Newington 1 Moyola Park 0
Moyola Park travelled to Seaview to take on Championship Two newcomers Newington at the weekend but lost out narrowly.
The Belfast side were on an unbeaten run of nine league games and the visitors had gone five unbeaten before the game which was keenly contested by both sides, each of which impressed on the day.
Moyola Park had the first goal scoring opportunity when Sean McAuley lost possession and Eugene Gallagher whipped in an excellent cross which Chris Dowie sent goalwards only for Michael Smyth to make an excellent save.
Newington had Moyola Park on the back foot forcing a number of early corners which the visitors’ rearguard stoutly defended. Both sides lost players due to serious injuries early in the game, with Sean Walsh for Newington and David Paul, who was replaced by Steven Kenning, for Moyola Park having to be substituted.
The home side scored the only goal of the game on 25 minutes when Conal Burns fired in a dangerous cross from the right wing and Maciej Dabrowski was quickest to the ball and shot past Marty Farniok.
Moyola Park came out in the second half determined to get back into the game. Gallagher worked tirelessly to create openings for the visitors and on one occasion forced Smyth to make a superb save.
With Moyola Park going forward it left them open to counter attacks by Newington and Burns caused the defence some searching problems. Despite the continued pressure from a positive Moyola Park side Newington held on to secure all three points.
Mervyn Pattison can take many positives from his side’s performance against a Newington side unbeaten at home so far this season and thus following on from good performances recently in both league and cup action.
The only major negative being that David Paul sustained cracked ribs in a heavy collision with goalkeeper Smyth and he will be out of action for about six weeks.
Moyola Park: Marty Farniok, Damian Maguire, Gareth Stewart, Steven McQuillan, Mark Waddell, Michael Walsh, Sean McConnell, Eugene Gallagher, Chris Dowie, David Paul (Steven Kenning 10, Steven Kelly 85), Darren Walls (Conor Deane 85). Subs not used: Maurice Curtis and Sean McCabe.
Moyola Park now have three consecutive cup ties before returning to league action as follows: Saturday- Marie Curie Irish Cup Round 4 - Moyola Park v Annagh United - Mill Meadow at 1.30pm; Saturday 14th December- IFA Intermediate Cup Round 3- Dergview v Moyola Park- Darragh Park at 1.30pm; Thursday 26th December- NWFA Craig Memorial Cup Final- Moyola Park v Coleraine Reserves - Fortwilliam Park, Tobermore at 11am.