Newington Rangers’ manager Stephen Holland managed to secure the first league win he was ‘90 per cent confident of’ last week, with a 2-1 success over Saintfield United at the Knowe.
Holland, however, cautioned: “There is still a lot of work to be done. We need more consistency and a few areas need to be strengthened but we’ll work on that in the coming weeks. Players are now starting to understand what I’m trying to achieve.”
Newington’s man of the match was James Tennant junior. “When I was with the Reserves, I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t at least on the first-team bench,” said Holland. “I saw his potential and brought him into the side. He was outstanding with Colin Gilmore in the middle of the park.
“I’ve a good eye for it and sometimes you have to look closer to home at what you’ve already got. The boys played for the shirt and it was a well-deserved three points.”
The other main news from the Newington camp this week surrounds Holland’s two immediate predecessors; Geordie Lynn, having left due to family commitments, has now signed for Donard Hospital, while the first of the three ‘new managers’ since the resignation of Davy Rollo at the end of last season, Jamie McGarel returned to the fold after a stint at St Comgall’s.
And what better way for McGarel to mark the occasion than score the opening goal on 20 minutes, after the Saints failed to clear a Phil McCann free-kick.
McCann had an even more pivotal role in Newington’s second two minutes later, getting on the end of a Chris Steele cross.
Saintfield pulled one back on 38 minutes - and that’s how it finished, despite Newington’s injured keeper Lee Wilson having had to hobble off at the interval.
On Saturday, it’s the Clarence where Newington travel to Division 1C stablemates Dromore Amateurs who drew 4-4 at the Knowe just a few weeks ago.