Glenavon Under-18s 3 Loughgall Under-18s 0

Lurgan Junior High School 3G

Friday 22nd September 2023

Glenavon Under-18s defeated Loughgall U-18s to maintain their push at the top of the Under-18 Academy League. The young Blues have now won three of their opening four fixtures. The solitary defeat was a 3-0 reverse at Cliftonville seven days before this morale-boosting win.

Kian Mulholland (18 mins), Calum Hamilton (20 mins) and Harry O’Neill (80 mins) were the men on target.

Glenavon’s starting line-up included Northern Ireland U-17 international Troy Savage. The 16-year-old midfielder produced an outstanding performance.

The home side dominated the first half.

In the opening minutes Mattie Hughes turned sharply but Loughgall goalkeeper Luke Adair palmed the ball out. Savage, constantly breaking from midfield, saw a shot deflected wide and another effort saved.

Glenavon took the lead when Cian Mulholland ran onto a long pass by Christopher Heasley and skilfully lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

Two minutes later Calum Hamilton was on hand to shoot home from close-range after Adair had blocked Heasley’s initial effort.

Mulholland, the scorer of the first goal, shot wide and then saw a goalbound effort saved.

Early in the second half Mattie Hughes tested Adair from the edge of the penalty area.

At the other end Dominik Ambroziewicz headed narrowly over from a Oatnasio Da Silva Guterres cross.

Glenavon’s James Robinson broke through on the right and unloaded from 15 yards but Adair made a fine save.

Josh Gracey, a spectator for long periods, showed his potential when he saved brilliantly from Loughgall’s Zack Magill.

Substitute Harry O’Neill looked certain to score the third but his shot from close range hit the side netting. However, he was not to be denied and in the closingseconds headed home at the far post from Mulholland’s cross.

“It was a pleasing result and a good performance,” said coach Paul Wilson. “It was the best we have played in possession this season. We lost our way a little after half time but were always in control. After a disappointing display against Cliftonville it was good to get back to winning ways.”

GLENAVON: Gracey, Robinson, Mills, Snodgrass, Heasley, Kernan, Hamilton, Hughes, Savage, McShane, Mulholland, SUBS: Alexander for Mulholland (half-time), Carson for Mills (36 mins), Booth for Hamilton (half-time), O’Neill for Robinson (56 mins), Murphy for Heasley (56 mins), Heasley for Carson (67 mins), Hamilton for Hughes (70 mins), Mulholland for Kernan (70 mins).