Lurgan Town U14 Predators recorded their first win of the season against St Marys following their move from the Lisburn League to Mid Ulster League. Despite playing against the wind the first half was dominated by Town with some great football being played all over the park.
Lurgan were comfortable on the ball and had a zip about their game with James Maguire, Bobby Jones and Ricardo De Araujo controlling the game in the midfield and allowing their team mates to find space in more forward areas. This paid off 15 minutes into the game when a great diagonal ball found Ronan Watkins who made no mistake with his finish. This was followed, soon after, when Josh Johnston was fed a lovely through ball on the right of centre and using his strength to hold off the opposition defender and pace to pull away to get the shot off. The keeper had no chance before the ball was even hit such was the determination for ‘Jonty’ to get on the score sheet for the second game running. Not long before half time Town increased their lead when Cameron Mackay whipped a corner deep into the box and Bobby Jones headed over the outstretched keeper. Lurgan came in at half time 3-0 to the good and were absolutely cruising. They couldn’t see how St. Marys could get themselves into the game such was the gulf in the first half.
St Marys however didn’t know when they were beaten and came out of the traps flying pressing Town on the ball forcing mistakes and dragging themselves back into the game. They had a bit of help from the referee with their first goal when awarding St Marys a free kick for shoulder to shoulder challenges he let go the opposite way the entire first half. The free kick was well struck and Jake Edgar could only get a finger tip to it as it hit the back of the net. Town were looking unusually nervous at this stage and the line were definitely feeling the same due to the shaky start to the half.
St Marys were feeling empowered by their goal and began to become more aggressive in their approach to the game. All credit to Town though they began to settle and matched them physically and began to create chances again. St Marys got a second goal with three quarters of the game gone when a ball was slipped through from midfield and the Town defence were caught wrong sided allowing the opposition player a run through on goal to finish. The Town defence had been solid for most of the game and especially in the first half the back three of Adam Vennard, Luke Hammond and Ben Cuthbert didn’t put a foot wrong. The second goal give Lurgan a kick up the backside and they got stuck in and were unfortunate when Johnston was put through running from his own half the opposition keeper came out and mis-kicked the ball but the ref blew for offside. Lurgan also had a couple of clear penalty decisions turned away but despite that they showed character and held on for the well deserved win.
Team: Jake Edgar, Luke Hammond, Ben Cuthbert, Adam Vennard, James Maguire, Bobby Jones (1), Ricardo De Araujo, Josh Johnston (1), Cameron Mackay, Ronan Watkins (1), Sofian Mouhsine, Ronan McCann, Ben Hampton