Loughgall returned to their league campaign following last week’s Tennent’s Irish Cup semi-final loss against Cliftonville. For the visit to Newry, manager Dean Smith had to do without the suspended Peter Campbell whilst Steven Ferguson and Jude Ballard were also unavailable.
Despite a good start, Loughgall found themselves one-goal down after 13 minutes when Keith Johnston slotted home after the ball broke to him inside the penalty area.
On 28 minutes Mark McCabe saw his effort from the left side of the penalty area well saved by Loughgall goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan.
After the interval the Villagers threatened, on 57 minutes, when Jamie Rea’s deep free-kick delivery was powerfully headed by Ricky Copeland. City ‘keeper Steven Maguire expertly tipped the goal-bound effort over the crossbar.
On 63 minutes the hosts missed a great chance to extend their lead when Stephen Hughes sidefooted his rebound over from close range after Buchanan did well to save Johnston’s initial effort.
Newry’s key man Declan Carville was released clear through into the penalty area, with seven minutes remaining, however he cut inside and saw his right-footed effort deflected wide.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Neill, Rea, Copeland, Stewart, Mullen (McConnell 72m), Dallas (McMaster 72m), Montgomery, Liggett, Ferris, Hoey (McDowell 72m). Unused subs: Stretton, Robinson
Newry City: Maguire, Noonan, Mooney (Cunningham 73m), Boyle, McCann, McCaul, Carville, McCabe, S Hughes (Mullen 90m), Johnston, McMahon. Unused subs: Havern, Mackin.