Loughgall 2 – 3 Knockbreda

A superb comeback saw Knockbreda secure their second win of the season and move off the base of the Championship One table. The result, a first loss in five games, brings an end to Loughgall’s recent good form and comes ahead of next week’s difficult trip to face high-flying Ballyclare Comrades.

The first period was an even affair with both sides going close; firstly Marcus Dallas forced Knockbreda goalkeeper Ryan McBride into a tremendous save after 15 minutes when he was alert to save the midfielder’s goalbound effort.

Breda strikers Simon Hanna and Owen Beggs combined on 31 minutes for the latter to see his shot tipped over by the alert Loughgall ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan.

Loughgall broke the deadlock four minutes into the second period when Warner Mullen set-up strike partner Aaron Patterson to rifle a left-footed strike low beyond goalkeeper McBride.

And the Villagers doubled their lead in the 56th minute when a superb attacking move culminated in Mullen slipping in winger Peter Campbell to fire the ball across goal and nestle in the far corner.

Knockbreda pulled a goal back on 72 minutes when Matthew King’s hopeful ball into the penalty area was attacked by substitute Michael Halliday who powered a header beyond home ‘keeper Buchanan.

The leveller was scored with eight minutes remaining when Stephen Cockcroft’s long-throw caused confusion in the Loughgall goalmouth and substitute Jake McNeill poked home from close range.

Mark Cooling won and scored a penalty to complete a fantastic comeback on 86 minutes when he was fouled by Stuart Mallen inside the penalty area.

Loughgall: Buchanan, Taylor, Mallen, Copeland, Finlay, Dallas (Elliott 83m), Upritchard, Ferguson, Mullen, Patterson (McMaster 80m), Campbell (McCann 73m). Unused subs: McInerney.

Knockbreda: McBride, King, Cockcroft, Ferguson, Wray, McBurney, Wilson (McNeill 59m), Cooling, Beggs (Halliday 59m), Hanna, McMaster. Unused subs: Johnson, Lynch, McCain.

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