Belfast Telegraph

Donegal Celtic leave Newry on brink of relegation

By Gareth McCullough

Newry City 0 Donegal Celtic 1: Newry City now have a mountain to climb if they are to avoid automatic relegation after Donegal Celtic moved five points clear of the bottom side following Ryan Henderson’s early winner at The Showgrounds last night.

It was the visitors who came flying out of the traps and could have gone in front as early as the second minute.

A ball into the penalty area caught the Newry defence napping and Mark Dickson’s header from eight yards cannoned off Gavin McDonnell but was clawed away by Andy Coleman.

However, they didn’t have to wait too long to break the deadlock. In the fifth minute Stephen McAlorum floated in a free-kick from just inside the right touchline and Henderson headed home from six yards.

As the half wore on, Pat McGibbon’s men gradually came into it, without troubling the Celtic goal.

After Darren Murray rifled over the bar from 30 yards with a first time, left foot effort, nine min

utes after the restart, Murray went closer ten minutes later.

Hagan was fouled on the edge of the area and from Marc McCann’s clipped ball, Murray headed over the bar when he will have hoped to have done better.

It was Murray who looked to be the only player threatening for Newry and he had a volley from the right hand side of the box 15 yards out that Declan Brown collected at the second attempt.

However, DC who could have doubled their lead on 77 minutes when Henderson got on the end of another cross, again beating Newry defenders in the air but this time he headed wide.

New City signing Jamie Duffy entered the fray up front and within two minutes of his appearance he nearly levelled but somehow his shot was scrambled off the line before a Francis Murphy rasper from 15 yards was beaten out by Brown on 83 minutes.

How City didn’t score in injury time is beyond belief. Matt Hazley’s 20 yard free was pushed out by Brown to Gavin McDonnell.

He played it across towards Steven Ferguson but the Newry captain stumbled at the wrong time and the opportunity to put it into the open net was lost as Celtic took the points.

NEWRY CITY: Coleman, Alderdice, P McCann, Munster, McDonnell, Hagan (Duffy 80), McCallion, Ferguson, M McCann (Duffy 77), Graham (Murphy 73), Murray. Subs: Devlin, Havern.

DONEGAL CELTIC: Brown, Glenholmes (Burns 87), McAlorum, Brennan (Muir 82), Bradley, McAllister, McNamee. Curran, O’Hara, Dickson (Fay 90), Henderson. Subs: Carson, Atkinson.

Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon).

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