The emotion is clear as Declan Carville's knocks home Newry City's winner from the spot (®INPHO/William Cherry)
Friday, 04 May 2018
Newry City roared back from conceding two early goals to claim victory over Carrick Rangers in the first leg of the Premiership play-off at The Showgrounds.
Darren Henderson fired Rangers in front after just four minutes. A slip by Darren King allowed Andrew Mooney to dispossess him out on the right, before crossing for Henderson to touch the ball home at the near post.
It was 2-0 on ten minutes when Eamon McAllister delivered a right-sided corner which Paddy McNally half-volleyed through a packed penalty area just inside the left upright.
But Newry reduced the deficit nine minutes later courtesy of leading scorer Mark McCabe. He collected a punt forward from John Boyle, and, with his back to goal, turned to send the ball past Harry Doherty from outside the area.
Newry levelled midway through the first half when Stephen Hughes looped the ball over Doherty from around 12 yards after McCabe had played a clever backheel into his path.
Hughes almost doubled his tally soon after with a thumping strike from distance back off the post in a frantic spell during which he struck the crossbar, as did Mark Hughes.
However, Darren Mullen's side did move in front via Declan Carville's 35th minute spot-kick, successfully converted after Mark Edgar had been adjudged to have handled the ball.
And Newry might have extended their lead midway through the second half when, following a foul on Stephen Hughes, Carville stepped up for his second penalty of the game but, on this occasion, Doherty did well to make the save.
The return leg takes place at Carrick's Belfast Loughshore Hotel Area on Wednesday night (9th May), kick-off 7:45pm.
Newry City: Maguire, Noonan, King, Mooney, Boyle, McCann, S. Hughes, Carville, McCabe, McArdle, M. Hughes subs Mullen (not used), Walker (replaced S. Hughes 80), McCaul (replaced Mooney 86), McMahon (not used), Johnston (replaced McArdle 56)
Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Smyth, Edgar, McNally, Chapman, McAllister, Mooney, Larmour, Kottoy, Hassin, Henderson subs Gage (not used), Taggart (replaced Kottoy 70), Morrow (not used), Glackin (replaced Chapman 70), Anau (replaced McAllister 66)
Referee: Lee Tavinder