After a slow start to life in Championship Two, Newington YC have climbed up to third in the division.
On Saturday, they beat high-flying Banbridge Town 2-0 at Seaview. Needless to say, manager Eamonn McCarthy was delighted with his side’s performance.
“It was a great win for us and I was pleased with both the performance and the result. Banbridge Town were the in-form team in the division at the start of the season, so for us to beat them is an excellent result,” he said.
“It's fair to say we started the season slowly, but that seems to be the Newington way. Even in our Amateur League days, we never started well in August.
“The truth is, we had a few internal problems and a few of our players decided they wanted to leave the club when they realised they weren't first choice. That was difficult, but we've come through it and now we've a settled side.
“As a manager, there are two things you look for — performances and results. I'm now getting both the performances and the results, so I'm very pleased with how things are going.
“A lot of people are quick to run down the Irish League, but it has been a step up for us and we are still learning at this level.”
With only Armagh City and Banbridge Town above them, many fans of Championship football are tipping Newington to gain promotion in their first season, but manager McCarthy is refusing to get carried away.
He said: “I know it's a really boring thing to say, but we really are taking it one game at a time. It's far too early to talk about promotion.
“It's fair to say Armagh City are the favourites at the moment, but that suits us to be honest. We are happy to work away in the background and pick up points when we can. PSNI are a very good side, and I'm sure they will be aiming for promotion as well.
“I think the January transfer window could change things, as some clubs might have the funds to improve their squads. We're enjoying the challenge at the moment, but there is a long way to go.”
On Saturday, Newington travel to the Riada to face Glebe Rangers, who are currently 15th in the third tier.