When the two clubs – Lurgan Town & Craigavon City – are paired up it always makes for good entertainment and Saturday proved no different. Lurgan Town started well, as did the visitors, with chances coming early on for both teams. Craigavon went close, when fine play down the right hand side, found its way to the centre forward who in turn fired just wide, after good pressure from Judge. Lurgan soon went one up, when young Morgan Smyth took off down the line, found Gregg inside, who split the defence for Gargasas, and the big man picked Andy Heaney out to tap in at the front post to make it 1-0.
Both teams were well in the game, with Craigavon’s long ball play being dealt well with Adams and Judge at centre half, while Warren and Smyth were starting attack after attack. Craigavon were restricted to long distance shots, and Adam Craig was matching them. As the half went on, a squared ball to Ashley Gregg, lined up to get his shot away and unfortunately miss hit it, however as Craigavon switched off, Heaney was on hand at the back post after being played on by the full back to tap in to make it 2-0. Further chances were to come, and Hamilton done well to break away down the right wing, drive inside, but unfortunately misplaced his shot as Gregg stood isolated in the box. With the half drawing to a close, a ball over the top caused some confusion, and captain Joel Adams was adjudged to have taken down the City centre forward in the box, and the resulting penalty kick was dispatched well, despite Craig going the right way.
With the wind in Craigavon’s sails, Lurgan knew that the goal they conceded before the half would encourage the visitors, and this is exactly how it played out. City had some great opportunities to draw level, however they found Adam Craig and his back line in superb form. Scott Wiltshire and Luke Adams were starting to get into the game, and it was quite the end to end game at this stage. City came close to an equaliser, when their winger broke into the box, fired towards the top left, but Craig made a wonderful stop to deny him, much to City’s frustration. Soon after this, a great corner was delivered by City, and with the defender heading down with power, again that man Craig was equal to it. This spurred Lurgan Town on, and some great tackling really lifted the lads as frustration grew and grew with Craigavon City, they had their midfielder dismissed for foul and abusive language doing his team no favours.
Lurgan dominated from this point on, and with the introduction of Millen, Milne and Faila, the pace really made a difference as Timmy Millen drew foul after foul. Lurgan played a ball over the top, and as the City keeper left his box to clear, he miskicked and the ball fell to Gregg in the middle of the field, who made no mistake slipping the ball under the keeper to make it 3-1. With only a few minutes left, it was a case of avoiding any injury with some silly tackles from City as frustration levels were clear to see, however Lurgan Town did well to keep their composure and see out the final whistle.
Lurgan Town did not play well at all in this game and will be frustrated with the performance, but can be pleased with the three points on the day. Decision making in the final third will have to improve, but with another three goals scored and a derby day win, it is always pleasing for any team. The boys showed great game management in the second half, and dug in when needed. On a side note, for a team with an average age of 22, many under that, the way they dealt with what can only be described as disgusting verbal’s from some away “supporters” is a credit to them as individuals.