A brilliant performance from a young but extremely talented Newry City team saw them put 11 goals past a St Matts team unable to cope with the intensity and speed of their attacking play.
Among the 7 Newry players who have international youth caps were midfielder Aoife Lennon and forward Aimee Macklin, who have both been capped at senior level, and Grace Murray, the newly signed 24 year old midfielder who already has over 20 senior international caps for the Republic of Ireland.
As such it was always going to be a very tough ask for the St. Matts team that had made the trip down to the Newry Showgrounds, and it was evident that St Matts were going to have to defend for their lives from the start, when good pressure from Newry resulted in Aimee Macklin putting a looping header into the back of the net after 4 minutes. However the defence managed to hold a good line, and the offside flag rightly went up.
St Matts managed to hold out for another 10 minutes, but the breakthrough came after 15 minutes, when Murray played a quality throughball out to Macklin, who then played a quality low cross into the path of number 9 Ali McMaster, who was one of three players lined up to tap into the net with the keeper well beaten.
Eight minutes Newry went 2-0 up with a carbon copy of the first goal, with Macklin being played through and crossing for McMaster to finish. The floodgates then opened, with Macklin herself scoring 4 goals in 15 minutes, the best of which she picked the ball up just inside the opposition half, and used a combination of skill and lightning pace to beat three payers before rounding the keeper and finishing intothe empty net.
This made the score 6-0 after 42 minutes, and there was still time for Murray to play a free kick into the box and Lennon to put a thunderous header past the keeper to score the 7th. Right before the referee blew for half time, St Matts managed to get up the pitch and striker Aine Flynn hit a looping cross come shot which Newry keeper Blahhin Mackin could only palm into her own net to concede her first goal of the season and make the score 7-1 at half time.
St Matts managed to get it together at the beginning of the second half and had a few long range chances themselves, but a shot from number 10 Rachel Rogan in the 50th minute was the only time they really tested the keeper, who saved well.
But Newry soon put their foot back on the gas, and Macklin added another rgoal to her already 4 strong haul with a good finish in the 70th minute. This was followed by two more in the 80th and 87th minutes, which sandwiched a 45 yard dipping rocket from Aoife Lennon for her second of the night.
It is hard to look past Northern Ireland international Macklin for player of the match, with 7 goals and 2 assists, however great credit must go to the whole team, who were brilliant from back to front throughout the whole 90 minutes.
Newry manager John Feehan said “Its a good result. We try to get the ball up the pitch quickly to play attacking football. Some teams don't like that, but that's the way we play”. It is a way that clearly works too, with teams unable to break down a solid defense, and utterly defenseless to stop the quality passing from the midfield to set up the lightning counter attack.
Newry will hope to continue their dominance in their next game, against Armagh Ladies, who have yet to gain a point in the league. St Matts will hope to regroup at home against Sion Swifts in what should be a much closer game.