Lurgan Town Under 11’s took on Glenavon Under 11s at The Arena on Saturday morning in the League cup Final and what a spectacle it was for all to see.
The first half began with both teams trying to get a foothold in the game. Lurgan began with their usual high tempo pressing. The front four of McCartan, Mulligan, Young and Brown, were relentless in their approach from the first whistle, pressing the Glenavon backline and forcing the odd mistake but the ball just didn’t fall for the Lurgan front men. As the tempo intensified both teams began to knock the ball around the pitch quicker, both teams looking for that one opening to capitalise on, however it just didn’t seem like it was going to come for either teams. The Lurgan backline of Cunningham, Mawhinney, McConville, Truesdale and Wilson marshalled the game perfect all half and never looked to be under much pressure. As the half time whistle was soon approaching there were a few counter attacks by both teams that could have resulted in goals however both keepers were in fine form and any shots were thwarted by the two impressive young Goalkeepers.
Half Time 0-0
The second half began much the same as the first with some nice football being played by both teams. Lurgan really began to put the pressure on the Glenavon backline with a multitude of attacks that resulted in corners and some excellent saves from the Glenavon Goalkeeper. The Glenavon defence were kept very busy and they held firm whilst continuing to play some very neat football in response to Lurgan’s oncoming attacks. Lyle then entered the field of play to replace Young who had worked so hard up top. A rare mistake from the Glenavon backline set Lyle on his way and just as he was about to shoot the Glenavon defender nicked it off his toe for a corner. Wilson then delivered another excellent corner, this caused a bit of a scramble in the box,only for the ball to fall to Ryan Brown who drove the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards. With fifteen minutes remaining Glenavon began to pile the pressure on and they got their just rewards eight minutes from time when their young striker ran clear of the Glenavon defence and slotted into the bottom corner. As both teams continued to press for a winner gaps began to open up all over the pitch and it was a real case of whoever scored next would more than likely win the game. Lurgan had a number of chances to convert from corner kicks were Truesdale hit the cross bar and was unlucky just to see another header fall narrowly wide of the post. Glenavon too could have nicked it right at the death only for some fine goalkeeping from Cunningham.
Full Time 1-1
Into the First Half of Extra Time and the intensity and tempo seemed to heighten were both teams went at it from the first whistle. Both teams had their chances however nobody could take their chances and both teams seemed to cancel each other out. Young then replaced McConville who had been out for almost five weeks prior to this game, the intensity and tempo had taken its toll on the young defender but what a return game he had. Mallon replaced McCartan and his fresh legs helped the Lurgan cause greatly. The first half of Extra time finished all square.
Extra Time First Half 1-1
The Second half began and there was no let up on the tempo and intensity of the game. Lurgan and Glenavon both went searching for what seemed an allusive winner. As Lurgan probed for a goal Glenavon caught them on a counter attack only for Cunningham to run from his goal and clear the danger. As the game neared the final whistle there was one last attack, a long ball forward found the Glenavon striker who was five yards offside, the Lurgan defence stopped awaiting a whistle that should have been blown, however the young forward continued toward goal and slipped the ball to the striker who slotted home the winner. Lurgan tried to force the play again but time wasn’t on their side despite a number of attacks just falling short.
Lurgan Town would like to say a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all the Coaches and Players of Glenavon and would like to wish them well for the rest of the season.
I think all the boys on both teams deserve the plaudits as this was a great spectacle for anyone watching to see such talented and committed young boys provide such an enthralling game. Its great to see the talent within our community. Well Done to All.