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Relieved Glens and Newry are happy to share the spoils

Newry City 1 Glentoran 1

By Gareth McCullough

First-half goals from Stephen Hughes and Robbie McDaid saw Newry and Glentoran share the spoils at The Showgrounds as this game finally got played at the third time of asking.

Hughes edged City in front before McDaid headed the Glens level in a lively game but the sides couldn't be separated.

Newry, who came into the game off the back of seven straight defeats began the brighter of the two and were almost in on goal in the seventh minute.

When the lively Mark McCabe looked to be through, he was brought down by Glentoran full debutant Gavin Peers 25 yards out. Referee Steven Gregg opted to yellow card the experienced defender and from the resultant free-kick, Mark Hughes' ball to the back post found John Boyle, who headed wide.

The Glens went even closer just 60 seconds later when Conor Pepper cracked in a low drive from outside the area but City keeper Steven Maguire got a fingertip to it.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 10th minute.

A diagonal ball from left to right saw McCabe outmuscle Marcus Kane before laying it back into the path of Mark Hughes 20 yards out.

The Newry captain's first-time effort was on target before it took a wicked deflection off brother Stephen and wrong-footed Glens keeper Dwayne Nelson.

While the visitors had plenty of the ball in the first half, they rarely troubled Maguire's goal until a minute after the half-hour when they drew level.

A precision cross from the left flank landed perfectly on the head of McDaid and the forward directed his header home.

Newry threatened to regain their advantage when a Mark Hughes corner from the left found Declan Carville, but he couldn't get his header on target.

Five minutes into the second period, Newry went closer when another Mark Hughes corner, this time from the right, was glanced goalwards by McCabe but it came back off the post.

Midway through the half, Nelson had to be alert to push over a Thomas McCann volley. Then, 20 minutes from time, a slick move from the visitors saw the ball find Lukas Gwiazda, but his drive was beaten out by Maguire.

NEWRY CITY: Maguire, Mooney (Teggart 87), Healy, Noonan, Boyle, McCann, Carville, S Hughes, Pender (Moody 78), McCabe, M Hughes. Subs not used: Hunter, Rushe, Mullen, Cavalcante, Durnin

GLENTORAN: Nelson, Kerr, Kane, Peers (Garrett 81), Birney, C Gallagher, Herron, Gwiazda, Pepper, Murray (O'Neill 74), McDaid. Subs not used: Morris, McMahon, Henderson, McCarthy, S Gallagher

Referee: Steven Gregg

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