Lurgan Town U19s took to the pitch for the first team this year with a league game at the Arena against Fivemiletown. Lurgan welcomed Simon Wilson on his return to the club and his first appearance for the U19s.
There were a few changes for Lurgan with Alex Woods unavailable due to sickness therefore it give Jack Evans the opportunity to play in a more attacking role. It soon paid of for Lurgan when combination play that included Jack Evans playing a one two with Aaron Winters and finding Callum Watkins in the penalty area to score after 3 minutes. Lurgan were controlling the game with Lewis McKinley, Andre McIvor and Jonathan Russell dictating play in the midfield area but Lurgans main threat came from Callum Watkins as he tortured the left back. Fivemiletown almost equalised after Lurgans defence switched off and let their striker to go one on one with Adam Craig but the shot hit the post. Lurgan still continued to create and Jonny Russell should’ve doubled Lurgans lead but hit straight at the keeper. Lurgan were hit with a blow after Jack Evans had to leave the pitch after 20 minutes with a knee injury. Jack was replaced by Simon Wilson which seen Jonny moving to left wing and Simon filling in centre midfield. Despite Lurgan being in control of the game Fivemiletown were still a threat but the defence of O’Neill, Upton. Smyth and Millen protected Adam Craig’s goal. The first half finished with Lurgan leading by the one goal.
The second half was different as Fivemiletown became more of a threat as they attacked with intent. However Lurgan still creates opportunities therefore it was pretty much end to end. Fivemiletown got the equaliser as their tall centre half was left unmarked he headed home a corner kick. The next goal was going to be crucial and Lurgan could’ve took the lead but Callum Watkins was unlucky not to add to his first half strike plus Jonny Russell almost on the end of more good play from Lewis McKinley. It was Fivemiletown that got the next goal with a superb finish but defensively it could have been prevented. Lurgan changed formation with 5 minutes left in search of the equaliser by just leaving 3 in defence. This did leave space for Fivemiletown to exploit however fortune favours the brave as Lurgan went all out attack. Firstly Lewis McKinley watched a free kick just fly over the crossbar but with one minute left of the game Lurgan had an unlikely hero. Mark Boyd collected the ball on the left wing which he destroyed the full back with great skill and delivered a tantalising cross with his right foot. The cross avoided everyone except Timmy Millen who found himself unmarked 3 yards out to head into the empty goal. The celebrations were wild not just because it was a last minute equaliser but it was Timmy’s first goal since U15s and his 2nd goal for the club.
It wasn’t the result Lurgan wanted however there were some good performances and a lot of positives from the game. Jonny Russell, Lewis McKinley and Andrew McIvor performed well, Timmy Millen solid as usual in defence as well as popping up with the equaliser, Mark Boyd showing in his short time on the pitch what we all know he is capable of and finally player of the match Callum Watkins who has been a great addition to the team this season.