A first-half brace from Marc McConnell secured Loughgall’s second successive win with a hard-fought win over Limavady United at Lakeview Park. The Villagers were well on top during the first period however they had to dig in for the last 25 minutes of the game following Ricky Copeland’s dismissal.
Limavady made a good start and went close early on through Paul Owens and Robbie Hume. Firstly on 7 minutes, Paul Owens collected a pass inside the penalty area, turned and shot narrowly wide. Then five minutes later striker Hume drew a great save from Loughgall ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan.
The opener came in the 13th minute when Craig Taylor’s whipped corner was glanced in at the front post by McConnell giving United goalkeeper Paul Wells no chance.
The Villagers doubled their lead just before the break through an excellent attacking move. Forward Jamie Douglas laid the ball off for Andrew Hoey who played a wonderful cross-field ball in behind the defence that McConnell raced onto and fired home.
Loughgall almost finished off the game five minutes after the interval when Hoey’s low cross was controlled by Douglas ten yards out, and the skilful forward smashed the ball off the underside of the crossbar before it was cleared to safety.
Limavady grabbed a goal back on the hour mark through a great individual effort from diminutive forward Hume when he floated a shot inside the far post from the left hand edge of the penalty area.
And five minutes later Loughgall were reduced to ten men after referee Lee Tavinder dismissed Ricky Copeland for a strong challenge in the centre of the pitch. Despite a man advantage Limavady struggled to break down the resolute Loughgall defence.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Montgomery, Stretton, Copeland, Finlay, Dallas, Ferguson, McConnell, Hoey, Taylor (P Campbell 61m), Douglas (Mullen 81m). Unused sub: Rea, McMaster, Crooks.
Limavady United: Wells, H Carlin, Watt, Crown, McKeever, Devlin (L Harkin 56m), McFadden (Thompson 81m), Gillan, Owens, Jennings (Law 81m), Hume. Unused sub: Bradley.