meant he seized upon hesitancy between Maguire and McGivern to double his account for the evening.

With 77 minutes played, Darren Cole and Scott both had their shots blocked on the line following a corner, before McKendry saw his half volley caught by Maguire as he would be denied a hat-trick.

The last action of the game saw McKendry almost score again as he cut in from the right wing and forced Maguire into a smart save from just out the box.

Three points and a clean sheet made it a perfect evening for Oran Kearney’s men and the loyal band of travelling supporters.

The Bannsiders are next in Irish League action against Ballymena away from home next Saturday.

NEWRY CITY: Maguire, N. Healy, McGivern, McKeown, O’Connor (Forde ’64 mins), Carroll, Hughes (Newell ’74 mins), Lockhart (Mooney ’74 mins), Salley, Bagnall, Moan.

Subs Not Used: Murphy (GK), Martin, Owens, P. McGovern.

COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, McKendry, Shevlin, Carson, Lynch, Cole, O’Mahony, Wallace, Scott.

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), A. Jarvis, McDaid, Farren, Mitchell, Harkin, Devine.

Referee: Steven Gregg