AFTER last weekends postponement of the League and Cup double header against Armagh Ciy Youth the Edgar Motors Dromore sponsored U12s were back in action this week against Loughgall Youth at Gordon Playing Fields.
Last time these two sides met back in September, Dromore triumphed 7-2 with E. Taylor the star of the show bagging a hat trick.
The locals were hoping for more of the same but Loughgall have steadily improved and the boys knew they needed to be at the top of their game this morning to continue their rich vain of form.
Dromore won the toss, kicked off and made a bright start in windy conditions over in Lurgan. Captain for the Day J. Malcolmson had the first real chance of the game. M. Weeks broke from the back before playing a neat through ball into Malcomson’s path. As he bore down on goal the Loughgall goalkeeper narrowed the angle well and the Dromore player could only fire his effort wide of the goal.
Loughgall playing with the wind in the first half were positive in their approach and you could see early on they were instructed to shoot at every opportunity to try and make use of the swirling wind. The Dromore rearguard however lead by the impeccable A. Spratt were giving nothing away.
Dromore managed to break the deadlock midway through the first half. A ball over the top had E.Taylor racing after it and he was able to shrug off the attentions of a Loughgall defender before lifting the ball expertly over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net. A fine finish from the Dromore striker.
If Dromore thought it would be easy from here on in they were gently reminded of Loughgalls attacking threat. First goalkeeper D.Ringland miskicked a through ball which lead to a few nervy moments in the Dromore penalty area. A few minutes later the Loughgall number nine weaved his way through a host of challenges and it took a last ditch block from A. Spratt to deny a certain goal.
At half time Dromore made a few changes to freshen up the lineup and it almost paid dividends at the start of the second half. M.Greenfield won possession back well in midfield before playing through E.Taylor, he outmuscled the last defender before cutting inside and shooting at goal. His effort though went narrowly over with the goalkeeper beaten.
E. Taylor then linked up well again with M. Greenfield with the latter racing clear and just as he was about to shoot he was clipped at the heels and sent off balance and the Loughgall defence were able to clear. No penalty on this occassion.
M. Greenfield was not to be denied a goal though. He put Dromore two nil up midway through the second half. The same combination from the previous move worked minutes later with E. Taylor releasing the U12s leading goalscorer.
This time M. Greenfield made no mistakes as he was strong enough hold off his marker before beating the goalkeeper.
That second goal settled Dromore and within a few minutes they had made it 3-0. N.Forsythe sending a looping effort over the goalkeeper from fully 30 yards.
I.Palmer then got in on the act with his first ever goal for the U12s. A well worked corner saw E.Taylor pick out the Dromore midfielder who poked the ball home from six yards out.
Loughgall didn’t give up hope in a search for goals themselves in the second half but they were finding oit tough to break down the Dromore defence with M.Doyle particularly impressive during the second half.
J.Malcolmson and D.Ringland almost added a fifth for Dromore in the final stages but J.Malcolmson saw his effort come agonisingly off the crossbar before D.Ringland fired just over again with the Loughgall goalkeeper beaten.
Another well deserved victory for the boys this morning with yet another clean sheet. Unbeaten in nine League games now stretching back to November, their best sequence of results in the three years they have been together. The remaining four fixtures of the season however will now be against teams occupying the other four positions in the top five, and as Alex Fergusons famous words go, “It’s squeaky bum time!” as the Under 12s aim to finish the season strongly.
Credit to Loughgall for a battling display especially their number nine who was their stand out performer. We wish Good luck to Alan and his team for the remainder of the season.
Next weeks sees the boys travel to take on Dungannon Youth FC. The first of many big games to come as the season draws to a close.
Todays Man of the Match sponsored by Myles Greenfield Upholstery - E.Taylor
Under 12s (1999s) Squad: D.Ringland, D.Thompson, M.Doyle, M.Weeks, A.Spratt, R.Taylor, N.Forsythe, I.Palmer, M.Greenfield, A.Ball, T.Russell, J.Malcolmson, C.Palmer, E.Taylor, R.Dawson and D.Branker