Loughgall continued their disappointing start to the Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 season as they crashed to a heavy defeat at the hands of league leaders Ards – managed by former Loughgall manager Niall Currie.
Following last week’s win over Glenavon Reserves, boss Colin Malone was forced into three changes to his starting line-up. Josh Finlay replaced Mark Stewart in central defence while Aaron Willis and Adam Pedlow came in for Scott Herron and Jeff Brady.
Ards couldn’t have wished for a better start when ex-Loughgall winger Ryan Moffatt put them ahead inside the first minute. A defensive mistake presented Moffatt with the easy task of side-footing home from close range.
On 29 minutes Ards winger Craig McMillen struck the hosts’ crossbar from the edge of the penalty area with a curling shot.
Moffatt doubled his tally shortly into the second period when he worked a shooting chance with a deft flick before firing the ball into the bottom corner giving ‘Gall ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan no chance.
Boyle, Loughgall’s most dangerous player, was unlucky to see his well-driven effort pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Graham McKibben on 53 minutes.
Ards made sure of the win in the 63rd minute when McMillen, after initially being denied by Buchanan’s good save, squared for James Cully to score, in off the post, from 15 yards. And the scoring was wrapped up with 17 minutes remaining as David McAlinden rose highest to head home Moffatt’s pinpoint corner delivery.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Carson, Rodgers, Finlay, Acheson, Ferguson, Malone, Boyle, Pedlow (Herron 55m), Kernaghan, Willis. Unused subs: Brady.
Ards: McKibben, Hall, Pike, Spence, McAlinden, McMillen (Dickson 74m), Moffatt, Cully, Smith (Browne 71m), Arthurs (McDowell 66m), Dougan. Unused subs: McIlhagga, Nixon.