Loughgall crashed out of the Irn-Bru League Cup thanks to a four-goal thrashing at the hands of Championship 2 side Lurgan Celtic.
A lack of competitive action on Saturday, with the Newry City postponement, looked evident as, compared to their counterparts, Colin Malone’s side looked off the pace.
There were four debutants for hosts, Gareth Buchanan started in goals while Dean Heasley played on the left flank. Also making their debuts were Dexter Faulkner and Stephen Acheson in central defence, both of whom signed over the weekend.
Loughgall had the first real chance of the game on 14 minutes when a defensive mix-up allowed Heasley the opportunity to narrowly shoot wide of the mark from the edge of the penalty area.
Celtic opened the scoring on 38 minutes when Stefan Campbell nipped in ahead of Faulkner before racing through on goal. The forward was thwarted by the out-rushing figure of Buchanan, however Ryan Murphy was on hand to side-foot into an empty net.
Things became worse for Loughgall shortly after as they conceded a second goal three minutes before the interval. Brendan Mackin’s powerful strike from inside the penalty area was well parried by ‘keeper Buchanan but Campbell pounced on the loose ball and finished well to put the Lurgan side in a commanding position.
Mackin then missed a great chance to extend Celtic’s advantage in the 52nd minute when he was through on goal, he attempted to curl the ball home however he was frustrated by Buchanan’s excellent stop.
Lurgan Celtic’s passage into the next round was sealed when ex-Loughgall forward Daniel Ryan netted two goals in the final three minutes. Firstly he robbed Acheson of the ball on the edge of the penalty area before firing home. Then striker Campbell caught Jeff Brady in possession and sent across an accurate low pass that was gratefully turned in by Ryan.
Loughgall: Buchanan, King, Brady, Faulkner, Acheson, Ferguson, Carson (Willis 45m), Malone, Heasley, Boyle, Pedlow (Guy 45m). Unused subs: Drainey, Flanaghan, Stewart.
Lurgan Celtic: Fox, McVeigh, McEvoy, McAnallan, Toland, O’Hara, Murphy (Haire 73m), Mackin, D Ryan, Campbell, Lavery. Unused subs: Conway, McAlinden, C Ryan.