Supersub Patterson makes his mark

Aaron Patterson scored two goals on Tuesday in Loughgall's home draw.
Aaron Patterson scored two goals on Tuesday in Loughgall's home draw.

Loughgall’s upturn in form continued on Tuesday with a battling draw at home to Harland and Wolff Welders despite trailing by 3-1.

The Villagers played host to the Welders fresh from a first victory since Noel Mitchell’s appointment as manager.

This momentum helped Loughgall control the initial exchanges and an opening goal arrived on 22 minutes from the penalty spot for Wesley Boyle.

Goals in each half put the Welders clear by 2-1 and a third arrived for the visitors past the hour mark.

However, Loughgall regrouped and the introduction of Aaron Patterson off the substitutes’ bench added a creative spark to ignite the fightback.

Patterson popped up at the back post on 84 minutes to convert a Warner Mullen pass then capped his cameo with a second goal soon after by steering in a slick free-kick.

“I think the previous win against Ballyclare Comrades helped the lads as we had to battle for something that day as well,” said Loughgall coach Steven Hawe. “We started well then they came back into it and we switched from a diamond formation to 4-4-2 late on and just went at the Welders.

“Aaron came on and had a big impact but he has that ability and credit to the players for digging in and showing such real character.

“To get a point under the circumstances of 3-1 down is another big step forward for the squad as we continue to move away from relegation.

“We host Dergview this weekend so that is going to be a massive game but we can look back over recent results and take confidence from those performances.

“Mark Carson is a couple of weeks away from a return but our only real injury issue.

“We have been aware of the quality here from day one and now things are starting to develop, with the players working really hard.”

Loughgall welcome Dergview to Lakeview Park tomorrow (Saturday) from 3 o’clock then visit Carrick Rangers on Tuesday in NIFL Championship One.

LOUGHGALL: Gareth Buchanan, Matt Reynolds, Ricky Copeland, Mark Stewart, Ryan Moffatt, Gary Henderson, Steven Ferguson, Marcus Dallas, Wesley Boyle, Matt McMahon, Warner Mullen. Subs: Jamie Greenaway, Graeme Taylor, Jeff Brady, Ross Black, Aaron Patterson.