Scorers: Christy Doyle 2, Brian O’Sullivan & Dave Kennedy
Newport advanced to the quarter-finals of this season’s Lawson Cup following a great 4-3 comeback win over Hyde Rangers in Derryleigh Park on Sunday morning. Two goals from Christy Doyle, a penalty from Brian O’Sullivan & a late winner from substitute, Dave Kennedy ensured that we will make the away trip to fellow Div 1B side, Hill Celtic in the last eight stage.
A tough game was expected as Hyde are top of Div 2A with a 100% record and they were coming to Newport to take a scalp from a division above. Hyde took the lead in the 15th minute and then doubled their lead in the 20th minute to leave Newport 2-0 down after the concession of two sloppy goals. Newport were struggling to get into any sort of a rhythm and playing into a strong wind in the first half wasn’t helping their cause. However Newport were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when Christy Doyle was in the right place to get on the end of a low cross across the box from Brian O’Sullivan out on the left after he picked up a loose ball when a free was blocked down by Hyde. 2-1 down at half-time and with the wind at their back in the second half, the home supporters were hopeful of a comeback.
Newport started much brighter in the second half and that man Doyle was on hand again in the 60th minute to head home the equaliser from a free-kick and make it 30 for the season in all competitions. Not long after, the in-form striker had a great chance to put Newport ahead but his delicate lob over the keeper just went the wrong side of the crossbar. In the 70th minute, Hyde were awarded a penalty, which most felt was a very harsh decision by referee Peiper, however the Hyde player didn’t show any sympathy when blasting home from the spot to put them back in front.
Try as they might, Newport were struggling to get back on terms and with time running out it looked like it would be Hyde going through to the next round. However with just 3 minutes remaining, Newport were awarded a penalty for handball and captain, Brian O’Sullivan kep his nerve to calmly slot home. With the clock deep in injury time, extra time was looming but Peter O’Sullivan picked up the ball in the middle of the park and threaded a pin-point pass to Dave Kennedy out on the left and the substitute did brilliantly to slot the ball home under the onrushing Hyde keeper to seal a great comeback. Newport rode their luck at times and Hyde might feel that they had a good claim for a penalty turned down in the second half but huge credit to the home players for digging deep, not panicking and showing great character against a very good Hyde side.
Promotion is still the main objective for Marc Barry’s side but a good run in the Lawson Cup is a real bonus as we look forward to an away quarter-final in Hogan Park in the next few weeks. Thanks to Barry Windows for their very kind sponsorship of the new A team jerseys, that were worn for the first time today.
Match Squad: Harry Ryan, Kev Connolly, Mark McGuire, Elliott Slattery, Jimmy Fyfe, Peter O’Sullivan, Davy Ryan, Christy O’Connor, Christy Doyle, Sean Ryan, Brian O’Sullivan (Capt). Subs Used Dave Kennedy & Kevin O’Brien. Unused Subs Paul Ryan, Brendan Coffey, Darren Collins, James Lynch, Jack Noble & Jack O’Carroll