Cup progress proves a key part of Hawe’s plan

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

Warner Mullen finished his weekend work with an assist and appearance on the scoresheet as Loughgall secured safe passage into the Irish Cup’s fifth round at the expense of Trojans.

This week’s draw handed Loughgall home advantage against either Larne or Limavady United as a reward.

“We produced a professional performance against Trojans and it was a good win,” said Steven Hawe, the Loughgall joint manager. “It is all about moving forward in the competition and as a club.

“The Irish Cup is what we consider a club competition in that progress offers the chance of a good home draw against one of the bigger teams.

“That can bring in some extra money for the club.

“Trojans had a few former Irish League players but we were in control overall and could have scored more goals.

“Facing either Larne or Limavady United in the next round will be a test but home advantage could prove important when the match comes around in January.”

Mullen picked out McMahon just past the half-hour mark at Lakeview Park and the latter steered a shot into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Mullen then fired home a long-range free-kick entering the closing two minutes.

Trojans had a player sent off with the tally at 2-0.

McMahon and Mullen proved a threat from the first whistle and Trojans cleared one attempt off the line before the tie’s opening goal.

A last-gasp tackle prevented substitute Daniel Ryan from finding the net after neat skill helped him move past the Trojans goalkeeper.

Trojans cut the gap with an injury-time free-kick but Loughgall finished in front at the final whistle.

“Mark Dane was impressive and the defence looked solid overall,” said Hawe. “Ricky and Nicky are forming a good partnership in the heart of the defence, so that is important.

“You want to establish partnerships across the pitch but especially at the back.

“Aaron Walsh picked up an ankle injury recently against Annagh United but started on Saturday then had to come off.

“It seems a bit tender so he will take advantage of our free weekend to rest the injury.”

LOUGHGALL: Gareth Buchanan, Ricky Copeland, Nicky Hudson, Marcus Dallas, Steven Ferguson, Aaron Walsh, Gary Henderson, Matt McMahon, Jamie Rea, Warner Mullen, Mark Dane. Subs: John Uprichard, Wesley Boyle, Daniel Ryan, Ross Wilson.