Two goals from in-form striker Warner Mullen saw off the spirited challenge from PSNI to secure Loughgall’s place in the Tennent’s Irish Cup quarter-finals where they will face Glenavon.
Gerald Boyle named an unchanged starting line-up from last week’s draw at Larne, although he welcomed back Wilson Taveres following his suspension as well as new signing Joseph O’Connor to the substitute’s bench.
The Belfast side were denied by goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan in the 16th minute when Mark Anderson’s well-hit shot was tipped over the crossbar.
Loughgall opened the scoring against the run of play when Steven Ferguson won a challenge on the edge of PSNI’s penalty area; the loose ball fell nicely for striker Mullen to calmly slot home from close range.
PSNI defender Adam Wright almost levelled the scoreline when he reacted quickly to a corner that wasn’t dealt with by the Loughgall defence. However, despite doing well to get anything on the ball, he directed it just wide at the back post.
Loughgall forward Daniel Ryan was denied by a combination of Mark McCullagh and ‘keeper Jordan Williamson just before the break after doing well to work an opening.
The Villagers doubled their advantage in the 59th minute when referee Keith Kennedy awarded a penalty when ‘keeper Williamson upended forward Ryan inside the penalty area. Striker Mullen stepped up to net his 22nd goal of the season and put Loughgall in control.
The visitors came close to scoring a consolation goal late into additional time when Stuart Hutchinson’s headed effort was tipped onto the crossbar by ‘keeper Buchanan.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Taylor, Mallen, Copeland, Hudson, Walsh, Ferguson, Dallas (Henderson 82m), Mullen, Ryan, Rea (Taveres 90m). Unused subs: Drylie, Carson, O’Connor.
PSNI: Williamson, Gray, Blackledge, McCullagh, Wright, Berry, Anderson (McDermott 74m), Hutchinson, Agnew (Moody 59m), Adamczyk (Dolan 59m), McWilliams. Unused subs: Bell, Blair.
Referee: Keith Kennedy.