On Saturday Lurgan Town entertained Portadown based side Ambassadors. Both sides started well, with the ambassadors soaking up some early pressure in the opening minutes, however a quick start by Lurgan seen them take the lead, when the impressive Gargasas opened the scoring with a bullet from 20 yards out into the bottom left hand corner top leave the keeper no chance.
Lurgan then went close on numerous occasions after this as the Ambassadors struggled with the pace and relentless running of Gargasas and Heaney and behind those two the tireless Luke Adams pressing high and causing them real problems. Heaney went close when a wonderful ball by McNally was floated over the defender, and with his back to goal, Heaney took a brilliant first touch and then volley on the spin, only to be matched by a wonder save.
Gargasas hit the post soon after slipping past the keeper, but the post denied him on this occasion. On the half hour mark, great work by Heaney seen a good save, only to the frustration of the Ambassadors to see the ball drop to that man Gargasas again who made no mistake from a few yards out. 2-0 Half Time.
The second half started with the Ambassadors coming out with great intentions to get back into the game, with some fantastic dribbling from the lively Strain in the middle of the park, creating a couple of half chances for his team mates, however for the second week in a row, young keeper Craig was in super form to deny the away team on each occasion. Town continued forward at each opportunity and were causing real problems, with Wiltshire, Warren and Adams all having a go from long range.
With 20 minutes to go, that man Gargasas rounded off a great afternoon bagging himself a hat trick when Heaney was upended in the box and he made no mistake from the penalty spot when he smashed home to give the keeper no chance. 3-0 up, Lurgan had a couple of scares, on one occasion with Ambassadors striking the bar with a close range header, but the back line of Adams, Smiley and McPolin held firm.
Matthew Wells, Tiarnan Judge and Timmy Millen all entered the field at this point and seemed to give Lurgan a well needed lift going into the latter stages of the game. Hamilton went close with a spectacular effort, only to see it well saved at the far post. McNally then scored with 5 minutes remaining, when the ball broke to the edge of the box, and with the ball at an awkward height, he adjusted his body and volleyed into the top corner beyond the keeper to make it 4-0 and game over. Full time 4-0.
Man of the Match – Zygamantas Gargasas, not only for scoring a superb hat trick, but his all-round performance and work rate throughout.
Special mention to Andy Heaney who worked his socks off without reward, but created chance after chance for his team mates.
This was a fantastic win for the Town lads, and more importantly got the team off and running in the league. Each and every player contributed to the win on Saturday, and are showing a real togetherness as of late, which will only benefit them in what will no doubt be a testing few weeks to come.
The first team would like to dedicate this win to coach Steven Beattie, who unfortunately lost his grandmother in the early hours of Sunday morning.