U10 COBRAS V PORTADOWN
19th March 2023
Lurgans first game back at the GDC was nothing short of thrilling. Lurgan started off strong moving the ball up the lines through Ben and Joshua Hall, playing in dawid who came close a number of times but moira defended well. Seth stayed very strong at the back clearing his lines anytime moira broke through. It wasn't long until Lurgans pressure paid off with Ben chasing a through ball from noah right to the by line, then turning and playing it back for a lovely finish into the top corner from Joshua Hall, A fantastic team goal. It wasn't long after until we got our second and it was chaos in the goal mouth only for George S getting a toe onto it at the last to force it over the line.
Lurgan looked to be home and dry but moira had different ideas and with Lurgan feeling the effects of being the aggressor for the majority of the game, tired legs set in and moira squeezed 2 goals at the last.
A result that doesn't tell the full story a fantastic effort from lurgan and I look forward to seeing them again next weekend. A special mention to Zak Stokes for standing in as keeper aswell.
Goals: Joshua Hall x1, George S x1
U10 PREDATORS V PORTADOWN
19th March 2023
The Predators started off the brighter of the two sides creating a few early chances. The deadlock was broken with the pressure paying off with Oliver squeezing the ball in from a tight angle. Mikey Askew then doubled the lead with a long range effort going through the keeper's legs. Portadown then scored with their player playing a fine ball across the box for their striker to convert well at the back post.
Second half Predators started well again & the best move of the match ended with Oliver firing into the corner from distance. Portadown then pegged the Predators back again with a reply. Portadown then had a spell of pressure themselves but Zak & Harry were steadfast at the back with Zac making a couple of saves. That seemed to spur the Predators on & with Fionn taking control of the middle of the park started to stretch Portadown which led to two fine passages of play including Oliver & Cameron resulting in Oscar scoring two very well taken goals.
Another very pleasing performance from the Predators who have continued their rich vein of form.
Goals: Oliver 2, Mikey 1, Oscar 2
U7 ACADEMY UPDATE
19th March 2023
Our U7 players travelled to Loughgall on Saturday with our Predators getting the better weather.
The Predators team consisting of Ezra, Jacob O, Olly, Cian, Archie and Tobin performed excellently against Oxford Sunnyside. Ezra was lethal in front of the goal and Cian was excellent defensively. Oxford played their part in a sporting game.
Scorers - Ezra 5, Jacob 3, Tobin 2
Our Vapor’s unfortunately got caught up with the heavy rain against new team Annagh Pumas. Zac was the player that stood out with 4 goals.
Squad - Noah, Jonah, Joel, Zac, Jack & Mason
Scorers - Zac 4, Jack
U PREDATORS V BANNRIDGE RANGERS
4th March 2023
Rangers started the stronger of the two sides pushing the predators back and pressing high against the predators back line.The predators found the answer playing out from the back with Harry, Zak and Fionn all passing and moving well. It wasn’t long after then when the predators broke the deadlock.. and great finish into the bottom from Oscar. The predators then found their rhythm, Michael A came off the bench onto wing and with his first touch finished a great move where Oscar squared the ball into the middle. Oscar then popped away one more before the half as a result of great closing down.
In the second half the predators continued their great work.. Will intercepting at every chance, Zak a rock at the back and Fionn conducting in midfield. Will picked up a loose ball in the middle.. danced round two players and finished calmly, Oscar got his third again by closing down at the front and charging down a keepers clearance.
Michael, Noah and Daniel combined really well on the right which resulted in Daniel hitting a great effort that cannoned off the post. Michael A then scored his second after intercepting on the right hand side and finishing into the far corner. Rangers came back though and scored twice in quick succession to narrow the score line and continued threaten. But it was Noah B who had the final say after a great ball over the top from will, he showed his strength to finished tidily.
Special mention to Oliver & Harry who worked tirelessly and to Zac in goals who made a number of vital early saves to set the predators up. The lads all played their part but still lots to improve on.
Oscar x 3, Michael A x 2, Will x 1, Noah B x 1
TOWN PROGRESS IN ALAN WILSON CUP
4th March 2023
Lurgan Town travelled to Havelock Park to face Seapatrick in the Quarter Final of the league cup. It was a feisty start to the game with very little in the way of breakthroughs for either team. Lurgan settled in well and started to dictate the game. The first sight of goal came halfway through the first half when skipper Joel Adams just fell short from getting onto the end of a corner kick. Town continued to disrupt the Seapatrick back line, led by the energetic Heaney, who after being fouled a few times had Seapatrick centre back see yellow, forcing him to walk a tightrope for most of the game.
The opening goal came 40 minutes into the first half, when Heaney met a defence splitting through ball and dispatched comfortably through the Seapatrick goalkeepers’ legs. An excellent finish capped off a well earned goal for Heaney. HT 1-0 to Lurgan Town.
There was very little in the way of chances created from either side, with only a few snap shots at goal, with Towns main chance from another corner where Gregg Harrisons header glanced just fractionally wide. A few head injuries leading into the remaining 20 minutes broke up the second half resulting in both teams changing things up with Towns substitutions being more defensive minded and conversely, attacking minded for Seapatrick. Despite this, Town absorbed the late pressure well and stood resolute in anything thrown their way.
The second half was an excellent example of the defensive qualities throughout this Lurgan Town team and a fantastic display of game management. Special mention to Marcus Smiley who made some vital interceptions and blocks throughout an excellent personal performance. Overall, Town showed fantastic grit and determination to get the win, keep a clean sheet and leave Banbridge with a semi-final to prepare for versus Lower Maze.
Final score: 1-0 to Lurgan Town. Coincidentally, a carbon copy result from the last time the two met at Havelock Park.
Next up for Town is an away trip to Ambassadors in the 4th Round of the Marshall Cup on Saturday 11 th March. Goals: Andrew Heaney (x1)
FIRST GAME IN LEAGUE CUP
4th March 2023
Saturday saw the U13 boys play their first game in the group stage of the league cup against TTBS at the Gordon Playing fields and we were hoping to get off to a good start. Town started off very well, on the front foot from the kick off. We dominated the early stages but it had the feeling of a game that the longer it went without a goal then it could be difficult. The breakthrough came after a superb cross by Owen , whipped in at pace and met with a superbly directed header into the far corner of the net by skipper Jack Green. We hoped this would see the boys pushing on and getting more goals but TTBS regrouped and the equaliser came just before half time. So in we went all square.
In the half time team talk the focus was getting more shots in and win the second balls. Second half began much the same as the first with Town dominating the play and TTBS defending very well. Persistence paid off when a shot by Owen slipped through the keepers hands and 2-1 the score. So another win and a good start to the group.
Sterner challenges ahead in this group with Valley Rangers and Ballyvea waiting. Some very good performances today but a big shout to Oli O who was outstanding in the mid field and covered every blade of grass. Thanks to TTBS and we wish them well for the remainder of the season.
u8s back in action
4th March 2023
Two out of the three U8 teams where back in action on Saturday following their 'winter break', with both teams performing very well on the day.
The Vapors returned from the winter break and can count themselves very unfortunate to have come out on the wrong end of an end to end thriller. The Vapors started the better of the two teams and took a deserved lead when Reuben "The Rooster" Greer nutmegged the goalie and the ball was bundled over the line from close range. Both teams had further chances and it was Armagh who struck back. Oliver had a good chance when he was played through on goal but a defender recovered to toe poke the ball out for a corner with Ollies right peg ready to unleash. Armagh took a lead early in the second half before a spirited fightback from Town saw a deserved equaliser. A long throw from the impressive Reuben Moore found the other Reuben who supplied the deadly finish into the roof of the net. Unfortunately Armagh retook the lead when a powerful long range effort found the bottom corner. Armagh continued to pressure the Vapors and Caleb pulled off some super saves to keep us in the game, allowing us to launch wave after wave of attack in the last 10 minutes but the boys couldn't catch a break and a combination of the woodwork, some great goalkeeping and last ditch defending kept the Vapors at bay. All in all, a game we would likely win most other weeks but the footballing gods weren't on our side today. Top effort from all the boys and plenty to encourage the coaches.
Squad: Reuben M, Reuben G, Alfie, Jude, Daniel, Harley, Oliver, Ethan and man of the match Caleb.
The Cobras took on a very strong Banbridge Rangers Cubs. The game was evenly matched for long periods and Town just shaded the chances created, but found the Banbridge keeper in fine form. When he was beaten, the woodwork came to the blue men's rescue. Town played the ball really well. They have been working on their passing in training and the improvement is there for all to see. Thomas at the back has settled into the position really well and defended excellently for the team. Going forward Jaxon will be disappointed not to have scored a debut goal or two, but it will come on another day, whilst player of the month Reuben A was once again superb in tackling all over the park. Town's goal on the day came from Max.
Squad: Thomas, Reuben A, Cody, Nathan, Jake McN, Adam G, Jaxon, Brody and man of the match Max.
four wins in a row
4th March 2023
Lurgan Town Under 13 girls made it four wins in a row with a 7-1 win against Loughgall Youth Girls on Thursday evening at the Arena. Town started the game brightly, forcing numerous corners and creating plenty of good chances but just couldn’t convert any into goals. Loughgall opened the scoring with a quick counter attacking goal on 12 minutes. The home side’s heads didn’t drop though and they equalised two minutes later thanks to a goal at the near post from Eve.
Poppy, the stand in keeper in the first half, made a smart stop diving down to her right before a neat individual effort from Maddie put Town 2-1 up at the break.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Lurgan dominating the ball and creating chances with Loughgall always looking dangerous on the break.
Maddie’s second of the night on 41 mins gave Lurgan some breathing space and was the first of five goals in a seven minute spell. Eve added three to her first half goal and Poppy went from goalkeeper to goal scorer with a fine effort. Best on the night for the Lurgan girls were Eve and Maddie with special mentions to stand in ‘keepers Claudia and Poppy.
debut for u9 girls
4th March 2023
Our U9 girls made their debut in the IFA SSG programme. First up was a game against Banbridge Rangers.
The girls started a bit tentatively as they were all a little unsure when it came to defending and making tackles. However, as the game progressed all the girls grew in confidence. They played with skill and commitment. Emily got the Towns first goal at U9s and our newest recruit Anayse scored 2.
A real positive start to the games programme for the team. A wee mention for Sara for an unbelievable defensive display in the second half. Looking forward to watch the girls develop their skills in the remaining weeks.
Squad: Karlie, Lily-Anna, Emily, Maisie S, Maisie (crazy), Sara, Anayse, Claudia
Well done Girls
Get well soon to Gracie & Olivia as they missed out due to illness.
mixed bag for u7s
4th March 2023
On Saturday the IFA SSG returned to outdoor games after the futsal winter break. Our U7s made the journey back to Loughgall FC for 2 games.
The Predators kicked off with a game against Soccer Indoors Dynamos. The boys struggled to get into the game against well drilled opponents. Lurgan’s goals came from Ezra 2.
However, the Vapor’s had a super game against Banbridge Town. The Vapor’s goals came from Mason, Joel 3 and Zach scoring 4 on his debut.
Well done boys
2012s TOP THEIR GROUP
25th February 2023
Lurgan Town 2012s played their final group game of the MUYL League Cup this morning against a spirited St. Mary's Colts at Lurgan Town Arena. In what was there 7th game in the league cup, the boys pulled off an impressive 9-0 win, meaning they top the group with 7 wins. Goals on the day from Jamie Cunningham x3, Noah McGladdery x2, Jamie Mckernan, Leo Devine, Elijah Preston and Noah Hutchinson, meant the lads had a prolific day in front of goal.
At times the boys played superb football, retaining possession, using width the capitalise on the opposition and showing positional discipline to keep control of the game.
Man of the match was Daniel Dawson, who looked comfortable throughout. Special thanks to our stand in GKs, Samuel and Josiah. They continue to do a sterling job.
The boys look forward to their next game.
TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH
20th February 2023
Game 11 was a hugely important top of the table clash between 1st and 2nd place. A win for Town would put them top with 2 games in hand over 2nd place.
It was Town's turn to visit Newmills who play out of Dungannon Swifts ground, a 4G pitch that very much suits Lurgan’s play style. Town created numerous chances in the first half but failed to find the net, before Newmills opened the scoring with an overhead kick in a crowd of players with the keeper left unsighted.
Just before halftime, Town thought they had an equaliser, only for it to be ruled out, a decision that left everyone bemused. Jay Gardiner had picked up the ball 30 yards out and dribbled his way towards the edge of the box and fired home to the bottom left-hand corner with the keeper at full stretch, only for the referee to adjudge this offside, for what was assumed another player in the keeper’s sight. This was just one of many questionable calls.
About 15 minutes into the second half, Jay Gardiner levelled the playing field with a fantastic left footed effort from 25 yards out, in off the crossbar. A well-deserved goal for a player who was outstanding on the day from start to finish, unlucky not to have himself 2 goals.
With about 30 minutes to go, a Newmills striker was presented with a second yellow, after a few warnings. Lurgan pressed more and more, leaving Newmills with their only option to pump the ball back towards Towns final third. 10 minutes from the end and against the run of play, Newmills striker struck from 30+ yards and an unfortunate mistake from the Town keeper saw the ball trickle past the line, with what must have potentially been Newmills only shot in the second half.
Lurgan kept on pushing but couldn’t get past the Newmills keeper who had a solid performance. Most notably, Ashley Gregg came close hitting the woodwork but overall, I think it’s fair to say, Newmills were extremely glad to hear the final whistle and were very fortunate to come away with all 3 points.
It just wasn’t to be for Town, and one of those games that even walking away with a point would have felt like injustice, but to walk away with zero was disheartening. Alas, back to the drawing board to put things right for game week 12.
Next up for Town is Rectory Rangers on Saturday 25th February.
Goals: Jay Gardiner (x1)
U13S topple league leaders
19th February 2023
Yesterday saw the U13s at home against top of the table Craigavon City. City have won every game so far in the Premier section on a fantastic unbeaten run. But all good things come to an end and it certainly did yesterday. The performance Lurgan Town put on was nothing short of amazing. Every player in the squad displayed the heart on the sleeve quality that runs through our club.
Despite going 2-1 down when leading one nil could have seen us lose the game but the tenacity and hard work saw the boys win their individual battles and then the quality football which we always knew the boys were capable of came through. Quality passing, excellent in possession, superb defence splitting passes , hard work when out of possession the result was never going to be in doubt.
Goals today: Tom 3, Kai and Jack M
As Willy rightly said not one man of the match today but twelve men of the match ! We push on now and need to make these performances the norm. Big marker put down today and a real message sent to all other teams. Friday night next week home to St. Mary's. We look forward to welcoming them to the arena.
SUPERB SECOND HALF FROM U19S
19th February 2023
Lurgan Town U19S got back to league action. After a free week last Saturday Town travelled to the seaside to take on Newcastle at Donard Park. The first 10 mins both teams cancelled each other out and chances were very limited. The first chance of the day fell to the home team but Jake Agnew made a good save. Newcastles lively winger James Savage started to pull the strings and came close on the 25 mins but again Agnew was up to the task. Moments later Newcastle got their deserved opener. Lurgan switched off from a short corner and a long range shot sneaked in at the near post. Just before half time Newcastle doubled their lead to make it 2-0 at half time.
On the 52 min Town pulled one back this came from Ryan Lee Brown who finished well from a through ball from Karl Henderson. Lurgan kept up the pressure and nearly came level but Krisy Cassells headed over from a Ben Hendron free kick. It was all one way traffic and Town got their deserved equaliser. A swinging corner from Liam Campbell was spilled by the Newcastle Keeper and Ronan Watkins was on hand to take this tally to 12 for the season. Moments later Watkins nearly doubled his tally but Newcastle keeper saved well. On the 80th min Lurgan made it 3-2. Joey MacDonald gambled at the back post to calmly slot it past the keeper. From a counter attack Newcastle nearly equalised but Jake saved well to make sure the points went up the road back to Lurgan. Great second half performance from the whole team today.
Newcastle has always been a bit of a bogey team for us but hopefully todays win has put that to bed.
U11S REMAIN IN TOP SPOT
18th February 2023
Town 2012s hosted Markethill Swifts in a match that saw the top 2 teams in Group C of the Under 11 MUYL League Cup go head to head and it was the Lurgan boys that claimed the 3 points. Lurgan started the brighter team with Presley McConville and Noah McGladdery exerting dominance in the midfield and the team creating several chances but were not able to convert early on. It was Markethill that took the lead against the run of play half way through the first half when some confusion allowed them to score on a counter attack. Within a minute Jamie Cunningham found himself in space wide on the right and played a square ball into Noah McGladdery who took a touch and from outside the box rifled his shot into the bottom corner for the equaliser.
Town soon took the lead when Oscar Philson picked up a loose ball close to the net and made no mistake with his finish. The lead was extend less than a minute later when Noah McGladdey played a great through ball for Oscar Philson to run onto and he kept his composure to neatly put the ball past the outcoming keeper.
Markethill then pulled a goal back from a corner to finish a spell of 5 goals in 6 exciting minutes. Into the second half and Lurgan continued to push for more goals with Elijah Preston and Jamie McKernan providing good width going forward. They got their reward when Elijah Preston chased a long ball from Samuel Lutton and put good pressure on the Markethill defender who was unfortunate to put the ball past his own keeper. The deficit was soon reduced back to one when a mix-up in the Lurgan defence seen the keepers clearance rebound of a Markethill player and lob back over his head into the net.
Markethill pressed for an equaliser but the Lurgan backline of Samuel Lutton, Josiah Hawthorne, Daniel Dawson and Noah Hutchinson held out to secure the win and keep the team top of the group.
Squad: Noah McGladdery, Noah Hutchinson, Samuel Lutton, Jamie Cunningham, Daniel Dawson (c), Presley McConville, Jamie McKernan, Oscar Philson, Elijah Preston, Josiah Hawthorne. Next week sees their last group match against St Mary’s YC Colts before the League Cup breaks out into the knock out sections.
2012s progress in ko CUP
11th February 2023
Lurgan Town 2012s Progressed to the next round of the KO Cup after a hard fought win over Dungannon Swifts at the Arena on Saturday morning. With a reduced squad size, the Town lads found themselves with only 9 players, so they had to call upon on two 2013 players; Cameron Fitzsimmons and Fionn Wilson.
Town opened up the better of the two teams, getting the better of the midfield battle with Presley McConville and Jamie Mckernan working well together. 6 mins into the game, a break down the right hand side saw Leo Devine play in Elijah Preston who beat one defender and poked the ball into the net from 10 yards out.
With Town looking dominant, the defensive trio of Noah Hutchinson, Daniel Dawson and Samuel Lutton where holding strong until a mix up with a misled back pass saw Dungannon score past out make shift goal keeper Josiah Hawthorne.
Half time: Lurgan Town 1-1 Dungannon Swifts
The beginning of the second half Town made some changes, moving Samuel Lutton into goal and Josiah Hawthorne playing out. The second half was more competitive, with Foinn Wilson and Cameron Fitzsimmons making an impression, and Jamie Cunnigham making penatrating runs down the wing. When Dungannon conceded a free kick in 30 yards for goal 5 minutes from time, Town sensed they could sneak the winner. Fionn Wilson stepped up, played an impressive ball into the box, the Dungannon played headed the ball only for it to drop to Leo Devine who struck a sweet shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net. In the following 5 minutes Lurgan held strong to secure the win.
Full Time: Lurgan Town 2-1 Dungannon.
Well done to our two stand in goalkeepers Josiah and Samuel and a special thanks to Fionn and Cameron. Lurgan look forward to who they have in the next round.
TOWN PROGRESS IN MARSHALL CUP
11th February 2023
This week Lurgan welcomed Dungannon based side Castlecaulfield to the Arena for the 3rd round of the Marshall Cup.
A much-changed Lurgan side started the game well and controlled the bulk of the possession from the first to the last whistle. Most of the first half play was down Lurgan’s right hand side with some lovely patterns of play with Timmy Millen at the heart of it all, however, they could not make the breakthrough. Town remained patient and worked the ball well out from the back and managed to break the lines to Andrew Heaney who was able to turn and feed a lovely through ball into the path of Ashley Gregg who rounded the keeper and finished exceptionally from an acute angle, 1-0 Town.
With the opening goal, Town started to relax and dictate the play more. Not long after, Darragh Gray found himself at the edge of the box and looped a left-footed valley past the Castlecaulfield keeper, a very tidy finish making it 2-0. Town enter the first half with a very comfortable lead.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first half, with Lurgan controlling most of the play, working the ball through the lines and not long in, it was that man Ashley Gregg again, who made it 3-0 to Town with a fantastic curling effort from outside the area, after a fantastic run from left back Josh Milne, leaving the keeper in no man’s land.
Andrew Heaney was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with a few great saves and Town were also unlucky to not to receive a penalty for being fouled in the box. Marcus Smiley again showing his great form led the back line to a much-deserved clean sheet, with Tyler Boyce not having to do a whole pile between the sticks, other than gather up a few wayward efforts from the opposition. 3-0 is how this game would end.
All and all, a very convincing and commanding win from Town, who will hope to take this momentum into the league campaign next week.
Next up for Town is an away Trip to Newmills on Saturday 18th February.
Goals: Ashley Gregg (x2), Darragh Gray (x1)
U13 GIRLS FINISH WITH A WIN
10th February 2023
Lurgan Town Girls Under 13 team finished their league campaign with a 9-4 win over Portadown on Wednesday evening in Craigavon. The girls were well ahead throughout the game and were 5-1 up at the break. Eve scored two great free kicks on her way to a hattrick. The match ball was shared with Ruby who also scored 3. There were goals apiece from Claudia, Maddie and a first of the season for Lily.
In defence, special mention to captain Zoe who had an excellent game. The girls have had a good start to 2023 with three wins out of four, with just one unlucky defeat by a single goal.
The girls will now take part in league cup and knock out cup competitions. The coaches are well pleased with the progress since pre season. Keep it up!
DERBY WIN FOR U15S
5th February 2023
Lurgan Town U15s returned to play their second game in the premiership with the aim to take all 3 points. Lurgan started poorly and Craigavon city were close to making the most out of the Lurgan Town mistakes but couldn't finish their opportunities. Jack Hollis was in good form and was showing that it would be tough to get past him in nets. Lurgan Town were forced into a change when Rhys McCreanor picked up an injury and was replaced by Matthew Little who added some needed defensive cover in the midfield. Lurgan went 1-0 up after Corey Hylands scored a free kick from 25 yards out! This was shortly followed by Lurgan Towns second and Corey’s second after good work from Klaudiusz to win the ball back and leave it in Corey’s path to dispatch. HT 2-0
Lurgan made 2 changes at half time with Tyler Black and Lewis Goodbarn from the 2009s team stepping up in the derby. Both players added their talent and helped the team compete throughout the second half, the second half was a great team performance with everybody competing for aerial battles and second balls and whenever Craigavon managed to get through they found Jack Hollis in great Form. FT 2-0
A superb win for the team and continues the good run of form. Every single player deserves credit for their performance but Corey Hylands, Ben Wells and Matthew Little were the standouts.
COMPETITIVE GAME FOR U13S
5th February 2023
Yesterday saw the U13s play away at Markethill. Another very competitive game in what is proving to be an extremely difficult league for all teams. The wind was definitely a huge factor with both teams benefiting from it.
First half saw Markethill with the wind and they took the advantage and were on 1-0 up at the break. This could have been worse for us as Markethill missed a penalty near the end of the half. Second half started and a quick goal for Markethill saw us two down. In weeks gone past this may have seen the heads drop and a game lost, but not today. The boys really showed their character and a superb goal by Alfie brought us right back into the game. All Lurgan Town now with more shots on target and dominating possession. Was it going to be just one of those days?
It looked very likely but our new addition to the squad in recent weeks, Alex, had other ideas and he netted his first of many for Lurgan Town with an extremely well taken strike with the clock running down. The boys just couldn't get the winner and all square it finished. A much better second half performance but there are some lessons to be learned. Unbeaten now in two and hopefully turning the corner.
U11S OUT OF NORTHERN IRELAND CUP
4th February 2023
Town 2012s travelled to play competition favourites Coleraine in the 4 th round of the NIBFA Cup and were unlucky not to progress to the quarter finals.
On a blustery day neither side were able to get any real dominance in the opening spells. Both sets of players were pressing well and closing each other down with great effect to minimise any goalscoring chances. The breakthrough came 5 minutes before the break when a Coleraine corner was half cleared but fell to one of their players to drive through a crowd of bodies into the net.
After some stirring words at half time the Lurgan boys made a great start to the second half. They soon equalised when Lucas Moore picked up a loose ball in midfield and found the top corner from fully 25 yards to score the best goal of the day. With the wind and rain picking up it was hard for either team to get into any flow of football. Coleraine went ahead again halfway through the second half when a long free kick was flicked on and the striker found himself in space inside the box to finish. Town pushed for a second goal but despite several half chances no clear opening presented itself. With Lurgan pushing extra players forward in search of the equaliser it was Coleraine who found the space 2 minutes from time to score again and leave the final result 3-1.
Every player of the team can be immensely proud of this performance with their efforts all over the pitch epitomising the clubs Heart on the Sleeve motto.
Squad: Matthew Stokarczyk, Noah McGladdery, Noah Hutchinson, Samuel Lutton, Jamie Cunningham, Daniel Dawson (c), Presley McConville, Jamie McKernan, Leo Devine, Lucas Moore, Elijah Preston, Josiah Hawthorne.
CONVINCING WIN PUTS TOWN TOP
4th February 2023
A big game for Lurgan today as they visited Ambassadors, marking the mid-point of the league campaign. The match began in the same fashion as the reverse fixture at home, where Town started the brighter of the two sides and got their just rewards about 10 minutes in, when Ashley Gregg found his deflected shot at goal edge past the goalkeeper after some lovely play down the right-hand side. Town continued to hound the back line, and soon found themselves 2-0 up after a tidy finish from that man Ashley Gregg again. Again, he could have had a hattrick early on, if it wasn’t for the keepers’ heroics, who could only manage to parry it into the feet of an ever-lively Gregg Harrison who was able to fire the ball into the back of the net.
After about 35 minutes, Town were well on top with a few decent chances from some goalkeeping errors, but just couldn’t find the target after a few unlucky bobbles. A sloppy freekick was given away and when Town failed to clear their lines, a lovely finish from Ambassadors saw the half end in favour of Towns at 3-1, a rather flattering score line for Ambassadors.
The next goal in the game was vital, but Town continued to play their style of football and began the second half looking to expand their 2-goal cushion.
Whilst comfortable and on the front foot, Town made a few substitutions to liven things up and that’s exactly what happened, with Andrew Heaney driving at the defence, dribbling round a few players before being fouled. He stepped up and hammered the freekick off the crossbar and in – a well earned goal after hitting the crossbar just a few minutes after coming on as well.
Shortly after, some great play down the left with the aid of some shaky defending, saw Jonny Farrell make the scoresheet from just 5 yards out and expand his goal tally to 7 goals in all competitions. The Lurgan boys could have made it more after some excellent build up play through Jay Gardiner, but this failed to amount to anything significant.
Just like Towns win last week at Laurelvale, the unchanged back four were very solid and dealt with anything that came their way, and the front line continued to keep firing on all cylinders. This 5-1 win sees Lurgan top the table at the halfway stage with games in hand over their nearest rivals, a catalyst for Town to improve upon to finish the second half of the season even stronger than the first.
Some halfwaystats (League): 10 played, 23 scored, 7 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses. Positively, the goals are being shared seeing 9 different goal scorers in the league, with Jonny Farrell & Ashley Gregg leading the way with 6 goals apiece, followed closely by the top scorer in all competitions Gregg Harrison, who has netted 4 in the league.
Next up for Town is Castlecaufield in the Marshall Cup.
Goals: Jonny Farrell(x1), Ashley Gregg(x2), Gregg Harrison(x1), Andrew Heaney (x1)
FANTASTIC DISPLAY & CLEAN SHEET
29th January 2023
Game 9 in the league campaign for Town sees Laurelvale visit the Arena for the first encounter between the two sides this season. The game had previously been postponed due to bad weather before the Christmas break and was sure to be a tight affair with Laurelvale only 2 points behind but having played 1 game more.
The first chance on goal came around 10 minutes in with some fantastic build up play that saw Harrison played through on goal, but the Vale goalkeeper managed to intervene the square ball and it remained 0-0.
More great play with Wiltshire intercepting the ball in midfield saw Gardiner played through on the left-hand side, but his cross was put out for a corner, with Farrell ready for a tap in. Town had a few crosses into the box spilled by the Vale goalkeeper but failed to capitalise on these. Laurelvale also had the crossbar come to their rescue when Ashley Gregg saw his volley from the edge of the box just narrowly missing.
Arguably the best chance of the first half fell to Laurelvale. A cross from the right-hand side found a Vale player who squared it for a 5-yard open goal, but it was the Town captain Adams who come rushing to the rescue with a superb goal line clearance. Laurelvale felt hard done by here, but upon closer inspection on the VEO footage, this was the correct decision and a clearance worthy of any clean sheet.
Overall, the first half was very stop-start with Laurelvale injuries and very little additional time to make up for this. Both sides had good chances but failed to put the ball in the back of the net.
The second half started to look like it was going to be one of those days for Town, with more chances going begging. A few consecutive Town corners caused havoc in the Vale penalty area and with a few scrambles in the box, Vale managed to clear their lines. It was only a matter of time now for Town.
Millen came close to opening the scoring in the 65th minute with a lovely run and shot from 30 yards that was excellently saved by the Vale keeper, otherwise it was heading right for the top corner. Just 5 minutes later, Gardiner with some excellent footwork down the left-hand side delivered a peach of a cross into the box which found Ashley Gregg lurking at the back post to head home for a deserved 1-0 lead. “I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best”- Ashley Gregg
Fantastic play again from Farrell saw his cross into the box find Harrison, who was able to poke home into the bottom corner. With the game now firmly in the control of Town, the aim was to protect the lead and come out with a clean sheet. Gardiner grabbed his 2nd assist of the day, when he controlled the ball in the midfield and fired a ball out to Jonny Farrell who did the rest and found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
This is how the game would end. A fantastic display all round and a clean sheet for the Lurgan boys who were just as excellent at the back with Smiley winning almost every aerial battlefaced through to the front who would just have to settle with the 3 goals scored.
Next up for Town is an away Trip to Ambassadors on Saturday 4th February.
Goals: Jonny Farrell(x1), Ashley Gregg(x1), Gregg Harrison(x1)
MUST WIN GAME
29th January 2023
Yesterday saw our U13s at the Gordon Playing Fields for what was a must win game against TTBS. After a poor start to the Premier section since the split we needed to get a win on the board today.
A good start from the boys saw them dominate possession from the start and that was the way the game played out. Both the goals came in the first half, with 2 very well taken goals by Tom Kerr and Oli Mcrob. The game got a bit bogged down in the second half with the poor pitch not helping either side.
At last a win and hopefully a bit of momentum to follow. All games in this section are tricky and we have another one away to Markethill next Saturday.
ALAN WILSON CUP, ROUND 1
22nd January 2023
It was a quick trip to neighbours Craigavon City in a bid to end their Alan Wilson cup defence. The two clubs have faced each other once in the league campaign so far this season, ending in 2 points dropped for Town (2-2 result).
Town started on the front foot with a few snapshots at goal but to no reward. An ever-lively Heaney managed to tip the ball away from a City defender after being played through on goal which resulted in a deserved yellow card and set the tone for the rest of the game. From here on it was a quiet first half in the way of chances created, with both keepers untested. 10 minutes from the end of the first half, Craigavon City were awarded the first of 3 penalty kicks on the day, after a very questionable hand ball decision. This was well taken and ended the half 1-0 to Craigavon.
A quick team talk, and Town came out looking much the fitter of the two sides and started the second half the same way they ended the first half – on the front foot. Midfield duo of Warren & Wiltshire started to enjoy more time on the ball and managed to link the play up with Gardiner who became very effective dropping into little pockets of space and feeding runners either side. 10 minutes into the 2nd half and Town thought they had an equaliser after Gregg Harrison had flicked on a Russell freekick, but the referee had adjudged a Town player offside and to be inferring with the goalkeeper’s sight of the ball– goal ruled out.
Town kept knocking on the door with chances from Gregg and Gardiner and 20 minutes into the second half, the referee gave out the 2nd penalty of the game, this time for Lurgan. Gregg Harrison stepped up and finished comfortably. With both teams’ now level, Town had the bit between their teeth and began to really put the pressure on with most of the possession in City’s half. It was that man Heaney again causing a nuisance and earned Lurgan the 3rd and final penalty of the game after being taken down from behind. Harrison stepped up again and converted his 8th goal in all competitions.
This meant Town were now 2-1 up leading into the final 10 minutes, and with a deflated City team after conceding 2 goals in quick succession and injury to their captain who was run ragged all day, Town kept on hounding with a few clear-cut chances which were well saved by the City Goalkeeper. Town played some brilliant football and managed to get Heaney through on goal again where he was chopped down from behind, subsequently leading to an easy red card decision for the referee to make– making City’s search for an equaliser that much more of a mountain to climb.
City made changes in an attempt to salvage extra time, but a stubborn Town defence stuck to their tasks and saw the game out impressively with Smiley and Adams commanding the backline and Boyce having very little to deal with in the closing stages, in fact the entire game. It could have ended 4 or 5 to Town, but they leave Drumgor with a fully deserved victory and by far the more dominant team.
Into the Hat
town maintain GOOD win rate
22nd January 2023
Lurgan Town 2012s maintained their 100% record in the MUYL League Cup Group Stage with a victory over Moira at Lurgan Town Arena. The Lurgan boys started brightly with some good passing moves that created chances for Noah Hutchinson, Jamie McKernan and Noah McGladdery but the Moira keeper made saved them well. The breakthrough came in the 13th minute when Olly Roney played the ball back to James Handley who quickly found Josiah Hawthorne, he then played a through ball up to Jamie Cunningham and he squeezed it through to Presley McConville who showed great composure to round one defender and score in the bottom corner for his 4th goal in 3 games.
The lead was doubled one minute later when Noah McGladdery won the ball in midfield and released Presley McConville to set up Noah Hutchinson, his shot was well saved but Jamie Cunningham was on hand to tap in the rebound. Town continued to press forward for the rest of the half with Lucas Moore and Leo Devine creating chances while Samuel Lutton, Olly Roney and Daniel Dawson dealt with any Moira attacks at the back.
The second half had a bit less fluidity with Lurgan making several several substitutions and positional changes. It was 3 minutes from full time when a third goal came from Lurgan, another fine passing move this time starting with Jamie Cunningham at the back and going through Josiah Hawthorne, Elijah Preston, James Handley and Presley McConville before arriving at Noah McGladdery in the box to score. Before the full time whistle a rare moment of confusion in the Lurgan defence allowed Moira to register a goal on the scoresheet and leave the final score 3-1.
The coaches, players and parents of the squad would like to send collective best wishes to James Handley and Olly Roney as they now transfer to the Linfield Academy for the next stage of their football journey.
win puts town top
22nd January 2023
Our U14s played their final Section 1 league match against Craigavon City. The team knew a win would see them top the league. With the unavailability of coaches Pete and Mark the team had to be covered by Phil and Lewis. Also, new players added to the squad Adam McGerrigan from Glenavon and Brodie McCart from Banbridge Town.
The team started with 3-5-2 formation and while they were creating scoring opportunities early on they were prone to the counter attack. However, Lurgan won a free kick just in the Craigavon half. Alfie Givan played a great free kick over the defence to find the run of Lewis Goodbarn which Lewis finished with composure. The lead could have been extended but shots from Jacob Neill and Joshua Quinn were saved. As mentioned earlier Craigavon were a threat on the counter, especially their number 7 getting through on goal, he found Lurgan keeper Patryk Jedrol in outstanding form with two super saves. To stop the threat Lurgan went 4-4-2 by moving Will Cunningham to right back. Mason McAdam was having an excellent game on the right side of midfield and he was involved as Joshua Q scored Lurgan’s second just before halftime. Craigavon thought they had a goal back with a shot destined for the net only for Patryk to pull off the save of the season as he tipped it over the crossbar. H-T 2-0
The change of formation helped Lurgan take control of the 2nd half especially with Lewis G and Tyler B dominating the midfield. Lurgan made a few changes as they brought on Brodie, Adam M, Nathan L and Warren B. A couple of quick goals in the second half from Joshua Q and Tyler Black had pretty much sealed the win. Captain Jayden H was replaced as he was playing with sore Achilles. Eve Adair came back on to replace Jayden Harker. Craigavon were awarded a soft penalty which allowed them to get on the scoresheet with a well struck penalty. Isaac Bell was brought back on and along with Adam they created a few chances. A fifth goal for Lurgan and a hat-trick for Joshua eventually arrived with a couple of minutes remaining.
The team put in an excellent performance with all players performing well. Defensively very consistent especially after the change of formation. Attacking with a lot of pace and a constant threat. It was difficult to select a player of the match with 3 players in particular standing out. Central Midfielders Lewis and Tyler for their work-rate along with a goal each plus keeper Patryk with 3 amazing saves plus an assist for a goal.
Stand-in Coaches Phil and Lewis were really impressed how the team encouraged and supported each other along with some excellent play. A well deserved win.
Finally, the team and club wish Michael Emerson good luck as he made the move to Glenavon. Michael has been part of this team for a number of years but now has to opportunity to play National League with Glenavon.