Newry City hoping to reach the last eight of the Irish Cup with victory over Newington
Newry City will be hoping to reach the quarter-finals stage of the Irish Cup for the second time in three seasons, when they host Championship side Newington this afternoon (Saturday).
At the beginning of January, Newry saw off Championship side Ballinamallard at home with a 3-2 win in Barry Gray’s first game as manager. Ciaran O’Connor found the net twice, including the winner on 70 minutes, whilst Adam Salley scored in between.
Since then, Newry have lost their two Premiership fixtures against two of the best teams in the division: Cliftonville and Larne, but Gray has been extremely active in the January transfer market: signing six new players.
Steven Ball, Brandon Doyle and Conor Mitchell all started in both of the aforementioned Premiership games, and Jamie McDonagh featured against Larne last time out. In the closing days of the window, Nerwry further strengthened with the additions of ex-Warrenpoint Town captain Fra McCaffrey and Alex O’Brien, who came through the Academy at Bohemians FC. Both of those players will be hoping to feature in today’s game.
The window also saw Michael O’Connor, Daniel Hughes and Andrew Martin depart the club, whilst Brian Healy (Ballyclare) and Lee Newell (Ards) were sent out on loan.
Saturday’s opposition Newington sit in mid-table in the Championship with 12 wins and 12 losses, as well as one draw from their 25 league games. They defeated Dundela 2-1 in the last round of the Irish Cup, but have only won once in their last five league encounters.
However, the Belfast side were boosted by a new arrival at the end of the January transfer window, as they secured the services of Glentoran player Ruaidhri Donnelly on loan until the end of the season.