Lurgan Towns U17s travelled to the Barbour Playing Fields Lisburn on Saturday to play Wakehurst in a 6 point league game. The pitch wasn’t in the best shape but Lurgan started brightly and controlled the early stages of the game. Lewis McKinley returned to is central midfield role and was very much dictating Lurgan’s attacking play. Lewis was the first one to test the keeper with a free kick then Jack O’Neill had a goal disallowed for offside when he headed home a Jack Evans cross. The chances kept coming Lurgan’s way with Pedro De Araujo seeing his shot well saved by the keeper then Aaron Winters follow up was cleared of the line. Wakehurst created a few half chances but were generally finding Lurgan’s defensive unit hard to breakthrough and on the occasions they did they couldn’t find a way past Tyler Boyce in Lurgans goal. Aaron Winters almost got a well deserved goal when his header from a Lewis McKinley corner was cleared of the line again. Lurgan were playing excellent football with every single player playing their part.
The team went into the second half knowing that they would need to be more clinical to take the win and the 6 points. Wakehurst changed formation with more attacking play but like the first half Boyce, Millen, Upton, Smyth and Russell were in clean sheet mode. Lurgan weren’t as fluent in the second half but were still creating chances with Aaron Winters having a shot well saved then a Lewis McKinley shot was cleared away from goal. Lurgan eventually took a well deserved lead when a Lewis McKinley corner was headed home by Andrew McIvor who has now scored on each of Lurgan’s three games on this particular pitch. Wakehurst almost equalised soon after but Tyler Boyce produced a stunning save then was quick to block a second effort. There were further chances for Lurgan with Mark Boyd hitting wide then Lewis McKinley had a shot saved.
Lurgan held on to win the game and continue with the recent good run of form. The defensive unit have been excellent in recent weeks that’s seen them only concede 3 goals in 5 games. In the centre midfield Evans, McIvor and McKinley work perfectly together also with the help of the wide players De Araujo and O’Neill plus the work-rate of lone striker Aaron Winters. However with McKinley and O’Neill influential in the first half it was Jack Evans being selected as player of the game with his non stop work ethic in breaking up attacks and helping drive Lurgan forward. The challenge for the players now is to continue with this consistent form and to finish top half of the league.