NEWRY CITY 1 INSTITUTE 2
A first half double by skipper Michael McCrudden was enough to see Institute over the line for a well-deserved victory against a lacklustre Newry City on New Year’s Day.
While Dale Montgomery pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half, they rarely looked like levelling as Paddy McLaughlin’s men eased to their win.
Newry had the opening chance of the game seven minutes in when Tiernan Rushe’s corner from the right was flicked on by Stefan Lavery to Jimmy Walker, but his goalbound header was cleared off the line by the well-placed Stephen Curry.
However, it was Stute who deservedly went in front four minutes later with a bizarre goal from a Newry perspective.
Firstly, Dale Montgomery’s attempted clearance was charged down before Dara Noonan could only half-clear to the feet of Aaron Harkin 30 yards out. He dinked the ball forward to McCrudden and with the City defence seemingly expecting an offside flag, play continued and the Stute skipper got there before Andy Coleman to poked the ball home.
While the visitors were far and away the better team throughout the opening half, it was Newry who almost levelled on 25 minutes when Lavery’s first time cross from the right picked out Stephen Teggart at the back post and his header was deflected out for a corner by Aaron Jarvis.
Paddy McLaughlin’s men felt they should have had a penalty two minutes later when Ronan Wilson went down under the challenge of Montgomery, but Referee Ross Dunlop wasved away frantic appeals.
Then after Teggart had forced a fine save from Martin Gallagher from a 30-yard piledriver, Institute doubled their lead from the spot two minutes before half-time.
A short free-kick saw the ball fed into Joe McCready just inside the box and he was clearly taken down by a needless Rushe challenge and McCrudden made no mistake from 12 yards for his 18thgoal of the season.
Newry couldn’t be any worse in the second half and they halved the deficit five minutes after the restart when Caoimhin Bonner was adjudged to have handled in the box and Montgomery sent Gallagher the wrong way from the spot.
At the other end, Coleman kept Newry in it with a superb point-blank stop to deny Wilson, before Gallagher got a fingertip to Teggart’s shot across goal ten minutes from time as Newry pushed for an equaliser.
Newry City AFC: Coleman, Montgomery, King (McArdle 33), Noonan, Boyle, McCann, Walker, Teggart, Rushe (Delaney 62), S Hughes, Lavery (Mullen 80)
Subs not used: Maguire, M Hughes, Johnston, Durnin
Institute: Gallagher, McLaughlin, Bonner, D Curry, Doherty, A Harkin, S Curry (Moorehead 74), McCrudden (Brown 81), Jarvis, Wilson, McCready (J Morrow (90+4)
Subs not used: R Morrow, McIntyre, N Harkin, McCallion
Referee: Ross Dunlop