Gary Boyle hails Newry City's collective effort after Adam Salley and Lee Newell net in crucial victory at Ballymena United
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Adam Salley netted for the third consecutive match as he powered home a header from Adam Carroll’s cross in the 19th minute and another summer signing, Lee Newell, made sure of the points with a fine finish late on after both sides had been reduced to 10-men.
The victory – a third on the road for Newry this season following previous wins over Carrick Rangers and Glenavon – meant they leapfrogged both the Lurgan Blues and Dungannon Swifts into ninth while Jim Ervin’s Ballymena remain rooted to the bottom on six points.
"I'm absolutely delighted,” Boyle told the club’s media channel. “I'm exhausted - I said to the players that I feel like I've gone through 90 minutes myself!
"It was a hugely pressurised game and I thought the players embraced the pressure and drove into it.
"We always speak about tactics in and out of possession, but from last Saturday we've looked at a few home truths and got back to basics - clean sheets, making good decisions.
"Yes, we can do better in possession, but I feel today showed the characteristics of how I want my team to look.
"The players delivered and they got their just rewards for that."
Newry were busy in the summer window and certainly acquired goals in the shape of Salley, Carroll and Newell, but what will perhaps please Boyle most about Saturday’s result is that it marked their first Premiership clean sheet since August 12.
"It's all about the power of the collective,” he added. “No individual is any better than the collective and that's what we're honing in on.
"We've got back to basics with a clean sheet and we have players that can impact the game going the other way.
"There could have been more quality in the game and I'm not standing here saying it was perfect.
"We probably rode our luck slightly with a couple of missed opportunities from them, but I think you create your own luck with how you tackle and work towards things, and I'm immensely proud of the group for the effort and endeavour they showed."