Hawe calling for return to full focus in league after cup clash

Nicky Hudson (left) putting Glenavon's Kevin Braniff under pressure for Loughgall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Nicky Hudson (left) putting Glenavon's Kevin Braniff under pressure for Loughgall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Loughgall left Lurgan last weekend out but far from down following a spirited Irish Cup performance against top-flight Glenavon.

The Villagers’ hopes of another quarter-final moment of magic to match the 1997 run finished in a 2-1 reverse that featured red for Ricky Copeland.

Now the target for Loughgall is to consign the cup adventure to the history books and focus on a strong league finish.

“We give it a go and it was probably not the best performance by either side,” said Loughgall coach Steven Hawe, a former Glenavon defender. “We can be proud of the effort put in across the match, with Stuart Mallen’s goal a nice reward.

“We conceded late in the first half and then picked up the red card after the break.

“Glenavon then scored a penalty kick and the fear was it would maybe finish in a much larger scoreline.

“We got a goal back thanks to Stuart and can now switch back to the Championship One programme.”

Loughgall entertain Bangor tomorrow (Saturday) in Championship One with the aim of a rapid return to winning ways for the reward of league points.

“Warner Mullen is away now for around a month in Australia,” said Hawe. “That is a blow given his excellent form but it offers the chance for someone else to step forward.

“John Uprichard is on loan at Coagh United and currently injured but Mark Dane is ready to step in and grab his opportunity.

“He will get more minutes now and has settled well in his first Irish League season with Loughgall.

“Jamie Rea must sit out the Bangor game due to suspension and Aaron Walsh is struggling with hamstring problems.

“Andrew Drylie had to miss the Glenavon match after joining us from that club but is now available.

“The goal is to turn the Glenavon experience into a long-term positive.

“It is important that we do not let the cup become a distraction after so much quarter-final talk.

“We have a lot of home games coming up so want to take full advantage, starting on Saturday at 3 o’clock.”

LOUGHGALL: Gareth Buchanan, Mark Carson, Graeme Taylor, Ricky Copeland, Nicky Hudson, Gary Henderson, Marcus Dallas, Steven Ferguson, Warner Mullen, Daniel Ryan, Stuart Mallen. Subs: Wilson Tavares (on for Mallen, 90 mins), Mark Dane, Paul Stretton, Joseph O’Connor, Odhran Robinson.