FOOTBALL: NEW FACES IN TOWN HOLD BANNSIDERS; Newry T. 0 Coleraine 0
Byline: Paul McCONVILLE
NEWRY Town frustrated in-form Coleraine at the Showgrounds yesterday to claim their first league point in almost two months.
Following an embarrassing cup exit at the hands of Amateur League side Knockbreda, the last thing Newry needed was the visit of the Coleraine who were 13 games unbeaten before their trip to the border club.
But when you are rock bottom, there is only one way to go and a show of commitment, passion and graft from Newry saw them avoid the predicted drubbing.
Newry boss Ollie Ralph handed starts to three new faces and it was Brian McCrystal, on his return to the Showgrounds, who was the pick of the trio.
"He was big and strong, won his balls in the air and on the ground and was talking and kept us going," said a delighted Ralph afterwards.
McCrystal kept the Coleraine attack at bay for the full 90 minutes and there were promising performances from Newry's new twin strike force of Martin Reilly and Graham Lawlor, who proved to be another hit with the Town manager.
"Graham put himself about well, I don't know how many headers he won in the air and touch-ons from throw-ins, and that is something we haven't had in a long time and if Martin can get in and get a strike on goal, he will get the goals for us.
"It was important that we got something out of the game. Ok, we introduced three new players to the team and they were going to take a bit of time to get used to one another.
"I was delighted with the attitude. We knew the new players were going to lift things as well, and give fellas a bit of heart and a bit of spirit because they were down.
"Some players were frustrated over their lack of progress at the club, but hopefully this is the start of it, we have to build on it, we can't look back, we have to look forward."
But his opposite number was not in such a positive mood, asserting that the Bannsiders laid greater claim to the three points.
"I am disappointed we didn't finish the game off, we had total domination in the second half without really creating any clear cut chances as such. …