Irish Cup magic moment one to savour for John Scott in limited Loughgall season
John Scott’s season may ultimately only add up to a handful of minutes but it has provided the teenager with one memory to savour.
The 19-year-old made his first appearance of the campaign on Saturday as Loughgall’s second competitive fixture produced an Irish Cup victory over top-flight Warrenpoint Town.
With the Championship programme ruled out due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, Loughgall’s time on the pitch is limited to an Irish Cup adventure now extended into the quarter-finals and high-profile visit by Linfield on Tuesday.
Nedas Maciulaitis’ early finish handed Loughgall the shock lead against a Warrenpoint side arriving at Lakeview Park bolstered by strong recent results and a season of training and fixtures.
Scott, who turns 20 next month, lined out in a back four that proved resolute when required within a Loughgall team performance which restricted the senior side’s attacking threat thanks to a work ethic in contrast to match fitness only developed across a number of friendlies and the first-round Irish Cup win last weekend over Banbridge Town.
“With getting a start today, there’s that initial adrenaline rush but it was so warm as well and, especially over the first half, I could feel it,” said Scott. “But the boys all dealt with everything well thanks to that overall fitness.
“It’s nail-biting near the end with a 1-0 lead but you just have to keep your focus.
“Your legs are that tired and your body and brain but you must keep concentration.
“It just takes you to miss one ball into the box and anything could happen for 1-1.
“Another goal would have been great but we got there in the end.
“We could have been two or three goals up off chances on the counter-attack.
“We dealt well with Warrenpoint, moving well defensively as a group to not leave any gaps.
“Anything threatening then our goalkeeper dealt with it or someone got a body in the way.
“Communication is important, it’s great to have someone like Ben Murdock beside you in defence.
“He’s probably one of the best centre-backs I’ve played alongside, we talk and listen and have each other’s back out there on the pitch.
“It’s a good mix over the side of youth and experience, plus competition in every position.
“Training is always intense as well.
“This is my third season now at Loughgall...the uncertainty has been hard this past year but we all stuck at it to stay fit and ready at as decent a standard as possible for coming back.
“I’m glad the club opted to stay in the Irish Cup as it has been great getting back in for training together and to play for something.”
LOUGHGALL: Turker, Kerr, Scott, Murdock, Lyttle, Ferguson (Neill, 65), Andrade, McCullough, Maciulaitis (Hunter, 92), Malone, Rea (Holloway, 79)
Subs (not used): Cartwright, Dunne, McCann, Hegan
WARRENPOINT TOWN: Coleman, Deasy, Ball, Dillon, O’Sullivan, McCaffrey, Gallagher, Swan (Carroll, 75), Hutchinson (Doyle, 49), Wallace, Byrne (McVeigh, 85)
Subs (not used): Sava, Mullen, Cowan, Forsythe
Referee: Jamie Robinson
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