Robbie Hume levelled for the Roesiders (©PressEye.com)
Saturday, 03 November 2018
Limavady United and Loughgall shared the spoils following this Championship clash at The Showgrounds.
The Villagers opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Peter Campbell collected a cross from deep on the right, before controlling it and knocking the ball home despite the attentions of Hugh Carlin.
United hit back immediately, and only a magnificent tackle by Graeme Taylor denied them, as he was the sole defender facing Robbie Hume and Oran McConnell in the box.
Gareth McFadden then saw his long range effort on 17 minutes competently saved by Gareth Buchanan. Seven minutes later, neat approach play by United ended with Hume digging the ball out of a crowd of players, but his shot from the edge of the box was weak.
Loughgall were starting to move through the gears, with Campbell and Marc McConnell dominating the midfield, and on 27 minutes had a glorious chance, as the unmarked Campbell brought the ball down from a cross inside the box, but as Paul Wells charged at him he snatched at the chance, which went straight into Wells' midriff.
Two minutes later the keeper foiled McConnell with an excellent reaction save, reacting to a ball he saw late by sticking out a foot to block.
Chances continued to fall to the visitors, and Campbell drove into the box and shot for goal, only toned his effort deflected, narrowly missing Ferguson standing unmarked inside the box.
Limavady were depending on Hume's guile to create an opening, but his best efforts continually foundered on the Villagers' defence. So it was against the run of play when Hume finally scored on 40 minutes, as he escaped the defence to pounce on the ball, dance round Buchanan's dive, and slide the ball into the goal from a narrow angle on the left.
Tails up now, the Roesiders nearly scored again on 44 minutes, as Hume twisted and turned before he got the ball away, forcing Buchanan into a smart save.
The second half lacked both quality and goalmouth excitement, but United started where they left off, and Sean McCarron fired wide from a narrow angle, followed by a McConnell effort which was off target on 48 minutes.
But United were forced back and might have conceded a penalty on 53 minutes when there were loud appeals for handball inside the box. Another chance nearly fell to Bell soon afterwards, but he failed to connect.
Loughgall had a stronger penalty claim on 63 minutes, after Wells charged out to get the ball, and tangled with Campbell, but the referee was unimpressed by his appeal.
There followed a quarter of an hour of Loughgall pressure, with United defending too deeply, and often only being saved by a poor final ball.
The hosts rarely made it out of their own half for a period, and invariably foundered as Hume was left to take the fight to Loughgall by himself.
The only chance for United to take the spoils was a free header on 87 minutes, but substitute Aidan McCauley put the ball over.
Limavady United: Wells, O'Kane, Gareth McFadden, Friars, Carlin, Devine, McConnell, Gary McFadden, McCarron, Hume, Doherty subs Brown (not used), McCauley (replaced Doherty 69), McMullan (not used), Duffy (replaced McConnell 58), Pomeroy (replaced McCarron 81)
Loughgall: Buchanan, McVeigh, Rea, Bell, Taylor, Dallas, McCullough, Ferguson, Ferris, McConnell, Campbell subs Hoey (replaced McConnell 69), Gibson (replaced Ferguson 63), Mullen (replaced Ferris 77), Kearney (not used)
Referee: Mark Dillon