Loughgall saw off a spirited challenge from Coagh United to secure their place in the second round of the Bob Radcliffe Cup, and keep up their hopes of a Boxing Day final.
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut opportunities and fittingly it was a penalty decision that decided matters. On 66 minutes Marty Verner stepped up to slot home his second penalty in as many games.
Loughgall made two changes from the side that lost against Institute last week with Chris Hull replacing Alain Emerson in central defence, and Steven Doyle making his full debut in place of Paul Keenan.
In the first period Verner was instrumental in the hosts’ best chances as firstly he slipped an inside pass for Adam Pedlow, who couldn’t lift the ball over the outrushing ‘keeper, and secondly he hit the post with a audacious 25-yard attempt from the right flank.
And in the second half, aside from the only goal of the game, there was little goalmouth action to get excited about. Dale Malone saw a free-kick pushed past the post whilst Stephen Ferguson saw his 30-yard driven effort parried.
Loughgall: Robinson, Hall, Brady, Hull, King (Guy 71m), Malone, Hawthorne, Ferguson (Teggart 77m), Pedlow, Verner, Doyle. Unused sub: Rodgers.