Loughgall resolve on show behind point from ‘bad day’ as Dean Smith keeps calm

Manager Dean Smith is refusing to allow high hopes off Loughgall’s flying start to the Championship season.
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A draw from the derby date with Annagh United last weekend left Loughgall sitting pretty, holding top spot in the table over the Saturday hosts by virtue of a double-figure goal difference.

The Villagers made the trip to tackle Annagh having hit 10 goals across the three previous league games with three successive clean sheets.

A first goal conceded in the campaign left Smith frustrated as Annagh’s Ryan Moffatt reacted first to a loose ball off a free-kick drive.

Loughgall boss Dean Smith. Pic by Pacemaker.Loughgall boss Dean Smith. Pic by Pacemaker.
Loughgall boss Dean Smith. Pic by Pacemaker.

Nathaniel Ferris’ penalty kick ultimately left Loughgall level to extend the unbeaten start.

“It was a derby game...very scrappy and, from our viewpoint, we didn’t reach the levels we had across the previous three games,” said Smith. “From that side of it, we are disappointed, I think we played some really good football at times this season but never got it down to play today as we would have liked.

“You’ve got to give Annagh credit for that too but, first and foremost, we’ve to look after our own game and today we felt we weren’t where we should have been.

“But, saying that, we’ve had a bad day but come out of it with a point.

“It was a very, very flat start and we never got going then, to be honest, through us could have been one or two goals down inside the first 15 minutes.

“From that it just seemed to slowly get worse in the first half.

“At half-time we got the players in and made a few technical changes and asked for a reaction at being, deservedly, 1-0 down.

“In the second half we showed glimpses of what we can do and were maybe unfortunate not to get the second at times.

“Overall, we are really pleased with what we are doing and what we’ve done but it’s only four games in, so we won’t look too much into it.

“There could be times during the season where we lose a few in a row so it’s about keeping a level head and not getting too high when we win or too low when we lose.

“We’ve got a really good squad, a really young squad that’s very hungry and ambitious.

“We are delighted with the recruitment done so will see how far it takes us.

“I don’t want to sit and say what we will do as that adds to expectations but it will be about one game at a time.

“We were not looking at specific areas in terms of our recruitment but, instead, good people, to be honest.

“We want good people at this football club who are young and hungry to do better.

“Hopefully we can give them a platform to do that at Loughgall.

”And we have a wee bit of experience in, players who have been there and done it at the highest level.

“It is the most exciting bit that even those not playing are playing a massive part.”