Quarter final heartbreak for Youth

Loughgall Youth travelled to Londonderry on Saturday past to take on Oxford Utd Stars in the quarter final of the Nibfa Cup.Unfortunately the early start and the long journey took its toll,as the villagers were knocked out of the tournament by the North West outfit.The Youth started off brightly and played some nice football but failed to create any clear chances,which proved costly as Oxford then scored 2 quick goals within a 10 minute spell to rock the villagers.Oxford were now in the ascendency and put the Youth on the back foot but they couldn’t add to their tally with the crossbar and John Forde coming to Loughgall’s rescue.The only notable effort for Loughgall was a great James Black free kick which eluded the Loughgall forwards as they rushed in looking to get a final touch in what was a disappointing and disjointed first half.



The Youths start to the second half was a great improvement and played at a quicker tempo as they tried to get back into the game.The next goal was going to be crucial as Loughgall pushed forward. Alexander Black had a great chance to reduce the deficit but the striker was unlucky to see his shot go narrowly wide.When his brother James, who tormented Oxford throughout, then rattled the bar it clearly wasn’t going to be the villagers day. As Loughgall through caution to the wind they were left exposed to the counter attack from Oxford but some great last ditch tackling from Nathan Stoops kept the score at 2 -0.With 8 minutes remaining Oxford then sealed the game and booked their spot in the semi finals.Although down and out the boys kept going to the end and nearly got a late consolation when Chris diverted another James Black cross into the side netting.
John Forde in goals had another great game and made some outstanding saves throughout but was left helpless with any of the goals.The defence of Ben Gibbons, Jordan Bentley, Nathan Stoops, Ben Gillis and then Jamie Cupples who was back from injury all tried their best with Nathan and Ben Gillis been the stand out defenders.
The midfield of James Black, Marcus Stephenson, Adam Neill, Matthew Monaghan and then Chris Lindsay all worked hard on what was an awful pitch with James putting in a man of the match performance
Sam Kerr and Alexander Black played well up front and tried their best but did not get the rub of the green on the day.


The boys should be proud of their achievement in reaching the quarter finals of this elite cup competition,which dealt them all away fixtures,to all corners of the province in which they done themselves and the club proud.Well done boys.
Man of the Match: James Black.
Squad: John Forde, Ben Gibbons, Jordan Bentley, Ben Gillis, Nathan Stoops, James Black, Adam Neil, Marcus Stephenson, Matthew Monaghan, Sam Kerr, Alexander Black, Chris Lindsay and Jamie Cupples.
James Black

Villagers lose out to Derry in plate

Loughgall Youth under12s entertained Derry Colts on Saturday past in the first round of the National league plate.The villagers unfortunately came out on the wrong side of a 4-2 scoreline in what was a keenly contested game.

Loughgall started the brighter side with Marcus Stephenson and Matthew Monaghan been instrumental in midfield and putting their visitors on the back foot from the start. Loughgall soon got their reward after their excellent start when James Black whipped in a great cross from the right which was met at the back post by Adam Neill to slide in the opener from an acute angle.Loughgall continued to push forward with James Black nearly adding a second only to see his effort whistle past the far post and minutes later a Nathan Stoops header was scrambled clear when he met a James Black corner.Derry then began to find their rhythm and started to dominate the midfield area asking questions of the villagers back line with Ben Gibbons,Nathan Stoops,Jordan Bentley and Chris Lindsay the busier of the defences with Ben, Nathan and Jordan been outstanding throughout.Although Loughgall were able to clear their lines the ball was finding its way back far to easy and it took a great one handed save by the excellent John Forde in goals to maintain the villagers lead going into the interval.


A half time switch saw Ben Gillis introduced into the action as the villagers tried to curtail their visitors pressure but Loughgall started the way they started  the first half and nearly extended their lead only to see efforts from Matty Monaghan and Alexander Black efforts go narrowly wide. But once again Derry took control and eventually their pressure told and they scored a deserved equaliser,when a long ball invaded the Loughgall midfield and defence leaving John in goals helpless as the striker lobbed the ball into the net.Worse was to follow with another two strikes in the final ten minutes leaving the villagers with an up hill task.Credit must go to Loughgall and with five minutes remaining the villagers were given a life line when good link up play between Sam Kerr and Alexander Black released James who picked out Matty Monaghan at the back post who coolly slotted home.With minutes remaining Loughgall nearly sent the tie into extra time only to see a Ben Gillis header saved by the keeper and from the goalmouth scramble that followed Derry Colts broke and scored their fourth and sealed their victory.

Motm Ben Gibbons for a great, spirited performance a right back.

John Forde,Ben Gibbons,Chris Lindsay,Nathan Stoops,Jordan Bentley,
James Black,Marcus Stephenson,Matthew Monaghan,Adam Neill,Sam Kerr,Alexander Black,Ben Gillis.
Ben Gibbons

Youth progress in Cup

Loughgall Youth made the familiar journey to Belfast on Saturday past and took on Rosario in the NIBFA Cup third round,and what a performance the Youth put in to progress into the quarter finals.It was a job well done,although not playing at their best.Despite only having eleven players available the Villagers won the match 1 – 0 and progressed into the final eight of this elite tournament .The only goal of the game came courtesy of James Black in what was a great team goal.Chris Lindsay won the ball at left back and released Sam Kerr who held the ball up before playing it back into the midfield to Matthew Monaghan. Matthew then found Alexander Black who then sent brother James bearing down on goal before hitting a thunderbolt from about 20 yards which sailed over the keeper and into the back of the net. It was nothing more than the Youth deserved for the performance they put in on the day.The game in general was a nervy affair with both midfields and defences cancelling each other out and giving every little away.Loughgall probably had the better chances in the first half but were unable to finish whilst in good positions.Second half the home side came more into it but were unable to breach the villagers back line,James’ strike with fifteen minutes to go made the remaining time a back to the walls job, with Rosario pushing for an equaliser with Loughgall standing firm.
John Forde in goals was magnificent throughout.  His reading of the game was excellent and at times when the Youth were under pressure he came for crosses, winning them all and relieving the pressure. He also made a few good saves at crucial times to keep the Youth in front.
The defence of Ben Gibbons, Jordan Bentley, Nathan Stoops and Chris Lindsay all put in an excellent performance.Ben came in and had a great game. He threw himself in front of the ball and made some vital blocks.  Nathan won every tackle with one in particular been outstanding ,Rosario hit the Youth on the counter attack,Nathan matched the run of Rosario’s striker before timing his tackle to perfection as a goal looked certain.  Jordan again was Mr Reliable and didn’t put a foot wrong all game.  Chris also had a very good game and played a part in the build up play for the winning goal.
The midfield of James Black, Marcus Stevenson, Adam Neill and Matthew Monaghan again held their shape and done the job they were ask to do, with every one of them making a telling contribution. James made the most telling contribution with the winning goal but he also put in a great defensive shift.Marcus was again outstanding in the centre of midfield.  He did everything required of a central midfielder. He tackled, hassled and harried the whole game and his distribution of the ball was excellent.  He was ably assisted by Matthew Monaghan who was very unfortunate with a couple of efforts not to be on the score sheet himself. Adam again was excellent and in the last minute he very nearly doubled the villagers lead.
Sam Kerr and Alexander Black played up front and again never stopped working. Sam’s hold up play was excellent and Alexander just gets better and better every week.
Overall a pleasing a well deserved victory.Although not at their most fluent today, the boys desire and fighting spirit prevailed.Well done boys! In the hat !
Man of the Match: This award could have been given to any of the boys but John Forde just edges it for keeping a clean sheet and a dominate performance in goals.Well done John!!!
Squad: John Forde, Ben Gibbons, Jordan Bentley, Ben Gillis, Nathan Stoops, Chris Lindsay, James Black, Adam Neil, Marcus Stevenson, Matthew Monaghan, Sam Kerr, Alexander Black.
John forde