Hawe’s call for Loughgall step-up in cup commitment

Steven Hawe - the Loughgall joint manager.
Steven Hawe - the Loughgall joint manager.

Loughgall must move on from the malaise evident in defeat to Moyola Park or risk a weekend Irish Cup exit.

The Villagers’ first fixture inside a month resulted in Intermediate Cup defeat to Moyola on Saturday - with Larne due next at Lakeview Park.

The Irish Cup fifth-round tie tomorrow (Saturday) will present Loughgall with another opportunity to increase match sharpness entering the second half of the NIFL Championship One season.

Steven Hawe, the Loughgall joint manager, is quick to highlight the benefits beyond hard yards following such prolonged festive fixture disappointment.

“We didn’t turn up against Moyola, although it was good to get a game played after so many weeks of postponements,” said Hawe. “We did not perform and the point was made to the players that a lack of recent football should not prove any excuse.

“Now we have Larne and it is a test.

“I consider the Irish Cup a competition for the club, one which can hopefully draw a bit of a crowd to the ground and, if we win, offer the chance at a top-flight side in the next round.

“We will certainly be looking to do well and wanted some good training sessions this week to prepare.”

Loughgall met Moyola with a depleted panel but Hawe and joint manager Stephen Uprichard can call on a stronger squad for the visit of Larne.

“Marcus Dallas is still out due to suspension,” said Hawe. “However, it was great to see Warner Mullen score two goals against Moyola and we should have a few back.

“We are also working on adding to the squad and could have something sorted before the weekend, in terms of transfers.

“We remain confident we can add some new players, hopefully by the end of the week.”

Kick-off home to Larne tomorrow (Saturday) will be 1.30.