WATCH: ‘We could have taken a win today’ says Newry City boss Barry Gray after loss against Crusaders

Sports Direct Premiership: Newry City 0 Crusaders 1
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Newry City manager Barry Gray felt as though his side missed an opportunity to close the gap on Ballymena United, in their 1-0 loss at home to Crusaders this afternoon.

The home side were undermanned, with regular starters Adam Salley, Ryan McGivern, Steven Ball, Fra McCaffrey and Brandon Doyle all out of the starting line-up and substitutes bench, but playing with a back five, Newry would have been full value for a point could they have held on.

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Indeed, they could have and should have taken the lead on 26 minutes, when Ciaran O’Connor had a chance from the penalty spot, but his attempt was saved by Jonny Tuffey.

Barry GrayBarry Gray
Barry Gray

The conditions caused problems for both sides, with 20 mile per hour winds meaning it was never going to be a classic, but Crusaders had a golden chance of their own before the half-time whistle, when Conor Mitchell spilled a long range shot, but Ben Kennedy couldn’t convert on the rebound, hitting the crossbar from six yards out.

In the second half, although the north Belfast side dominated possession, they were restricted to long range pot-shots.

That was until the seventy-fifth minute, when Jay Boyd delivered a superb cross from the right wing, and Kennedy buried the only goal of the game with a bullet header.

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Although Newry weren’t able to find an equalising goal, they can take solace from the fact that Ballymena United also lost (4-0 away to Glentoran) so the gap between the two sides at the bottom of the table remains just two points heading into the end-of-season split.

For full match report and more reaction see this week’s Newry Reporter – in shops Wednesday March 27!

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