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After a fairly miserable season at the Showgrounds Mal Donaghy has left to manage the N.Ireland under 18's. When he took over at Newry Town just eight months the club where close to top of the league but only finished sixth at the end of the season. Was this all Mal's fault? Doubtful, since the wolf has been at the door for some time. Many fans will however remember Mal for the opportunities he has given to many young local hopefuls such as John Joe Maguire and Seamus Kane.
Former Loughgall manager Alfie Wylie has been appointed as Mal Donaghys successor this week. News on the grapevine also suggests that out-of-contract keeper John Connolly could be moving to another Irish League club, while Dean Fitzgerald has signed a new contract. It is believed that Stuart McLean should remain at the Showgrounds next season after a deal with Ards fell through. Robbie Casey and Mark Rutherford are making good progress with their injuries and are back in training next week.

16 April 2000TOWN STUFFED

Newry Town lost this weekend by five goals to nil at Portadown. Vinny Arkins opened the scoring with a 20th minute penalty and scored again in the 72nd minute. Sheridan, Hill and former Newry Town player Adrian Larkin scored the others.
In mid-week the Town also lost to league winners Linfield by three goals to two at Windsor Park. The Newry scorers were John Joe Maguire and Niall King.


Newry Town have secured sixth spot in the table and eased relegation worries with a 2-0 win over Crusaders. John McDonnell opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a header from a John Hooks corner and John Joe Maguire sealed the 2-0 win after 37 minutes with his fifth goal of the season.


Newry Town can now aim for a respectable finishing spot in the league, presently lying in sixth spot on level points with Crusaders. The Town managed to pick up three points from struggling Distillery at Ballyskeagh. Peter Withnell opened the scoring after a goalkeeping error by Henry. After half-time Bates managed to pull one back for Lisburn after 55 minutes but Newry took the lead again after 82 minutes with a Dean Fitzgerald header. Dean is really starting to find his form after a shaky start at the Showgrounds. Substitute Wall put Newry 3-1 in front but Darren Armour pulled one back for Distillery in injury time.  


Former Newry Town defender Jonathan Drake, who gave great service to the club while there was taking action against his former club in the courts this week. The legal action has arisen out of misrepresentations on club contracts while at Newry Town. He successfully defeated the club and has been awarded almost 5,000 damages. Former Newry Chairman Joe Rice has pointed the finger at Secretary Eamonn Cole who has denied any wrongdoing.
It has transpired that Directors Trevor Anderson and Joe Rice handed Drake a blank contract to sign after agreeing terms but the terms were subsequently changed when put on the contract. Joe Rice speaking in court blamed Eamonn Cole stating that he must have misheard the contract terms as they were relayed to him, however Cole insists that he has nothing to do with the financial side of the club and merely drew up contracts according to instruction. Judge Randal McKay sided with Drake whose version of events was by far the more sound of the two. Drake has missed a seasons football due to the wranglings but has now been compensated leaving the already cash-straped club closer to bankruptcy. Joe Rice admitted that he left the club during a time of increasing financial difficulties. Drake is only one of a series of players who have suffered wage difficulties with the club. Mark Rutherford, Dessie Gorman and Kevin McKeown are but a few of those affected in the past.


Newry Town remain dangerously close to the relegation zone and after todays match Mal Donaghy called for his players to 'respond and stand up to be counted'. The team do need to build their confidence after losing 3-0 to Linfield at home today in the League and 4-0 earlier in the week to the Blues in the Coca Cola Cup. In todays match Jamie Marks opened the scoring after 14 minutes. Ian McCoosh added the second after 28minutes and substitute Davy Larmour added the third. 


Newry were hoping for a repeat of last weeks match but they found an in form Glenavon and frustation as two Newry players saw red. Glenavon were two ahead by half-time with goals from Baxter and Grant, but were down to ten men as Lee Doherty was sent off.
In the second half Stuart Addis saved a Dessie Gorman penalty before new man Peter Withnell was sent off. Gavin Arthur scored Glenavons third and to top things off for Newry they went down to nine men as Stuart McLean was dismissed. The Town drop to seventh in the table only three points ahead of Cliftonville 


The Irish Cup Fifth Round saw Newry drawn with high flying Glenavon and the odds were stacked against the Town with the return of Stephen Baxter to the Glenavon squad. However on the day the Newry defence proved to be too strong and keeper Spackman was rarely troubled. Mark Rutherford scored the only goal of the match with a speculative lob after a clash with the Glenavon keeper, after 7 minutes, but went off injured later in the game. Gorman and Reddish also had chances which they really should have buried. In the draw for the sixth round Newry were drawn with neighbours Banbridge and Bessbrook Utd were drawn with premiership team Ballymena. So Newry v Bessbrook in the Quarter Finals ? 


It couldn't have been worse for Newry today. After Vinny Arkins put one past Alex Spackman after only 84 seconds, three minutes later defender Jonathan Cowan was sent off. Although Mark Rutherford was unlucky and Portadown could have scored again it was a rather dull match. 


Ciaran Feehan has been released from his contract with the Town to be replaced by Peter Withnell, signed on loan from Cliftonville. Ciaran's form this season has been disappointing..lets hope he makes a comeback soon. Seamus Kane, the Newry local, has  also signed a one-year professional contract.
In other news this week the Town Youth team have been expelled from the league along with Carrick Youth after a 2-0 result was recorded in a match that Newry Youth failed to turn up for. Both clubs were also fined 250.


In other News this week the Newry Town FC Board have been seeking support for the building of a new stand - obviously following pressure from this website :-). Morton McKnight and Colman Rooney have been on the job and it is rumoured that Chelsea and Luton may play frendlies this summer to help raise funds. Both clubs are former homes of Newry manager Mal Donaghy. The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland youth Teams are also to play at the Showgrounds soon.
Mal Donaghy is also to form a school of excellence in the summer in his role as IFA Youth Development Officer.


Four minutes into todays game at the Showgrounds and it looked as though Newry were to fall prey of 'Player of the Month' Tommy McCallion. Tommy opened the scoring with a thirty yard strike and his creative attacks dogged the Newry defence throughout the game. Newry however levelled the score after 22 minutes when Stuart McClean headed a Soupie Campbell corner. In the second half after a downpour of rain Cliftonville again took the lead after a scramble in the Newry box. After 20 minutes of the second half the Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Dessie Gorman took a dummy run and Robbie Casey blasted it along the ground and beyond the keeper. Newry's winning goal came shortly after when they were again awarded a free kick - this tiome 40 yards from goal. Casey again blasted it into goal. Although Cliftonville tried gallantly to salvage some points the score ended 3-2.Newry remain fifth in the table but are level on points with Portadown.


Newry Town today lost out to the first goal of the new millennium. Crusaders star Crawford McCrea scored after only four minutes leaving the Newry defence in disarray. Although Glenn Dunlop hit the cross-bar for the Crues, he also had to clear a Mark Rutherford chance off the line, and Robbie Casey was denied twice towards the end. Despite the Newry efforts the goal of the century was the only goal of the match leaving the score 1-0.Newry remain fifth in the table but are level on points with the two teams below them.


The Town agian lost out in the dying minutes against a poor Distillery side who rarely threatened to score. The Town dominated the first half and came close to scoring on several occasions. They continued to attack in the second half but couldn't find the net.  Dependable Dessie Gorman scored on 75 minutes from a quickly taken Raymond Campbell free kick to give Newry the lead. It looked as The Town could walk away 2-0 winners when Robbie Casey fired hone a penalty but a re-take was ordered due to the encroachment of the Distillery Physio on the pitch. The re-take was saved by David Henry and less than a minute later with the Newry team shocked Distillery defender Chris Deegan snatched an equaliser and a share of the points. Mal Donaghy, Newry manager was furious at referee Jim Peden's decision to re-take the penalty and is quoted as saying ' I have been in the game a long time and thought I had seen everything, but quite simply in this instance the referee cost us full points.'
In other news this week, Dessie Gorman was taken off the transfer list after his differences with the club were settled.  


Newry Town today failed to build on the 3-0 win over the Glens last week. The Glens took the lead from a Scott Young penalty after Robbie Casey brought down Brian Russell in the box. Robbie Casey then shot 20 minutes later from the far post and Seamus Kane intervened to put the sides level. Scott Youngs second goal of the match gave the Glens all three points, wining 2-1.Newry remain fifth in the table but are well within reach of the teams below.


The Town today threw away 3 points letting Ballymena come back to draw 2-2. John McDonnell, despite recent cartilage surgery scored first. and Raymond Campbell followed it up with another on 34 minutes. Newry dominated in the first half but failed to sustain the pressure in the second half. Ciaran Feehan's penalty was saved eight minutes into the second half and this set the stage for a Ballymena comeback. Phillip Knell scoring their first and Glenn Hunter got the equaliser.


The Town today reaffirm their position as the Glentoran boggie team and also consolidated fifth position in the table. Newry's top scorer Mark Rutherford set the ball rolling with his sixth goal of the season. Glentoran couldn't even manage a shot on target in the first half. Ciaran Feehan added a second goal, only his second of the season and Robbie Casey scored the third after 65 minutes with a shot into the top corner reportedly the goal of the day.
In other news, Alex Spackman of Crusaders has signed for Newry to fill the goalkeeping position vacated by Mark Cartwright who returned to Wrexham and the injured John Connolly. Paul Stranney is still on crutches and John could be out for a month after breaking a bone in his hand.


On a wet floodlit night at the Showgrounds Newry Town managed to turn the tide of recent form to overcome Cliftonville in the Co. Antrim Shield, beating them by two goals to one. In the only first round tie with two premiership clubs, a goal from Dean Fitzgerald and an own goal will see Newry meeting Crusaders in the second round


The Town's performance today at the Showgrounds was truly a return to the schoolyard soccer we were so familiar with while playing in Division One. Where have the club gone wrong ?
In a week that another local player Kieran McParland (23) had to leave as his contract was not renewed - (Sound familiar - the same happened to Larkin!) the Town board have been wrangling with bad publicity. Could the secret of the Towns downfall be its lack of support and encouragement to local players. Most of which are as good as (and cheaper than) imports like Kevin McKeown. McKeown has been in the news this week as he is considering suing the club for non-payment of wages- although these allegations have been denied by Coleman Rooney - who retorted with an attack on McKeowns unprofessional attitude.
Also of news this week - Tom McKeown (of a much more professional attidue than his namesake) has volunteered as Commercial Manager. Tom has been linked to the club for over 30 years and was secretary from 1967-69.
Newry 0 - Linfield 3. I need say nothing more, the majority of Newry fans had left while there was still 20 minutes to go. Although this was also to avoid being penned in by the RUC. Political events were notably to the fore as a UVF flag was hung on the Linfield half for the majority of the first half- the RUC and stewards failing to remove it, a familiar failure to enforce ground rules on the away stands! The Town were terrible, just like the weather and the scoreline could easily have been 0-6. Although there were some good individual performances, notably John McDonnell and new keeper Cartwright, the team need some serious work on passing and teamwork. But the chances of Mal gathering the team around him for some serious training are about as unlikely as Newry winning a match.Prediction:Newry will be fighting relegation in April.

The Town continued their run of bad form under Mal Donaghy. They went down 2 goals to nil at Coleraine today. The first half was uninspiring and both teams failed to make an impact. However, it was Coleraine who came out re-newed in the second half and scored twice in two minutes. A 58th minute header and a 59th minute 6 metre finish from Chillingsworth. The cold winter has set in and The Town continue to slide beyond the reach of a European place and the renewed dreams of last summer.
Mark Rutherford again showed his class in this Friday night thriller though highlighted the need for a dependable striker at Newry. New Keeper Mark Cartright also had a good game with impressive kick-outs. The Town were disappointing in the first half still depending on the 'whack it and hope for the best' tactics employed in the past - Has anything changed since Mal Donaghy took over? Consistent pressure from Glenavon paid off when they took the lead after 19 minutes. Tony Grant, who was very impressive down the right side sprinted free to the right corner and crossed to the box for Stephen Baxter to drive into the net. It was a nice move but Glenavon failed to come up with anything else. In the second half Newry looked the better side and Glenavon struggled to clear several attempts by Chris Murphy. The Town took on substitutes John McDonnell, Carl Hughes and Vaughn who failed to make a realistic impact - The game ended 0-1 to Glenavon.
Newry Town:Cartwright, Kane, Hall, Cowan, McLean, Reddish, Fitzgerald, Casey, Treanor, Murphy, Rutherford Subs: McDonnell, Vaughn, Hughes
Rumours surrounded todays game - who is going to be next on the transfer list ? Stuart McLean - Dessie Gorman has already been linked to a move to Ards, were Joe Rice and Trevor Anderson have taken up the reigns. Getting old and unfit it is probably the best thing for the club that Gorman moves on.
Going into the game today Newry had only won one away fixture and after two minutes it looked as though this game was going to be the same. John Gregg fired home to give Ballymena the lead. After only ten minutes Newry man Ciaran Feehan who's football of late has been 'iffy' was sent off after a high tackle. Ten man Newry hit back in the second half with a goal from Soupie Campbell, a header into the bottom corner from a Mark Rutherford cross after 71 mins. Newry then took the lead after 81 minutes after Ballymena's Colberstone sent the ball into his own goal from a Ben Trainor flick. It looked as though the Town could pull off a second away win but Phillip Knell made it 2-2 on 90 minutes.
The club were in court this week defending accusations that they had an outstanding tax bill to the Inland Revenue. Club Officials took the opportunity to reassure everyone that the bills were cleared. After last weeks match manager Mal Donaghy announced that he was lookin for new players from the Irish League, League of Ireland and England. At todays match at Shamrock Park the Town were held to a nil-nil draw with the Ports. Portadown started the stronger team with shots from ace striker Vinny Arkins. Ports keeper Dalton made a fine save when Dean Fitzgerald headed a Mark Rutherford cross at goal. Rutherford caused all the problems with fine runs down the left but Newry lacked finishing ability - an area of obvious weakness in recent weeks. On 90 mins 'Soupie' Campbell cleared the ball of the line from another Arkins shot and Newry managed to escape with the draw leaving them third in the table on goal difference.
Seven minutes into this game keeper Connolly brought down Martin Reilly and the Crus were awarded a penalty. The penalty was converted by ex-Newry player Trevor Smith. Although Crusaders were the better taem in the first half Newry took control of the second half but couldn't manage to get anything on the scoresheet despite shots from Murphy and Trainor and a header from Casey, who is back from injury. In the end it was 1-0 and the Town dropped to fourth in the table.
It has been disclosed in a local newspaper today that the Inland Revenue have told four clubs - Newry, Coleraine, Portadown and Ards- to wind up business due to a failure to pay tax bills.
The hearing in court is scheduled for 21 October. Newry Secretary Eamon Cole has stated that he believed that any bills outstanding had been paid and he had nothing more to disclose on the matter.
Meanwhile in the first round of the Gold Cup Newry have overcome Lisburn Distillery one goal to nil- the strike coming from new boy Chris Murphy.
Mark Rutherford made it 5 goals in 5 outings today when he scrambled home the first goal of the day from a Campbell cross. New boy Raymond Campbell had an impressive debut. Newry built on the lead in the second half with Dessie Gorman sent one home fed through by Fitzgerald. Cliftonville pulled one back when Tommy McAllion sent a speculate shot under the arms of keeper Connolly, who apart from that blunder had a very good game. Hopes of a Reds comeback were dashed however when Dean Fitzgerald registered his first goal for the town, from a cross supplied by Rutherford. The final score was a respectable 3-1 and the Town remain third in the table.
Drama hit the Showgrounds today after only four minutes when the Glentoran defender Chris Walker, was sent off for dissent after a verbal encounter with the linesman. Although the Glens looked the better side for much of the game, sustained Newry attacks paid off when Mark Rutherford (after being switched from left to right side) dribbled the ball past two defenders out of the right corner and shot to the far post for what could well be the Newry Town goal of the season.
Glentoran had many chances in the second half, one of which was cleared off the line with a bicycle kick, fate was on the side of Newry and the encounter ended
1-0 to the home side. Newry now remain third in the table.
Newry today lost their first match with manager Mal Donaghy in charge. They went down 3-1 to Linfield at Windsor Park. Linfield dominated the whole match and the first goal was scored after 29 minutes by Chris Morgan. In the second half Tony Gorman extended that lead after 56 minutes. Newry managed to pull one back with a goal from Treanor but less than a minute later Linfields David Larmour tucked one away to restore the two goal advantage. Although the game wasn't 'dirty' with only Reddish receiving a yellow card, Ciaran Feehan was stretchered off and Tony Scappaticci also came off injured.
Rumours are flooding the Town today after the appointment of Mal Donaghy as new manager of Newry Town FC.This event is only the latest instalment of the current saga which has seen the departure of Joe Rice, Chris Coffey, Adrian Larkin and Barry Tumilty among others. The people on the street are asking how much is the deal worth? Where has the funding come from? What happened to the 70,000 raised from the Man Utd game? Where is the new stand we were promised? and Is Vinney Arkins going to sign for Newry now?
Maybe some of these questions will be answered soon but those to do with finances are being kept under wraps!
In the third match of the season Newry Town have yet to win a match. Out of three matches they have drawn two matches and lost one. However they are not completely to blame as last week they were missing Adrian Larkin and Shane Reddish through red card suspension and Robbie Casey through injury. In the first half of the match Newry battled hard with numerous strong attacks but the Portadown defense held strong. In the 52nd minute Dessie Gorman gave an inch perfect cross to Mark Rutherford who had a clear shot to hit it into the net. Ten minutes later Vinny Arkins equalized for Portadown with a very disorganized and scrappy goal. Just a few minutes later Feehan crossed perfectly to the Hawk who was prowling in the box. Dessie struck with a magnificent power-header which struck the crossbar and bounced on the line. Despite an unbelievable improvement in Dessie Gorman's speed, stamina and determination the Showground man of the match however must go to Cerian Feehan who displayed great skill and accuracy throughout the match.

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  Copyright 1999 Jonny McCullagh
  DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this page are those of the originator and in no way represent the views or opinions of Newry Town Football Club 1997 Ltd.