It wasn’t pretty but Loughgall battled hard to collect all three points against basement side Ballymoney United in a scrappy encounter at Lakeview Park, and earn manager Marc Robinson his first win in temporary charge.
There were four changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday night’s heavy defeat at the hands of Bangor. Alan Murphy and Andy Smith were missing through suspension whilst Chris Coleman and Daniel Ryan had to be content with a place on the substitutes bench alongside Martin Murray who was returning from injury.
Darragh Peden, Nathan Baird and Luke Ebron came in and slotted into defence while Scott McCullough was handed the holding role in midfield.
A bright start by the hosts almost resulted in an early goal as Barry Bloomer and Johnny Kernaghan combined to set-up Steven McCain who saw his testing shot well saved by goalkeeper Lawrence McCormick.
The only goal of the game came in the 22nd minute and it was a calamitous mistake for McCormick. Paul Carville delivered a cross from the left wing that bounced over McCormick, who was racing to meet the ball at the near post, and into the net.
United had a good chance ten minutes later when David Gage rose highest at the backpost to connect with Kyle Buckley’s curling free-kick, however the central defender couldn’t only find the sidenetting.
Seven minutes after the break Loughgall were dealt a scare flomax naturmode online as lively forward Mark Gillan was denied by ‘keeper Marc Robinson when he tipped Gillan’s low shot onto the post.
Robinson pulled off another fantastic save on 67 minutes when he parried Connor Wilkinson’s ferocious half-volley with one hand.
The Villagers missed a good opportunity to extend their advantage with 15 minutes remaining when Carville’s inviting cross to the back post was met by Kernaghan sliding in, however the young winger was unfortunate to direct his effort into the sidenetting.
Loughgall: Robinson, Ferguson, Baird, Peden, Ebron, McCullough (Murray 74m), Kernaghan (Ryan 85m), McCain, Bloomer, Verner, Carville. Unused sub: Coleman.
Ballymoney United: McCormick, Keane, Buckley, Gage, McQuitty, McKinney, Reid (McClelland 68m), G Gillan, Nicholl, M Gillan, Wilkinson (Wilson 82m). Unused sub: O’Boyle.
Referee: Alastair Burns
Assistants: John McClenaghan, Mervyn Adamson