Lurgan Town U17s went into Saturday’s fixture with Castlewellan looking to get a first win against them. On top of that Lurgan had to call upon two U16 players to help field a team due to unavailability through sickness.
Lurgan started strongly and it wasn’t long until they were creating scoring opportunities. However like previous weeks the chances went begging. It was Jack Evans with the first chance when he headed straight at the keeper then Adam Hall decided to bring the ball onto his right instead of hitting first time with the left foot. Mark Boyd was next to hit a tame shot at the keeper. Castlewellan struggled to create clear cut opportunities as Lurgan’s defence that included Joshua Pugh were in control. Lurgan deservedly took the lead when Adam Hall crossed for Aaron Winters to tap home. The chances kept coming with Mark Boyd and Adam Hall almost extending the lead. However, the half finished with Lurgan one up.
The first ten minutes of the second half was the only real period that Castlewellan looked as if they could get back into the game. Adam Craig made an outstanding save to keep Lurgan in the lead and from this moment Lurgan raised their game to another level. In the last 25 minutes of the game Lurgan should’ve reached double figures. There were scoring opportunities missed by Pedro de Araujo on 3 occasions, Andrew McIvor on 2 occasions, Jack Evans, Adam Hall, Tim Millen, and Aaron Winters. Lurgan eventually got a second when Adam Hall who was having a great second half scored with a well placed shot. The third soon followed when Aaron Winters ran onto an Andrew McIvor pass in which Aaron calmly finished to score his second of the game. Adam Craig was called into action with a double save as the final whistle approached.
Despite having players unavailable Lurgan produced the most consistent performance of the season. Adam Craig kept his second clean sheet of the season, in defence Joshua Pugh and Tim Millen stood out and central midfield pairing of Andrew McIvor and Jack Evans controlled the game with composure, desire and skill. A big well done to U16 players Niall McBride who almost got on the scoresheet and Joshua Pugh who showed composure at right back which earned him joint player of the match with Andrew McIvor.