Having enjoyed a fine start to the season, the Under 15 LL team met local rivals Portadown Youth in the first round of the NIBFA Cup at Ballymacoss on Saturday morning.
After a tight opening spell, Lurgan broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Codey Ferris swivelled on the edge of the box and fired a great shot past the Portadown keeper. Lurgan then kept up the pressure with some good passing movements down both wings which culminated in a second goal on the 22nd minute when Ryan Matthews , who was making his first appearance of the season stuck a fine left foot shot past the outstretched hand of the keeper.
Lurgan continued to create chances towards the end for the first half through Daniel and Codey with the Portadown keeper pulling of some good saves to keep the score at 2-0 at the break. Playing into the wind in the second half, Lurgan started slowly, and were punished in the 43rd minute when a long ball over the top caught out the defence and the centre forward scored from the rebound after an initial save from Jack Calvert.
Lurgan didn’t panic and restored their 2 goal advantage minutes later when Olie Spratt put in a great near post corner from the left and Krissy Cassells ghosted past his marker to head firmly into the roof of the net. Credit to Portadown who didn’t give up, and scored against the run of play on the 59th minute to bring it back to 3-2. With the midfielders winning their personal battles it was no surprise when Lurgan closed out the game on the 62nd minute when Caolan Richie ran on to a great pass to fire past the outracing keeper to make it 4-2.
A good win built on the foundation of a strong defence who gave Portadown few chances and created a great base for the midfielders and forwards to score some excellent team goals.
Team:, Jack Calvert, Olie Spratt, Ethan Browne, Casey Finlay, Jamie Stokes, Daniel Graham, Niall Simpson, Ryan Matthews, Caolan Richie, Sam McGlade, Codey Ferris, Daniel Byrne, Kristian Cassells, Harry Cahoon.