Newry City boss Gary Boyle thankful for medical staff assisting Andrew Martin with defender headed to hospital as "precautionary measure"

Newry City manager Gary Boyle during today's game against Linfield at Newry Showgrounds, Newry.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Newry City manager Gary Boyle during today's game against Linfield at Newry Showgrounds, Newry. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

The 26-year-old was substituted in the first-half of Newry’s 3-0 defeat to the league leaders and left the ground for an x-ray on a suspected issue with his lung.

"I spoke to Andrew before we spoke to the players at half-time and everyone was taking the necessary precautions,” said Boyle. “He was on a device that was monitoring him and he still had shortness of breath and pain in his chest.

"I'm very thankful to the Linfield medical staff that assisted and we all hope that Andy will be ok.

"He has been taken away as a precautionary measure to get checked."

After defending manfully against the Blues to head into the break on levels terms, Boyle’s men then conceded three quickfire goals with Matthew Fitzpatrick, Joel Cooper and Kirk Millar ensuring Linfield extended their lead at the top to eight points on second-placed Larne.

The Newry boss was particularly aggrieved by the second and felt Fitzpatrick fouled Darren King before laying the ball on a plate for Cooper.

"The first goal is disappointing because we have Adam Salley off the pitch, who is hugely important in a defensive set-piece,” he added. “We're disappointed with how we defended that because we miss the first one and we don't react to the ball coming off the post, so we could do better there.

"The second one I'm struggling to comment on.

"Absolutely (we should have had a free-kick). From where I'm standing it's a push in the back and it's more controversial that he hasn't given it than if he had.

"I don't think there would have been many complaints from Linfield had he given a free-kick.

"We were frustrated so you can only imagine how the players are feeling.

"It's no excuse but at the same time we don't show composure and the third goes in and that's game up.

"The hope was always that we stayed in the game and we had a few moments late on that if the game is closer and one goes in we're sitting on the back of a really good result.

"The frustration is that we're matching teams for large parts of games but having six or seven minutes where either they increase quality or we make mistakes.

"We can't continue to have moments where we're being so poor that the game is up."

The result leaves Newry sitting 11th in the table on goal difference – one point ahead of bottom side Dungannon Swifts and level with Ballymena United – but Boyle is confident his side have the quality to pull away from trouble.

"It was always going to be a battle,” he said. “I was under no illusions about how difficult it may be.

"We were hopeful at the start of the season that we would improve and maybe stay clear of it.

"It's about getting enough results to stay out of that danger zone.

"Unfortunately we're there at the minute but we have full belief that with a couple results and gathering some momentum that we can pull clear."