Newry City boss Darren Mullen (©INPHO/Jonathan Porter)
Saturday, 27 April 2019
Newry City have been relegated from the Danske Bank Premiership following defeat to Dungannon Swifts at The Showgrounds.
Darren Mullen's side went into the game knowing that nothing less than a win would earn them a chance of a reprieve via the play-offs, and even then they had to hope Ards lost to Warrenpoint Town.
However, with Ards earning a point from their visit to Milltown the outcome of this game proved, in the end, to be academic.
A quiet start to the game took until around the half-hour mark for the first effort of note to appear when Stefan Lavery turned the ball towards goal, with the ball being blocked only as far as Mark McCabe but his effort comes off Douglas Wilson.
At the other end Newry keeper Andy Coleman had to be alert as James Ferrin attempted to tee up Johnny Lafferty.
With news coming through that Ards were leading in their game Newry pressed more in the latter stages of the first half. Lavery saw a close range effort blocked, Tiarnan Rushe had a free-kick on the edge of the area but couldn't make it count while McCabe was thwarted by the onrushing Swifts keeper Evan Moran.
But the home supporters were rocked just three minutes into the second half when Paul McElroy bagged what proved to be Dungannon's winner with a deflected shot into the far corner after Jarlath O'Rourke's cross was only partially cleared.
Trying to force the equaliser, Dale Montgomery had an effort parried by Moran straight to Grant Hutchinson but this was cleared off the line.
Montgomery threatened again but only fired straight at Moran while, at the other end, Mark Patton almost added a second for the Swifts at the near post.
Dungannon came close again when McElroy teed Oisin Smyth to have a go from distance but, with time running out, Newry perhaps accepted their fate and apart from a Mark Hughes effort well saved by Moran they offered up little else for the remainder of the game.
Newry City: Coleman, King, Boyle, McCann, McCabe, M. Hughes, Lavery, Rushe, Teggart, Montgomery, Durnin subs Maguire, Delaney, Mullen, Curran, Pender, Pablo Cavalcante
Dungannon Swifts: Moran, Wilson, McElroy, O'Rourke, Lowe, Hutchinson, Lafferty, Gallagher, Smith, Ferrin, Carvill subs Addis, Bell, Clucas, Patton, Campbell, Conway
Referee: Ian McNabb