Loughgall claimed their third successive home league victory when they dispatched H&W Welders in a high-scoring game at Lakeview Park.
Manager Colin Malone had to do without captain Steven Ferguson, who missed out through injury, replacing the influential midfielder with top goalscorer Johnny Kernaghan in the only change from last week’s impressive win against Coagh United.
After an even start to the game, Jeff Brady opened the scoring for the hosts in the 17th minute when he collected a pass, 25 yards out from goal, and struck a beautiful curling shot into the top corner.
Brady doubled his tally to extend Loughgall’s advantage three minutes later when he was released clear of the static Welders defence. The midfielder kept his composure to round ‘keeper James Taylor before side footing into an empty net.
The Villagers’ netted again, on 27 minutes, to put themselves in a commanding position when Kernaghan played a crisp pass into Wesley Boyle’s excellent run between the visitor’s central defenders to allow the ex-Portadown man to pick his spot beyond goalkeeper Taylor.
After the break the Welders posed a much greater threat netting twice soon after through substitute Mark Cooling, on 50 minutes, and Curtis Black’s great finish in the 63rd minute.
Despite their possession H&W Welders failed to create any further clear-cut opportunities to level the game. A nervy finish was avoided when Josh Finlay volleyed Dale Malone’s corner delivery home in the 79th minute to earn Loughgall the three points.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Finlay, Rodgers, Stewart, Copeland, Herron, Malone, Kernaghan (Carson 83m), Guy, Brady, Boyle. Unused subs: Curran, King, Pedlow, Willis.
H&W Welders: Taylor, Johnston (Wilkinson 74m), Armstrong, McMurray, Magee, Muir (Cooling 45m), Harris, Garrett, McConnell, Black (Reid 69m). Unused subs: Miskelly.