On a warm sunny evening, Lurgan Town Ladies welcomed Carnmoney Ladies to the Arena, and were the first team to take points from the league-toppers this season.
The home side were quick to get off the mark, with shots on goal from Kerry Taggart and Dede Brady within the opening 15 minutes. Further good link-up play between Elisha Donnelly, Debbie Douglas, and Jess Wheelan earned the Lurgan side a corner. The ladies didn’t convert that chance, but soon afterwards Elisha played the ball through to Kerry, who beat the offside, kept cool and knocked it past the keeper to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Lurgan continued to dominate the match, but conceded three free kicks in quick succession, all in dangerous areas. Fortunately, none of these troubled Lurgan keeper Rachel Davis. However, when Lurgan then got a free kick in a similar area, captain Tracy Orr made it count, and scored to put the home side 2-0 up at half time.
In the second half, an early corner from Carnmoney saw former Lurgan Town player Amanda put the ball in the back of the Lurgan net, but the referee had spotted an infringement, and no goal was given. Lurgan then got another free kick, which Tracy floated in to the box, where Kerry headed it into the net for a 3-0 lead. A few minutes later, and Debbie fought for the ball and got a shot away, but it was narrowly wide. Caroline O’Hare was the next player to have a shot, when a half-cleared corner fell to her, and she forced the keeper to concede another corner. Louise O’Neill was giving nothing away at the back, but picked up a yellow card midway through the half. Carnmoney pressed forward and won some corners, but Lurgan Town soaked up the pressure, and when they got the ball back, some great passing was finished off by a screamer of a goal from Dede to make it 4-0 after 70 minutes. Lurgan didn’t sit back on this lead though, and when the ball came out to Elisha a few minutes later she struck it well, but her shot hit the inside of the post and somehow stayed out. Then it was Carnmoney’s turn to hit the woodwork, as a shot rattled the crossbar. Defensive substitues Caroline Laird and Toni Smith came on, as did Lauren Blakely on the wing, which allowed Zoe Davison to move out of defence and have a shot on goal too. But the game ended 4-0. Congratulations to Lauren Thompson, who was nominated POTM by the away team.
Afterwards, Lurgan Town Ladies manager Johnny Lewis said “The girls were fantastic tonight. They did everything that was asked of them, did the simple things well, and dominated the whole game. I couldn’t single any one of them out, as they all gave a superb combined performance. After a slow start to the season, we are starting to show what we are capable of”.
Next Wednesday evening, the ladies are away to Comber Rec Ladies, and as ever, all support is welcome.
Team: R Davis, T Orr, L O’Neill, L Thompson, Z Davison, C O’Hare, E Donnelly, J Wheelan, D Douglas, D Brady, K Taggart
Subs: T Smith, C Laird, L Blakely (all used)