Super effort despite defeat

Lurgan Town U13 MU 2 Banbridge Rangers U14 3

Lurgan Town MU U13s lost 3-2 on Saturday but give their performance of the season against Banbridge Rangers U14s in the knock-out cup.

The team arrived at Cheney Park thinking that they would struggle against a team that were an age group up plus physically stronger, however after the pre-match team talk the boys realised that they just needed to go out and give 100% and believe in themselves.

The game started with Lurgan playing 4-5-1 formation to try to get control of the midfield area with Jonny Russell and Jason Benson in particular standing out. There were occasions when Banbridge did get past the midfield but on every occasion

Lurgan’s backline were winning their individual battles. Banbridge were awarded a free-kick which they hit into the penalty area but this was cleared by Jack O’Neill and then from the resulting corner the ref waved play on after a Lurgan player had been fouled which seen Banbridge capitalise with the first goal of the game. Lurgan may have felt hard done by with a couple of decisions but to the credit of the team they continued to play with determination and confidence. Lurgan’s confidence in their passing game started to grow and were soon causing Banbridge all sorts of problems with Nathan Stewart and Adam Craig on the wings and Adam Hall playing the lone striker with his non-stop running.

Lurgan went back to their normal 4-4-2 formation with Luke Nelson pushing up front at the start of the second half and this give Lurgan even more of a threat going forward. Banbridge played a lot of the long ball but with the defensive unit of Hoy, Millen, Smyth, O’Neill and Upton in control they give Lurgans midfield the chance to dictate the play.

The game was turned around when Jonny Russell got the equaliser with the goal of the game by scoring from 40 yards. Lurgan were pressing all the time for a second but got caught out when Banbridge took the lead again but despite this Lurgan continued to attack. Lurgan got another equaliser when Adam Hall scoredfrom the tightest of angles and get his first goal for the club. Then with ten minutes left on the watch Banbridge got the winning goal and then they were awarded a penalty but Stuart Hoy had capped is best game of the season with the penalty save.

The most difficult thing was picking the MOM due to an all round great team performance, however it was awarded to Jonny Russell for his all action never give up attitude along with the 40 yard goal of the game.

Squad – Stuart Hoy, Jonny Russell, Timmy Millen, Brett Smyth, Ryan Upton, Jack O’Neill, Jason Benson, Adam Craig, Luke Nelson, Morgan Quinn, Sam Lawther, Adam Hall, Nathan Stewart.