Punished for poor defending

Lurgan Celtic
Lurgan Celtic

Lurgan Celtic made all the early running and went into the lead on five minutes when Raymond Fitzpatrick headed home a Chris Lavery free kick.

They should have gone 2 up after the same player beat the offside trap but Fitzpatrick sent the ball narrowly wide with the keeper well beaten.Celtic should have had the game out of sight but conceded an equaliser when a long ball out of the Banbridge defence evaded the backline and Hoops keeper Michael Goff raced out of goal and Conor Downey lobbed the ball into the unguarded net.

Worse was to follow when Jonny McAreavey fell awkwardly trying to make a tackle and Downey crossed for Buchcanan to slot home. McAreavey was unable to continue and David Magee came on with goalscorer Fitzpatrick moved into defence.The situation then went from bad to worse when Celtic conceded a third goal on 40 minutes after a harmless looking ball was played towards the home defence and keeper Goff seemed to hesitate leaving Ryan Gourley a simple tap in from close range.

Niall Lavery replaced Paddy Rooney after the interval and the trio of Chris Lavery, Daniel Ryan and David Magee started to dominate. They had to wait until 70 minutes before they got back into the game when a shot was cleared by a defender only for it to cannon off Magee and end up in the net leaving a goal between the sides.

Despite this piece of luck a third goal proved elusive with Lavery hitting both the bar and the post and keeper Croft making at least three timely saves and another chance cleared by the visitors defence.

On 85 minutes Rooney took possession and moved upfield but was fouled giving the Hoops a free kick, he retaliated and was given a straight red leaving Celtic to finish a man short.

By this time the Hoops had replaced Jason Rodgers with Nathan McConnell who moved to left back freeing up Lavery to go into midfield but the luck was not with them and the game ended with three points lost due to some poor defending in the first half. The McLean’s Bookmakers man of the match award went to Shane McCabe who battled manfully throughout the game giving a dogged display in the heart of the defence.

McAreavey is doubtful for the clash away to Coagh United and it is imperative Lurgan Celtic get the points required to keep in touch with the leading pack.