Scorers: Dave Kennedy & Christy Doyle
Newport faced into the tricky visit to Hogan Park to play league-leaders Hill Celtic after suffering a disappointing 4-3 home defeat to Ballylanders in the previous game. Minus a few regulars for various reasons, Manager, Marc Barry once again had to call on players from the B & C teams to bolster his squad.
On a decent surface, both teams set out to play decent passing football in an open and end-to-end first half. Both sides created good goal-scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes with Hill Celtic almost opening the scoring in the 28th minute but were denied by a goal-line block from Kieran ‘Fletch’ O’Sullivan. Not long after, Davy Ryan was replaced by James Lynch due to injury and a few minutes later the sub had a great chance to give Newport the lead, when he was slipped through by Christy Doyle after some great work by the striker. Unfortunately, Lynch blasted his shot over from inside the penalty box.
On 37 minutes, Newport keeper was relieved to see a well-struck Hill Celtic shot whistle just side of the post. On the stroke of half-time, Dave Kennedy produced a wonder-save from the home keeper, who did brilliantly to push his shot onto the post. 0-0 at half-time and anyone’s game.
3 minutes into the second half, Newport opened the scoring, when young winger, Dave Kennedy got on the end of a lovely slip pass from Clemy and drilled a low shot to the net. Going behind, saw Hill Celtic up their efforts and they began to take hold of the game with Newport dropping a little further in defence. As the game wore on, it seemed inevitable that the home side would score, and the goal duly arrived in the 73rd minute following a well-worked move, which ended with a well-struck low shot across the goal, which gave Brendan Coffey no chance.
Just 2 minutes later, Hill Celtic were given further encouragement, when Kieran O’Sullivan, who was having a fine game in the centre of defence, was unlucky to receive his second yellow card of the game and Newport were reduced to 10 men. At this stage, Newport would gladly have taken the point as Hill Celtic continued to swarm forward in search of the winner. However, there is great attitude & character about this year’s A team and against the odds, they dug in and when awarded a corner in the 89th minute, Kev O’Brien swung in a great ball which saw Christy Doyle rise highest to head powerfully home and put Newport back into the lead. This was Christy’s 7th goal of the season, 5 of which have been headers.
Once again, Hill Celtic pushed forward in search of an equaliser and Brendan Coffey was called into action a few times to deny them. When the final whistle blew, it was the Newport players, who were delighted to be bringing all 3 points back to Newport, while the home side & their supporters were left wondering how they had managed to lose the game. Next up for Newport is the visit of Shelbourne to Derryleigh on Sunday, September 9 before we travel to play Northside Legacy in the FAI Junior Cup on the following Sunday, September 16.
Team: Brendan Coffey, Mark McGuire, Kevin O’Brien, Kieran O’Sullivan, Christy O’Connor, Peter O’Sullivan, Dave Kennedy, Davy Ryan, Darren Collins, Brian O’Sullivan, Christy Doyle.
Subs: Dave O’Brien, Ben Wixted, James Lynch, Kev Connolly & Marc Barry.