The Lisburn League under 13 injury list just grows by the week, 4 players out injured and 2 players not available this week meant we had to draw on the resources of the Mid Ulster side who, fortunately for us, played their game on Friday evening. The guys that came in certainly didn’t let themselves down including man of the match Bradley Brown who deputised as keeper this week with both our previous keepers this season having to play outfield to cover positions.
Town just couldn’t get into their stride in the first half with Tollymore giving the boys continuous problems down the left flank with the team often losing shape trying to cope. Our midfield defended deep for most of the half with Bradley pulling off some outstanding saves before the pressure eventually paid off and Tollymore took the lead through a very dubious penalty decision. The boys tried hard to get back into the game with James Maguire pulling all the strings in the midfield and not long after, a rare foray into the Tollymore box allowed Kyle White to pull the ball back and lay it off for Luke Harrison who took a touch before putting the ball beyond the reach of the Tollymore keeper to bring the score level, unfortunately Town couldn’t build on this and it wasn’t long before Tollymore went 2-1 up and then just before half time 3-1 from a superb free kick.
Half time and the coaches made a few changes to the formation and structure of the team to cope with the threat down the left channel, however within a few minutes of the restart Tollymore stretched their lead yet again. In previous weeks going 2 or 3 goals behind meant boys dropping their heads and almost surrendering but this week there was a different attitude and the Town boys showed real character and fight from the kick off and dragged themselves back into the game with the first of a Cameron Mackay brace, and with Town now dictating play Jake Turner scored his third goal in 3 weeks to bring the score to 4-3. A foul on a Tollymore striker in the box allowing the opposition to again take a two goal cushion with a well hit penalty which Bradley was unlucky not to save. His decision making was good diving to the correct side only to feel the ball pass across his finger tips into the bottom corner of the net. Town didn’t let this upset their second half fighting spirit and Cameron Mackay was denied twice by the crossbar within the space of about 10 seconds although he did make up for it by getting his second of the game soon after.
At 5-4 Lurgan were well and truly in the game and were pushing hard for the equaliser but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and with only a couple of minutes left on the clock Tollymore scored their sixth and final goal of the game when an opposition midfielder snatched at a loose ball in the box lifting it over Bradley’s head and out of his reach. This was a game were the coaches learnt as much about the team and their capabilities as the boys did about themselves. The fighting spirit and never give up attitude we having been willing the boys to show was beginning to shine through at times today. We just need to work on our consistency, the quality is there with the boys they just need to be showing it for longer spells in the games if we want to begin picking up points. Best on the day was stand in captain James Maguire and stand in goalkeeper Bradley Brown who pulled off some magnificent saves. Thanks to the 4 boys, Bradley Brown, Ben McAvoy, Ashley Martin and Lee Murphy, who came into the side from the Mid-Ulster team because without that commitment today we wouldn’t have been able to field a team.