Football/Soccer

Dream April set to continue for Newry

GOAL RUSH: Stephen Hughes grabbed Newry's first goal in what has been a prolific April Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
By Padraig Kelly

Danske Bank Premiership: Newry City v Glentoran (tonight, the Showgrounds, 7.45pm)

NEWRY City have an opportunity to ratchet up the pressure on Ards if they can stretch their winning streak to three games when they welcome Glentoran to the Showgrounds this evening.

April has been a dream month for Darren Mullan’s side as they claimed a third of their victories for the season whilst dispensing with Ards (3-0) and Warrenpoint Town (4-2).

Another win tonight and they would be six points away from the automatic relegation spot, although Warren Feeney’s side would have the opportunity to halve that margin when they face Institute tomorrow afternoon.

Newry’s scoring streak over the last two games has come totally out of the blue, and at just the right time too, as they try to secure a relegation play-off berth.

They had been averaging less than a goal a game in their previous 33 games and they hadn’t scored twice in a league game since their 2-2 draw with Warrenpoint back in December. The three goals they managed against Ards was the most they had scored in a league game this season but that record only lasted eight days as they hit four against their neighbours last weekend.

Mullan will know that there is no substitute for attacking players full of confidence and he’ll call on the likes of Stephen Hughes, Mark McCabe and Tiernan Rushe to bring the game to the Glens.

The Belfast side have plenty left to play for in their final three games as they try and secure a Europa League play-off spot.

Institute are only a point back so new head coach Mick McDermott will be demanding a professional showing from his side.

They come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Ards and they were fortunate to even get a point as they needed Callum Byers to turn the ball into his own net with 10 minutes remaining.

The Glens had dominated the first half but Marcus Kane, Paul O’Neill, Curtis Allen and Darren Murray all passed up on good chances before Byers’s late intervention.

Passing up chances, for the first time this season, hasn’t been an issue for Newry and they should have confidence draining out of them this evening.

They can continue their scoring streak here – and crank up the pressure on relegation rivals Ards in the process.

 

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