This weekend saw us play host to Lurgan Town FC from the Lisburn League in the first round of the N.I.B.F.A. Cup at Dairyhall.
The boys were at Dairyhall for 10am with an 11am kick off. We got out early for our pre-match warm up and back in at 10.20am to get into our kits and team talk before we took to the pitch.
The boys started brightly and in the first minute Jack Patterson dashed into the box clean through only to be man handled to the deck but for some strange reason the Referee didn't award the penalty. We kept plugging on and created numerous chances but against the run of play in the 21st minute Lurgan Scored a smashing goal to go one up, 0:1. The heads were down and Lurgan were awarded a dubious penalty two minutes later when then Lurgan striker fell over the back of Stuart Hannah's legs, Lurgan converted the penalty to take a two goal lead, 0:2. The boys got there heads up and started to play again, then on the stroke of half time we pulled one back, this was a good team goal as it started from the back, passed their way into the Lurgan half to Ryan Hannah who flicked the ball into the path of Jack Patterson and he went on to put the ball into the net, 1:2
HALF TIME: 1.2
The half time team talk was to keep our heads and play the football and we would get our rewards.
We kept plugging away playing some great football and we finally got the equaliser in the 46th minute when we were awarded a free kick just inside the Lurgan half, Matthew Guest sent over a smashing cross to the far post and Reece Atkinson got on the end of it to head it into the net, 2:2 game on for the RABA. Two minutes later Ryan Hannah saw his well struck shot well saved by the Lurgan keeper but in the 51st minute we took the lead, Caleb Surgenor came on to replace the hard working Edward Muldrew and his first contribution was to stick the ball in the back of the net when Reece Thompson's shot came of the defender it fell to Caleb and he made no mistake and thundered the ball home, 3:2 for the RABA with less than 9 minutes remaining. It was time to close the doors and see it out, Curtis Higgins came on for Joel Hill who had gave a man of the match performance at the back and Ben Dempster came on for the hard working Stuart Hannah with instructions to close the Lurgan boys down and get the win. It was all looking good as we played our way towards the final whistle but then came the twist when Jai Sykes had came screaming out for the ball but Matthew Guest couldn't get out of his was and they run into each other the ball broke free to the Lurgan striker and he stuck it into the empty net, 3:3 extra time looming.
FULL TIME: 3.3
So we were heading into extra time, a quick team talk to lift the boys and make them believe they could do this, two 10 minute halves to come.
Six minutes into the 1st period of extra time and we were back in front when Jack Patterson gathered the ball on the far side of the box the keeper had gone with him and as Jack turned him he pulled him done, the Referee awarded us a penalty. Up stepped our Captain Reece Atkinson who has never missed from the spot and he didn't disappoint, 4:3 for the RABA.
HALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME: 4.3
A Quick change around and the second period was on the boys were determined not to make the same mistake again as they all worked hard and challenged for everything. In the last five minutes it was looking good as we brought back on the boys who went off earlier, Joel Hill came back in to centre of defence were he had been awesome, Noah Crenshaw came back on to the right wing to replace Ryan Hannah who had worked his socks off for 76minutes and his brother Stuart Hannah came on to give us a bit of speed as he is so quick in getting in players faces and makes it hard for the opposition.
FULL TIME AET: 4.3
Well Done boys good all round squad performance and you definitely deserved that win as you all worked hard for it. The only point I would like to make is we need to tighten up on our discipline please. RABA#
Superb squad performance from Ards FcU16s this morning beating Lurgan town u16s 4.3 after extra time whole squad played there part coming back from 2.0 down