Tobermore United netted a narrow victory against Loughgall to help move themselves four points clear from relegation-threatened Bangor at the bottom of the Belfast Telegraph Championship table. Ryan Winton’s second half goal was the difference in a tight game at Lakeview Park.
The first period produced little clear cut chances with Dale Malone going closest just before the break. He collected a pass, 25 yards from goal, before seeing his well-hit shot saved by United ‘keeper Paul Wells.
Winton’s decisive goal came in the 64th minute when he saw his left-footed effort evade home goalkeeper Symon Ferguson and nestle in the far corner of the Loughgall goals. The hosts began to exert sustained pressure however couldn’t find a way past the resolute Tobermore defence. In a five minute spell Josh Finlay saw his close range header well collected by ‘keeper Wells, and then, when Wells spilled a forward ball, Boyle blasted over from inside the penalty area.
Tobermore substitute Lee Forgrave missed an excellent chance to extend his sides lead with six minutes remaining when he failed to capitalise on Finlay’s loose pass shooting wide when well placed.
And United almost paid the price in the 86th minute when Daniel Gardner came close to scoring an own goal when he headed Malone’s free-kick goalwards, thankfully for the midfielder Wells was alert and tipped the header over the crossbar.
Loughgall: Symon Ferguson, McGarry, Rodgers, Stewart, Copeland, Carson, Malone, Steven Ferguson, Noble (Irwin 87m), Boyle, Brady (Finlay 24m). Unused subs: McCourt, O’Connor, Johnston.
Tobermore United: Wells, Graham, Winton, Donaldson, Neill, Steele, McClements, Stewart, Lamont, Hassan (Forgrave 69m), Gardner. Unused subs: Cochrane, Farnick, Heneghan, Whiteside.