Crewe United produced another fine performance to continue their unbeaten run this season so far as they made the long trip to Derry to face Newbuildings in the Irish Cup. The Glenavy side emerged 3-2 winners to go into the hat for the next round.
Crewe started the better side and dominated the first 15 minutes of the game. Mark McCullough went close from a Tommy McBride corner but his shot flashed just wide of the Newbuildings post. Crewe did break the deadlock however on the half hour mark as Matty Harkin volleyed the ball over his left shoulder and left the home keeper stranded as it nestled into the top corner to send the visitors into the lead.
Crewe doubled their advantage soon after when on 35 minutes Peter McCabe charged down a clearance from the Newbuildings keeper which broke to Mark McCullough. With the goal at his mercy McCullough struck the ball on the half volley into the open net from 25 yards out.
A strong Newbuildings side came back at Crewe but the visitors stood strong at the back with Nathan Finlay and Matthew McCafferty marshalling the Crewe back line to good effect.
As expected the home side came out fighting as they tried to claw their way back into the game. However the tie looked all but over when after 55 minutes Matty Harkin latched on to a through ball from Fra McGuinness, cut across the defenders and slotted home for his 5th goal of the season.
Crewe made some changes, making three substituions, as they looked comfortable in securing victory. Newbuildings had other ideas though as they broke down the Crewe left and squared the ball into the box to leave Crewe Keeper Corey Wilson no chance of saving from close range on 65 minutes.
Within 5 minutes the Derry side were very much back in the game as after sloppy defending Newbuildings struck again to make it 3-2. Crewe were struggling to get back into their stride but could have scored on the break with Terry McGrath going close after a solo run.
The Glenavy side held on and were resolute in defence to book their place in Round 2 of the Irish Cup. This Saturday they face stiff competition again in the Steel and Sons Cup Rd 1 against Queens University at Crewe Park, 1.30pm Kick off.