Underwhelming Moyola lose unbeaten run

Moyola Park and Banbridge Town compete for the ball
Moyola Park and Banbridge Town compete for the ball



Moyola Park welcomed Newington YC to the Mill Meadow on Saturday for a Championship 2 game.

Fourth placed Moyola Park came into this game unbeaten in their last six games while eleventh placed Newington had won their previous game at home to Coagh United.

Moyola Park manager Mervyn Pattison had nearly a full strength squad to pick from with Gallagher and Gray returning after missing the midweek game with Portstewart and Magill being unavailable.

The first chance of the game was in the 2nd minute with Dowie shooting straight at Smyth after receiving a pass from McAuley. Five minutes later McAuley and Dowie combined to find Taggart who saw his effort on goal blocked.

In the 13th minute a cross from Harris was headed over by Dowie and two minutes later at the other end a dangerous ball in from McFall was cleared by Waddell. From the resulting corner by McAuley the unmarked Adams should have scored only to see Maybin block his effort.

Midway through the first half McAuley found Neill, however he dragged his shot wide. In the 26th minute Harris and Taggart combined with Harris crossing to Dowie who headed over. A minute later Rafferty for the visitors turned and shot, however his effort was blocked by Harris. The same player fired a shot just over Maybin’s goal in the 37th minute and Maybin held a cross from McErlean a minute later.

With the first half coming to a close, Rafferty was booked for the visitors after a challenge on Gallagher and the last chance of the half saw a free kick from S. McAuley just missed by P. McAuley.

The first chance of the second half was in the 51st minute when Gray failed to connect with a cross from McAuley following a pass from McIlhatton.

In the 56th minute Maybin tipped an effort from P. McAuley onto the bar and six minutes later Gallagher blocked a shot from Neill and Maybin made a good save. The visitors opened the scoring in the 65th minute when McErlean crossed from the right and the unmarked Rafferty calmly headed past Maybin.

The home side made their first change in the 65th minute with Paul replacing Taggart and the visitors continued to push for a second with McFall shooting straight at Maybin in the 71stminute. With ten minutes left a poor corner from the home side saw the visitors break with McFall evading Waddell and crossing for Rafferty to score past Maybin for his second.

Both managers then made changes with the home side replacing McIlhatton with McNamee in the 81st minute and visitors replacing McErlean with Reid and the home side made a further change in the 87th minute with Black replacing McAuley and the 88th minute saw the visitors replace P. McAuley with Findlay.

With the game coming to a close the visitors were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which was saved by Maybin only for the ball to rebound off the post and hit Rafferty and go in for his and Newington’s third. The last action of the game saw Agodio replace Rafferty for the visitors.

Moyola Park: Maybin, Waddell, Harris, McQuillan, Kelly, McElhatton, Gray, Gallagher, McAuley, Dowie, Taggart. Subs: Kells, Black, McNamee, Paul, Doey

Newington: Smyth, McErlean, M Reid, Whyte, Adams, O’Kane, S McAuley, Neill, Rafferty, P McAuley, McFall. Subs: Scollay, Agodio, Findlay, K Reid.

Moyola Park’s next game is on Easter Saturday when they make the short journey to Fortwilliam to play local rivals Tobermore United.