Lurgan Town Reserves faced strong opposition in the Mid Ulster Shield 2nd round on Saturday as they played former Shield and Junior Cup winners Bessbrook United at Orior Park.
This was a stern test for the Town team, but one the lads seemed to relish. Bessbrook are 5 divisons above Town in the Mid Ulster pyramid but there was nothing between the 2 teams in an even first half. The two defences were on top, Freeburn and White outstanding throughout for Lurgan Town.
Irvine, Parry and Crozier all threatened but no clear cut chances were made, and Clarke in the Town goal tipped over from Bessbrook’s most dangerous attack. 0-0 at half time.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first until Bessbrook took the lead after their striker had clearly handled to control the ball before finishing a slick counter attack. This rattled the lads and Bessbrook capitalised with a great finish for their second. While the strike was excellent, Town were disappointed that the winger was not closed down before picking his spot.
Town went on the offensive after this set back and McMahon hit the bar with a header, and Irvine’s follow up was cleared off the line. Irvine also had a volley over the bar, Devlin and Boyce had good efforts saved.
With 90 minutes on the clock Town had pushed everyone forward looking for a goal, with Parks, who hand an outstanding game, throwing cross after cross into the box. Bessbrook showed their class on the counter, defending well and breaking with pace to add a further two goals.
Despite the final score ending up 4-0 this was a tight game against one of the best junior teams in the county. But the team need to start turning these good performances into wins. It’s now four weeks in a row that the performance has been good but only one draw to show for it, the team needs get a win on the board as soon as possible.
Clarke, Parks, White, Freeburn, Bunting, McNally, Stokes (c), Jordan, Parry, Irvine, Crozier