Three goals in the final ten minutes broke the hearts of a fantastic travelling Fivemiletown United support and send Championship One side Loughgall through to the Sixth round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup where they will face old manager’s Niall Currie and his Portadown side.
‘Gall manager Dean Smith refreshed his side with four changes from last weeks comfortable victory over H&W Welders with Chris Eliott coming into the starting lineup alongside new signings Andrew Hoey, Jamie Rea and Ruari McDonald.
The first period was fairly evenly matched between the sides with little chances being created; United skipper Davy Little tested Loughgall ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan with a stinging 30 yard free-kick on 17 minutes.
Indeed Little’s excellent set-piece deliveries were a major threat to the Loughgall defence for the entire game.
The clearest chance of the first half fell to Villagers’ forward John Uprichard who struck the post from close range after excellent build-up play from Andrew Hoey on 37 minutes.
The game looked like it could have been swayed when Ricky Copeland received his second caution, with 28 minutes remaining in the game, much to the disbelief of the Loughgall bench. Cropland’s tackle on Ricky Carroll saw the defender clearly win the ball however referee Timmy Marshall must have adjudged it to have been an overly-aggressive attempt.
Despite being reduced to ten men Loughgall rallied and saw out the game on top; they had to wait until the 80th minute to net their first goal when substitute Marcus Dallas’ free-kick was nodded in by John Uprichard.
The Villagers made sure of the win in the 86th minute when substitute Mark McConnell cut inside in the penalty area from the right and drove the ball accurately into the far corner.
And the hosts third was scored on the stroke of full-time when, as Fivemiletown were stretched in defence, good decision-making from Peter Campbell found Dallas free in the penalty area and he calmly fired home for his second goal in three games.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Elliott, Copeland, Taylor, Rea, Ferguson (McInerney 89m), McDonald, Jack Upritchard (Dallas 63m), Campbell, Hoey (McConnell 78m), John Uprichard. Unused subs: Mallen, Smith.
Fivemiletown United: Quinn, Bell (Carson 85m), McDowell (Johnson 89m), Trotter, Anderson, Clarke, Callaghan, Little, Baron (McLaughlin 89m), Gillespie, Carroll. Unused subs: Sherry, McDonald.