The U17s went into the game on Saturday against league leaders Lisburn Distillery who have won every single game this season. Lurgan also had to face the leaders minus Adam Craig, Ryan Upton and Ross McMorris.
Lurgan actually started strong and put pressure on the Distillery defence on occasions with Lewis McKinley going close with a couple of free kicks. Distillery were quick on the break but Lurgan’s defensive unit of Boyce, Russell, O’Neill, Smyth and Millen stood strong. However, there were a couple of occasions when Lurgan got lucky as Distillery missed a couple of great opportunities. The first half finished goalless.
As the second half kicked off Lurgan knew it Distillery would pile on the pressure however Lurgan stayed compacted and restricted the space on the pitch. Despite Distillery having the bulk of possession they didn’t have a lot of scoring opportunities and any they did create Tyler Boyce was in control. Then with twenty minutes to go in the game Lurgan produced the best play in the game as they played a number of one touch passes down the left hand side which it eventually seen Tim Millen pass into the run of Jack Evans who in turn drilled a low 20 yard shot passed the Distillery keeper to give Lurgan the lead. Then the onslaught started to materialise as Distillery pushed an extra player up front therefore Lurgan needed to stay focused and work hard. Unfortunately with only 5 minutes left on the clock Distillery scored a scrappy equalising goal from a corner kick. Lurgan held out the last 5 minutes of the game to end Distillery’s 100% winning record this season with a well deserved draw.
It wasn’t a game of great play from Lurgan but one off grit, commitment and desire. The defensive unit were strong along with the hard working midfield unit and the hard working lone striker Aaron Winters. With it being a team performance it was hard to select a player of the match but Brett Smyth had a tough time the previous week picked himself up to show that he is more than capable. He had an outstanding game in the centre of defence.