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McMenemy's reign gets early lift from Lomas; Northern Ireland 1 Slovakia 0.

Steve Lomas gave Lawrie McMenemy a winning start to his reign as Northern Ireland manager. The Irish captain struck after 51 minutes at rain-soaked Windsor Park for only his second international goal to mark McMenemy's first match in charge.

Lomas's goal was only Northern Ireland's third in eight games and earned them their first win in 13 months. McMenemy will be delighted with a win against a team 60 places higher in the FIFA world rankings, but will not be getting carried away. The Irish beat Romania 2-0 in Bryan Hamilton's first match in charge four years ago.

McMenemy will take heart, though, from Newcastle defender Aaron Hughes' impressive debut at left-back and although the best chances came from the visitors, they lost their way after Lomas's strike and Northern Ireland almost added a second through West Bromwich Albion striker James Quinn on 78 minutes.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 26, 1998
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