The U17s travelled to Dromore on Saturday to take on third place Newry in their final league game of 2016. The small squad is being stretched to its limits and will be looking to add personnel in January.
It wasn’t the best start to the game as there was no official referee to start the game so it was left to coach Phil McKinley to ref the first half. The first 15 minutes of the game was pretty even then Lurgan almost took the lead when Andrew McIvor touched an Adam Hall free kick onto the post. However thirty seconds later Newry went one up when a long ball over Lurgan’s defence found Newry striker who in turn scored past Adam Craig. Lurgan created a few chances but drew a blank. Adam Craig was in inspired form with a number excellent saves. Newry doubled their lead after a lack of desire to chase a loose ball. H-T 0-2
The Newry coach officiated the second half and was a little one sided but he did award a stone wall penalty to Newry after a foul by Jack O’Neill. The penalty was scored therefore Lurgan faced an uphill task to get back into the game with only twenty minutes left. There was some hope when Lewis McKinley struck a 35 yard free kick thunderbolt past the Newry keeper. The goal give Lurgan a massive lift and they went for it by just playing three at the back which left them exposed at times but Adam Craig was unbeatable in the last 15 minutes. Lurgan were awarded another free kick which Lewis this time seen his effort miss by a fraction. The feeling was if that effort had went in then Lurgan’s belief for an equaliser would have increased. Lurgan continued to attack Newrys goal but last ditch clearances and poor finishing which is becoming an Achilles heel in Lurgan’s season seen the game finish with a 3-1 defeat.
The massive plus over the last two weeks has been the form of Adam Craig in Lurgan’s goal which he got a compliment from the Newry manager at the end of the game. He said Adam was the best keeper he has seen at youth level.