Slane promotion hopes hanging by a thread after a loss in Lurgan

The North West Junior league matches this Saturday are postponed.
The North West Junior league matches this Saturday are postponed.

Moneyslane’s promotion hopes were dealt a major blow on Saturday as they were beaten 3-1 at Lurgan Town.

Without the suspended Jonny Gibson and unavailable duo Ally Quinn and Jordan Fairley, it was an uphill struggle from the off for Slane, who were behind within the opening ten nminutes.

From Lurgan’s first corner, a poor Slane clearance landed to an unmarked Guy and he fired home. Slane responded with a number of chances but failed to convert.

Gregg Harrison had a great chance but the keeper produced a fine block with his feet. Another shot by the visitors then deflected off the cross bar. A good cross from Anderson saw Ervine head goalward but a defender cleared the ball off the line.

Ivon Blevins saved well down to his right from a rare home attack.

Gregg Harrison beat his man down the right but his cross was scooped wide by Mark Ervine. Then a John Whitten free kick found Brian Quilty free but from 10 yards he headed into the keeper’s hands.

Slane’s missed chances were punished just before the break when John Whitten made a needless, rash challenge in the box to give away a penalty which was converted to make it 2-0.

Slane needed a response to get back into the game and quickly. Switching to 4-4-2 with Steven Adair replacing Mark Anderson, they started well in the second half and had two great chances in the first 10 minutes, the second of which saw Gregg Harrison head off the bar with the keeper stranded.

On top in midfield, the away team started to apply pressure but there was little cutting edge. It looked like Slane were back in the game when Mark Ervine hooked the ball over the advancing keeper but the ball bounced just past the post. The home keeper then made a good save high to his right from a header.

It was all Slane but possession was squandered too often and the final ball lacking.

Then disaster struck again on 75 minutes when a 25 yard free kick saw Ivon Blevins leave the ball for it to bounce off the bar and a Lurgan Town striker was on hand to head home.

More chances came and went before Mark Jardine scored a late consolation goal.

It was a tough tay at the office for Slane and their frustration boiled over at the end when John Whitten received a second yellow card.

All round, a day to forget for Moneyslane.

MONEYSLANE: Blevins, Whitten, Boyd, Shilliday, Peden, Coulter, Bingham, Harrison, Anderson, Quilty & Ervine

Subs: Buchanan, S Adair, J Adair, Jardine & Hanna