Lurgan 0 Randalstown 1.
Lurgans recent poor home form continued with this second consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of Randalstown at the Junior High School on Saturday. Their superb early season form, reeling of eight league wins on the trot has deserted them and having only picked up three points from a possible nine in their last three matches has only succeeded in giving their nearest challengers a great deal of encouragement as Lurgans comfortable lead at the top of the table has dwindled away. The warning signs were there right from the pass back as an Ariel ball into Lurgans 23 eluded two defenders and was scrambled clear by a worried defence. Although Lurgan settled after this they never looked comfortable in possession and created little in the final third to give Randalstown much cause for concern. A seventh minute penalty corner for the home side was comfortably dealt with by the visitor’s defence. Lurgan worked hard to break down the Randalstown defence but they were finding it difficult against a well organised team. They did manage to win another penalty corner with five minutes left in the half but the visiting keeper saved the initial strike and the danger was cleared.
Lurgan came out fired up for the second half and early pressure was rewarded with two early penalty corner awards but a miss-firing routine unit brought them little reward. Encouraged by Lurgans inability to convert any of their awards or capitalise on any opportunities in their circle, Randalstown grew more and more in confidence and began to string together some impressive passing movements. With the second half thirteen minutes old they took advantage of their field position and opened up the Lurgan defence for a neat finish from close in. Boosted by this success Randalstown pressed forward to increase their advantage but failed to take advantage of a penalty corner award of their own after a fast-flowing attack five minutes later. In contrast Lurgan looked like a team who had lost their shape and were increasingly reliant on individual players to create opportunities for them. A forward line who hadn’t scored in over 210 minutes looked short on confidence and were constantly frustrated by a well organised Randalstown defence. Lurgan were given one last opportunity to recue something from the match with a very late penalty corner award but a weak routine was easily smothered by the Town defence and Lurgans miserable day was complete. They will hope for a more complete and composed team performance in next weeks must win match at home to nearest challengers Ballymoney.
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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.