LURGAN TOWN 2 Ballymoney 0
NIBFA Cup Round 2
LURGAN Town under-15’s started positively from the whistle and put sustained pressure on the visitors with the central midfield of Shane Russell and Patrick McPartland controlling the game.
Early chances were created and on 10 minutes a well delivered Ryan Smyth corner was just missed by two on-rushing Lurgan forwards. Shortly after this a good move led to the ball smashing off the Ballymoney crossbar; Russell at full stretch got a toe to the rebound but it was not enough to steer it home.
Lurgan were dominant at this point and the visitors threat was limited by good tracking back from midfield and a very solid defence of Woolsey, Judge, Cassells and Allen.
Lurgan however were struck a blow when Ryan Smyth had to leave the pitch due to injury, being replaced by Sidenie Tavares. Sid however quickly got into his stride with his direct style of attacking play.
Town got their reward 24 minutes when a great delivery from Kevin McAlinden into the box was met by Dylan Hoy and his bullet header into goal gave the keeper no chance.
To their credit Ballymoney worked hard to try to get into the game as the half ended.
At the start of the second half Lurgan’s midfield seemed to ease off a bit and this allowed Ballymoney a bit more possession going forward, however the defence held firm and fullbacks Neil Allen and Ross Woolsey were equal to any threat down the flanks and the reliable pairing of Tiarnan Judge and Curtis Cassells solid in the centre, meaning that goalkeeper Richard Hull had a relatively quiet game.
Town worked their way back into the game though and a strong run at Ballymoney’s goal line drew a foul just outside the box; McAlinden’s free kick beat everyone except the post. Pat McPartland nearly connecting with the rebound but Ballymoney cleared the danger.
The visitors lost a player for a second yellow card and Lurgan sealed the win with a lovely piece of football linking Tavares, Hoy and McAlinden, Kevin then fed the ball to Nathaniel Ferris and his thunderous drive into goal was just reward for him and the team.
Town brought on Matt Outhwaite on the left looking to add to the score and he produced a threat of his own but the game ended 2-0.
Overall this was an excellent team performance against a National League side showing that the standard of football from the Lurgan Boys can be a match for anyone.
The boys now are into the last 16 of the NI Cup.
Thanks to all the parents who went to cheer the boys on a bitterly cold day.
n Lurgan Town FC goalkeeper training for all members recommences on Thursday 24th January at the Arena, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.
Sessions will be taken by former Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Daniel Wright.