Loughgall 2 -1 Magherafelt National League A

Loughgall u13s displayed all their battling qualities on Saturday as they beat Magherafelt in their latest encounter in the National League A Section.

 

The game began in blustery conditions with the wind always likely to dictate how the game was played and so it proved. Loughgall started the game playing with the wind at their backs and despite a slow start they soon began to get into their stride with Chris Whiteside the first to test Magherafelts keeper with a deflected long range effort. The first move of real quality in the game then led to the opening goal when Sam Mckew won possession in midfield before releasing Chris Whiteside who showed great composure to hold the ball before laying it off to Adam Wright to fire home a brilliant strike into the top corner. The strong wind was making it difficult for Magherafelt to get out of their own half as Sam McKew and Adam Wright dominated the midfield but Loughgall knew they needed to score again before half time and this they did when a pacey run from Sean Quigley on the wing ended with an inch perfect cross to Sam Barrett who coolly headed home with a text book header into the bottom corner. Loughgall were determined to score a third but despite excellent long range efforts from both Sam McKew and Sam Barrett the half finished with Loughgall 2-0 ahead but knowing they were going to be put under a lot of pressure in the second half.

 

This proved to be the case as Magherafelt immediately went on the attack and 5 minutes into the half they got a goal back when Loughgall failed to clear a corner allowing their forward to head home. Loughgall’s back four of Mark Palmer, Jason Dodds, Cameron Faulkner and Jac McElveen knew they were going to have a real battle on their hands to win the game for Loughgall and this they did with some magnificent defending. Cameron and Jason consistently dealt with any attacks down the middle while remaining composed in possession with Cameron making some wonderful interceptions to prevent Magherafelts talented winger from scoring. Magherafelt always looked particularly dangerous from corner kicks but Loughgall’s players time and again made excellent last ditch tackles summed up by one brilliant headed clearance from Mark Palmer when Magherafelt looked sure to score. On the 2 occasions that Magherafelt did get an open view of goal Sam Monaghan saved the shots with one save tipped over the bar and then with 10 minutes remaining he pulled off a stunning save low to his right as the Magherafelt players were almost celebrating a goal. The  team showed great composure during the last 5 minutes to leave the final score 2-1 in Loughgalls favour.

 

This was a fantastic display from all players today and a result which the boys deserved from all their hard work.

Team: Sam Monaghan, Mark Palmer, Jac McElveen, Jason Dodds, Cameron Faulkner, Adam Wright, Ryan Fearon, Sam McKew, Sam Barrett, Chris Whiteside, Sean Quigley

Loughgall 2-2 Maiden City Maiden City win on Penalties

Loughgall u13s ultimately paid the price for a poor first half performance as they were knocked out of the National League Plate by Maiden City at the quarter final stage on penalties following a 2-2 draw.

The game kicked off in blustery conditions and Maiden City were much more determined than Loughgall in the early stages of the first half as they won most of the early tackles and were unfortunate not to take the lead when they struck the crossbar from a free kick. However midway through the half they did open the scoring when their left winger was allowed to run the length of the pitch before setting up their forward to score. Worse was to follow for the Loughgall boys when Maiden City doubled their lead direct from a free kick. Loughgall’s only chance during the first half came when Sam Barrett charged down the keepers kick but he was unable to convert the chance. Indeed only for the excellent Sam McKew in midfield who was having a superb game and two excellent saves from Sam Monaghan the game would have been out of Loughgall’s reach by half time.

 

Loughgall knew they needed to score early in the second half to get back into the game and they did this when Sam McKew scrambled the ball over the line after Jack Scotts corner had hit the crossbar. Suddenly Loughgall were now winning the midfield battle and they soon equalised when the hard working Kris Cowan dispossessed Maiden City’s centre back to set up Chris Whiteside to rifle a shot in from the edge of the box. Loughgalls defence of Mark Palmer, Cameron Faulkner, Jason Dodds and Jac McElveen were now very commanding with Jac in particular showing great tenacity in his play. The remainder of normal time saw Loughgall continue to pressurise Maiden City’s goal but despite several goalmouth scrambles they could not find the winner as the game then moved into extra time.

 

Loughgall came closest to winning the game in extra time when Sam Barrett’s effort was well saved following a good move involving Adam Wright and Chris Whiteside although Maiden City almost snatched a winner with the last kick of the game but their forward shot wide leaving the game to be decided by penalty kicks. Unfortunately Maiden City won the shootout leaving the Loughgall boys deflated and rueing their poor first half performance but credit to Maiden City and we wish them well in the next round.

 

Team: Sam Monaghan, Mark Palmer, Jac McElveen, Jason Dodds, Cameron Faulkner, Adam Wright, Ryan Fearon, Sam McKew, Jack Scott, Sam Barrett, Kris Cowan, Chris Whiteside, Sean Quigley

Loughgall 11 – 0 Oxford United NYL

Loughgall u13s produced a superb display on Saturday as they produced their most impressive performance of the season against Oxford United in their latest National League game.

On a beautiful sunny morning Loughgall began the game brightly as they attacked right from the start and they should have taken the lead early on but fired a couple of shots over the bar. However 10 minutes into the game Ryan Fearon beat the full back and his excellent cross was turned into his own net by an Oxford defender. This allowed Loughgall to settle and begin to pass the ball with great pace and their movement was causing Oxford all sorts of problems. They didn’t have to wait long to double their lead when Sam McKew played Adam Wright in to confidently shoot home. Soon after they scored a third when the ever alert Sam Barrett followed up a Ryan Fearon shot to knock home the rebound from the keepers save. With confidence high Loughgall’s full backs Mark Palmer and in particular Jac McElveen were bursting forward at every opportunity and it was from one of these forward runs that Jac  fired a fantastic goal into the top corner from 25 yards. The goals continued to flow before half time as Sam Barrett scored his second and then Jack Scott rifled in an excellent free kick leaving Loughgall six ahead at half time.

The second half began in a much quieter fashion and it wasn’t until midway through the half that Loughgall scored again when Sam Barrett tapped in to complete his hat trick after an inch perfect cross from Chris Whiteside. Not to be out done by his strike partner Chris then fired in an unstoppable shot before coolly slotting home again minutes later. Sam Barrett then scored his fourth and his ninth goal in the last five games with a sublime finish. The scoring was completed by Sean Quigley as he fired home following a goal mouth scramble for his first goal of the season.

Overall this was an excellent high tempo performance from the team with their pace and movement throughout the game too much for Oxford.

Team: Sam Monaghan, Mark Palmer, Jac McElveen, Jason Dodds, Cameron Faulkner, Adam Wright, Ryan Fearon, Sam McKew, Jack Scott, Sam Barrett, Kris Cowan, Chris Whiteside, Sean Quigley