On Saturday Lurgan Town’s U15 Mid Ulster squad travelled to Rathfriland to play a League Cup semi-final game against Valley Rangers.
Lurgan started the game a little sluggish in the defensive and midfield areas but the front two of Loughran and McKinley were combining well to put pressure on the Valley defence.
The first goal was scored by Lurgan when Adam Loughran showed great skill to weave his way past two defenders then calmly play the ball into the six yard box for Jack O’Neill to tap into the goal.
Lurgan played some good football in patches and on one occasion Lewis McKinley hit a 20 yard shot just over the crossbar.
There were a few half chances for Valley Rangers but Sam Lawther was very commanding and unbeatable in Lurgan’s goal.
Lurgan scored a second goal when Jonny Russell played a ball over the Valley Rangers defence to Jack O’Neill who cut the ball back for Lewis McKinley to score from 18 yards.
The second half was a nervy affair for Lurgan as they lost composure and panicked as Valley Rangers began hitting long balls into the penalty area.
The game was starting to swing Valley’s way when a mix up by Lurgan’s defence allowed Valley to score a scrappy but deserved goal.
The result was very much in the balance but Lurgan could have put it out of sight with Adam Loughran hitting the post from five yards out, Aaron Winters unable to finish from closer in.
James Willis was unlucky not to get a goal and with a minute of normal time Adam Loughran won a penalty but Lewis McKinley hit a well struck penalty but the Valley keeper made an excellent save.
The referee decided to play six minutes of injury time and this further increased the nerves of the players but Lurgan held on to win and reach the final.
Lurgan’s performance wasn’t great but credit to the players as they managed to do just enough to win the game.
The were good performances from the front pairing of Loughran and McKinley, defender John Dickson but the man of the match award went to goalkeeper Sam Lawther.