Town had a break from league action today with the beginning of the knockout cup. This was a match where Lurgan Town were definitely going through to the next round but the game needed to be played to decide which Lurgan Town side that would be. The last game against our U15 Predator side was a very close affair with only 1 goal separating the teams and we didn’t expect todays game to be any easier. What we expected from our boys was a reaction to last weeks result and the feeling we got before the game was they were ready to make amends. Town got the ball down from the off spreading it around the pitch looking for runners and space and it wasn’t long into the game when high quick pressing by Spencer Young forced a mistake by the Predator defence and on winning the ball was able to release Ronan Watkins who finished with a well placed shot just beyond the reach of Jake Edgar in the opposition goal. Spencer never gave the Predator defence a minute on the ball and found himself through on goal not long after and made no mistake to give the Town boys a 2-0 advantage. Town were playing some good football and were working hard, closing down quickly when not on the ball to retain possession. Ben Cullen stretched the lead further still when he got a run on the right hand side and unleashing a fantastic drive from about 25 yards out that finished high in the roof of the net, 3-0 advantage Town but still all to play for. The Predator side never gave up and Kane McMahon was looking dangerous, collecting the ball in good positions in front of goal on a number of occasions and looked threatening before he did eventually find a way through. A loose ball not dealt with properly dropped nicely in front of Kane and from about 12 yards out he smashed it high past James Hamilton who could do absolutely nothing about it. Half time and at 3-1 the game was by no means over.
Town began the second half with as much determination as the first and this paid off when Ethan Gorman got himself on the scoresheet to make it 4-1, followed by Spencer Young who got his second on the day. The heads were up with the Town side and they looked hungry for more goals but they were going to be made work for them by a Predators side who never gave up. Town did find a way through though in what was one of the best worked goals of the game starting at the back the ball was worked from the right hand side, played through the midfield and out to Jake Turner who was high left, Jake turned his player at the edge of the box and put the ball across the goal for Josh Johnston to finish at the back post, this was a great team goal created through a quick transition, crisp passing and players on top of their game. Ethan Gorman rounded up the game following up on a shot by Kyle Thompson which came back off the crossbar, Ethan pounced to strike the ball which took a slight deflection before hitting the back of the net to claim his brace for the game and Towns seventh on the day.
This was an encouraging performance by the boys today, they brought training into the match, high intensity with quick fast accurate passes and plenty of movement both on and off the ball. Despite the scoreline the Predator side worked very hard but just struggled to cope with a team that felt they had something to prove after the previous weeks result, but the Predators can take a lot from the game, despite the chips being down they continued to work as a team and battled hard for each other and if they bring that attitude into the remaining matches things will no doubt improve for them in what has been a difficult season.
Team: James Hamilton, Tom Leatham, Adam Vennard, Mark Christie, Aidan Cassidy, Ben Cullen (1), Ronan Watkins(1), Ethan Gorman (2), Spencer Young (2), Ricardo Aruajo, Jake Turner, Kyle Thompson, Josh Johnston (1), Mackenzie Craig.