In a tough opening NIWFA Championship fixture, Lurgan Town Ladies hosted Lisburn Ladies, who only missed out on Premiership football last season on head-to-head results.
The home side had new signings Zoe Davidson and Elisha Donnelly playing, but were still short of quite a few players, and some had to play out of position. Nevertheless they gave a spirited performance, despite losing 3-0 in the end.
After an even opening 5 minutes, Lisburn put in a high ball from the left which went over new keeper Rachel Davis’ head, and gave the visitors an early lead. Then 15 minutes later, Lurgan didn’t clear the ball out, and sustained pressure by Lisburn brought a second goal into the bottom left corner. Lurgan Town weren’t getting the chance to play their usual passing football, so in the second half, the midfield was strengthened, and this soon resulted in Elisha getting a shot on goal, from a Kerry Taggart pass. Keeper Rachel made some crucial saves throughout the second half, but the ladies conceded a third goal after 75 minutes. They finished strongly, though, with breakaways by Kerry and Debbie Douglas who rounded the keeper but shot wide, and the last touch of the game was from Tina Brush who couldn’t quite get past the on-rushing keeper.
Afterwards, Lurgan Town manager Johnny Lewis said “The girls all made a great effort tonight. I would like to congratulate Elisha on her POTM nomination, and Rachel who took on the keepers role and did a superb job. The standard in the Championship league is high, but we will continue to grow as a team, and show that we belong there”.
Thank you to our two shy mascots from the Lurgan Town Girls Academy – Ellie & Kelly. Next match – away to East Belfast Ladies at Inverary Avenue.
Team: R Davis, T Orr, T Smith, D Douglas, L O’Neill, E Donnelly, L Thompson, T Brush, Z Davidson, J Whelan, K Taggart
Subs: D Brady, C Young (not used)