Only one goal, but a precious goal for Lurgan Celtic as they bounced back to keep their title hopes on course at Knockramer Park on Saturday.
On 16 minutes Dale Malone had a shot well saved by an already overworked keeper with the resultant corner being headed onto the bar by Raymond Fitzpatrick.
Chris Lavery then left two defenders in his wake and had his effort saved by the keeper.The pressure kept piling on the Wakehurst back line and on the half hour Rodgers hit a tremendous long range shot which the keeper saved to scramble the ball away. It was now looking like only a matter of time before the opening goal would arrive but the Hoops started getting frustrated with Daniel Ryan making several runs which were snuffed out and in any Wakehurst attempts at breaching the Hoops defence the back dour of Declan McVeigh, Jonny McCarron, Stephen Hutchinson and Rodgers were completely in control of the situation
The pattern of play continued to the half time break but the visitors with a combination of good goalkeeping,poor finishing and some good fortune kept the scoreline blank.
The Hoops continued to press from the beginning of the second half and on the hour mark Josh Barton had yet another effort saved by the overworked visiting keeper, but 2 minutes later the breakthrough came after a corner was only partially cleared and in a scramble Fitzpatrick reacted first to score with a low shot putting the Hoops ahead.
The goal had a settling effect on the home side and they still put the visitors under pressure but Fitzpatrick missed a chance to double the advantage when his header went straight into the arms of the keeper. Towards the end Fitzpatrick broke through but his left footed shot screwed wide and right on the whistle Barton took possession on the left with Wakehurst’s defenders stretched and he bore down on goal but shot narrowly over.
Wakehurst made a quick break in a bid to snatch a draw but the Hoops defence kept them at bay and the referee blew for time, although the victory was richly deserved it was too close for comfort.
The match was attended by four English followers of the Hoops who travelled from Preston, East Midlands and Derbyshire, the same four gents attended a Celtic game some time ago and they follow the Hoops on Facebook and the club thanks them for their support.
The McLeans Man of the Match was awarded to Adam Rodgers. The match ball was sponsored by Bingham Tyre Depot.
Next Sat the Hoops entertain Portstewart at home with 3.P.M. K.O.as the season heads towards an exciting climax.