Loughgall recovered from their recent disappointing cup exits with an impressive performance to see off a H&W Welders side that were reduced to ten men in injury time, and subsequently move up to fourth in the Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 table. There was a return to Lakeview Park for Marty Verner who was making his first start for the Belfast side since leaving Loughgall last month.
Colin Malone made four changes to the starting line-up that lost to Ballynahinch United last week; Mark Stewart returned to central defence in place of Josh Finlay, Adam Pedlow was preferred to Paul Keenan to lead the attack, while both Aaron Willis and Mark Teggart were selected instead of the unavailable Davy Hawthorne and Stephen Doyle.
Adam Pedlow’s impact was immediate as he put the Villagers into the lead after only five minutes; Dale Malone’s corner delivery resulted in a goalmouth scramble that allowed Pedlow the opportunity to slot home from close range.
The Welders looked to strike back shortly after when Stuart King’s 20-yard drive was parried by ‘keeper Marc Robinson and left-back Jeff Brady performed a great last-ditch slide to deny Curtis Gallagher’s goalbound shot.
On 18 minutes goalkeeper Robinson had to be called into action again to deny Gallagher’s long range effort that was heading into the top corner.
Loughgall extended their advantage on 62 minutes from the penalty spot after away ‘keeper Michael Dougherty fouled Aaron Willis in the penalty area; an incident he received a yellow card for, allowing Malone to step up to fire home from 12 yards.
Willis, who was impressive throughout, roamed off the left wing to find space in a central area on 68 minutes before unleashing a low strike that Dougherty had to be alert to push past the post.
In injury time the Welders saw Dan McMurray shown a second yellow card for dissent, only five minutes after his initial caution for a late challenge.
Loughgall: Robinson, Hall, Brady, Hull, Stewart, Ferguson, Emerson, Willis, Malone, Teggart (S Doyle 81m), Pedlow (Keenan 81m). Unused subs: Finlay, Kernaghan, N Doyle.
H&W Welders: Dougherty, McMurray, Harris, McMillan, Marks (McMillen 73m), Cahoon, King (Armstrong 73m), White (Johnston 81m), Gallagher, Verner. Brown. Unused subs: Rezai, Miskelly,