Loughgall bowed out of the Tennent’s Irish Cup at the hands of Premiership side Glenavon, however manager Gerald Boyle can be proud of his side’s battling performance, especially after being reduced to ten men shortly into the second period.
The hosts started brightly and created a number of clear chances within the opening ten minutes. Firstly Joel Cooper capitalised on Mark Carson’s mistake to fire goalwards however an exceptional save from ‘keeper Buchanan denied the winger. Then, in the 9th minute, Kevin Braniff set-up strike partner Fabio O’Brien inside the penalty area however Buchanan was also equal to the effort.
Loughgall’s best chances of the first half came from set-pieces; on 13 minutes Nicky Hudson went close when he headed Stuart Mallen’s corner narrowly wide.
The Lurgan Blues netted just before the break when O’Brien was on hand to tap home a rebound from close range after ‘keeper Buchanan initially did well to push Kris Lindsay’s header onto the crossbar.
Glenavon almost doubled their lead immediately when Ciaran Martyn hit the post on the stroke of half-time.
Loughgall were reduced to ten men seven minutes into the second half when Ricky Copeland fouled O’Brien just outside the area.
Things got worse for the Villagers on 65 minutes when they conceded a penalty when Carson upended Andy McGrory, and it was McGrory himself who smashed home the spot-kick beyond Buchanan.
Loughgall pulled a goal back three minutes later in controversial circumstances when Daniel Ryan did excellently to set-up Mallen, who appeared to control the ball with his hand, before slotting home.
Ten-man Loughgall finished well as they searched for an equaliser however Glenavon ‘keeper Johnny Tuffey was largely untroubled.
Glenavon: Tuffey, McGrory, Dillon, Lindsay, Marshall, Hall, Sykes, Martyn, Cooper (Kilmartin 85m), Braniff (Hamilton 72m), O’Brien. Unused subs: Patton, Elebert, Burns.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Carson, Taylor, Copeland, Hudson, Henderson, Dallas, Ferguson, Mullen, Ryan, Mallen (Taveres 90m). Unused subs: Dane, Stretton, O’Connor, Robinson.