MONEYSLANE made history at the weekend playing for their very first time in the Irish Cup at the game was contested at Limavady Showgrounds against Newtowne who play in the Ballymena League.
Slane almost got off to the perfect start in the first minute when Neil Bingham and Gareth Bingham combined and the through ball was latched onto by Mark Ervine who connected on the half volley but his effort went over the top.
Both teams were cancelling each other out in the attacking quarter as the game picked up in tempo and pace.
Newtowne were playing well up the flanks and the winger made a good over lapping run and his cross was hit just wide.
Nigel Fry pulled off a great save when he raced off his line and he pushed the ball wide for a corner and he was on hand to catch well from the cross in a crowded penalty area.
Jason Gibson cleverly stepped inside his marker and struck his shot inches wide of the target.
Slane’s new signings, Jonny Whitten and Andy Moore, played a one-two and the latter slipped the ball up the line to Gibson who he teed up G Bingham to hammer in a powerful drive goalbound but the Newtowne keeper was well placed to save.
Slane were almost caught when a long ball was chested down by the Newtowne striker and he half volleyed but Fry again pulled off a great save to push the ball of the outside of the post.
David Boyd and Robbie Weir were both having great game at left and right back and Gary Porter and Chris Kerr were solid in the breaking down the home side’s advances.
Slane were caught cold in the opening minutes of the first half and found themselves a goal down but they continued to play good football from the defence out and they were creating some good chances.
Ervine delivered in a free kick into the heart of the Newtowne six yard box and the keeper punched clear to the edge of the box and Neil Bingham was first to react and he caught it on the half volley and he had the keeper scrambling across his goal line to pull off a good save.
With 25 to go Slane were rewarded for their patience and good interlinking football when Kerr found Gibson wide on the right. He took on his marker and crossed deep into the box and the keeper punched clear but Gareth Bingham latched onto the loose ball and hammered in a power driver that sailed low into the bottom corner of the net for the equaliser.
Slane pushed the home side deep into their own half in search of another goal and had efforts from both Neil and Gareth Bingham testing the keeper who was well placed to save and Gibson also headed goal bound but it sailed inches wide of the far post.
The home side broke up the left and the cross was palmed down to the feet of the advancing attacker who smashed it into the net to put them ahead.
Slane were caught static in the last ten minutes and conceded another three goals.
Overall a great and much improved performance from Slane who can take many positives from this encounter in the Irish Cup and they played very well in the first eighty minutes. Man of the match for Slane was Nigel Fry.
Team: N Fry, R Weir, G Porter, D Boyd, N Bingham, M Ervine, G Bingham, C Kerr, A Moore, J Whitten, J Gibson. Subs: K Scott, E Boyd, M Anderson, G Wilson