On Saturday Lurgan Town welcomed an in form Tullyvallen to The Arena. Tullyvallen have a much changed side this year and full credit to them, it was clearly visible with how they started the game.
The returning Ashley Gregg tested the hands of McKinstry in the away teams goal on a number of occasions, but the keeper saved well. Gargasas broke free a few times, but his shots were well blocked by the Tullyvallen defence. The opening goal of the game came on 25 minutes when the home sides pressure started to pay dividends, they were awarded penalty after Gargasas was fouled in the box when breaking free. Jack McNally stepped up and rifled home to make it 1-0.
This did not deter Tullyvallen and they started to have chances of their own, but the inform Craig pushed wide on a few occasions, and then coped brilliantly with the resulting corners. Just before half time the game was soon level, when Lurgan Town’s captain Joel Adams was judged to foul the left winger in the box, a very harsh penalty, and despite the protests, the Tullyvallen number 10 Preston slotted home the resulting spot kick.
With 10 minutes to go in the opening half there was still time for the game to swing both ways, corner after corner was dealt with by Tullyvallen well, but a free kick almost with the 18 yard box, seen a wonderful delivery from McNally drop on to Andy Heaney’s head to make it 2-1, just reward for how the little workhorse had been playing. A third soon arrived and it came in the form of the impressive Luke Adams when he burst into the box and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper and in off the bar, to make it 3-1 at half time.
The second half was very composed display from the Town, shape and commitment was good, and defensively it’s as good as they have been, and that’s credit to Warren, Adams and McPolin, they limited the visitors to long range shots, and on the rare occasion the visitors broke through, the recovery was fantastic from the Lurgan men. The threat was always there from the Tullyvallen number 11 Irwin, who’s pace was an obvious threat from the beginning of the game, and it took Adam Craig to be quick off his line to deny the forward a crucial goal in the game.
At the other end, Heaney, Gregg and Gargasas were causing serious issues turning the back line of Tullyvallen at every opportunity, while Hamilton and McNally were a real thorn in both full backs sides, which seen both pick up bookings more so out of frustration, than the tackles themselves. Luke Adams and Scott Wiltshire were first to every second ball, and where strong in the tackle, and were not for letting the 3 points go anywhere. Lurgan Town then introduced the returning Adam Glenn, young 16 year old Lucas Gregson and Sulaimaan Athar, and the boys sealed the game with some fantastic tackling and work rate at a vital stage of the game. With the referee near ready to blow for full time, Gargasas wriggled free again, and another penalty was awarded, with that man McNally making no mistake from the spot. Full Time 4-1.
Man of the Match – Joel Adams for a fantastic captains performance at centre half.
Lee Dickson – “Great result overall for the boys, as they were well aware of the threat Tullyvallen posed and it certainly showed in the away sides performance. However with a different feel about the club at the minute, with each player wanting to improve and deliver something for the football club, they have that bit between their teeth and want to do well, it can only be seen as a positive as the games keep coming thick and fast.”