A bad injury to Tobermore’s Ryan Doherty with about 20 minutes to go overshadowed a good all round performance by the home side that gave them three well deserved, and much needed, points.
In a lively and entertaining game Tobermore struck first when Danny Gardner opened the scoring from the penalty spot with 20 minutes on the clock and Neil Lamont added a second 15 minutes later to put the home side in pole position at the break.
Loughgall came more into the game in the early stages of the second half and Dale Malone must have thought he had pulled one back for the visitors on 55 minutes but Tobermore’s new keeper, signed in the transfer window from Magherafelt Sky Blues, pulled off a wonder save and tipped the ball over from under the cross bar.
Both sides had good opportunities to score with Lamont going closest when he hit a post from close range and it was in the melee that followed that Doherty unfortunately sustained his injury which caused a five minute delay.
Any chance of a Loughgall come back was snuffed out with 15 minutes to go with the goal of the game. The always busy Lee Forgrave broke down Tobermore’s left wing, beat two defenders and rolled the ball across the goals where Ryan Winton was on hand for a simple tap in - his first goal for the club since his move from Maghera Strollers.
To be fair to the visitors they never gave up the fight but couldn’t breakdown a well disciplined home defense and all three points deservedly went to Tobermore.
Tobermore United: M. Farnoik, R. Winton, G. Donaldson, J. Neill, P. Spratt, D. Gardner, S. Heneghan, D. McClements, N. Lamont
L. Forgrave, R. Doherty. Subs; K. Steele, P. Wells. S. Mulgrew.
At the time of writing Tobermore have no fixture this coming Saturday and will resume on February 23 away to Ards FC in the League at 3pm.
Tobermore Mini Soccer Centre sessions continue in Maghera Recreation Centre every Saturday morning from 10-11am. Players should come along kitted out ready to play with shin guards and trainers or boots, weather permitting. The fun sessions are supervised by IFA accredited coaches and are open to all boys and girls of primary school age.