Sports

Proud Despite Exit

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Proud Despite Exit thumbnailFivemiletown's dead ball specialist Davy Little clears his lines during Saturday’s Irish Cup fifth round defeat to Loughgall.

FIVEMILETOWN United manager Scott Robinson has expressed his pride at the efforts of his players after they were eliminated from the Irish Cup by Loughgall.

The men from the Valley stadium had been on a historic journey, reaching the fifth round of Northern Irish football's premier cup competition for the first time in their history.

Fivemiletown had already claimed the scalps of Dundela and Newington on their run, but Saturday's trip to Lakeview Park to take on the Villagers was a step too far for the Mid-Ulster Intermediate A side.

Despite being the better team for large spells, and being boosted by the sending off of Ricky Copeland for the home team, Loughgall suckerpunched Fivemiletown with three late goals.

And Scott says he feels the result was ultimately harsh on his charges.

“It certainly flattered them, that's for sure," Scott told the Courier.

“They only scored in the 80th minute and there was inexperience on our behalf of how to get back into the game at that stage.

“We were by far the better side.

“Loughgall couldn't have been any more complimentary of us after the game, and I couldn't fault my team at all, they left everything they had on the pitch out there.

“It was hard on our boys, it was never a 3-0 game, it was maybe a 1-0 game at best."

As can quite often be the case, Loughgall having a man sent off actually made life more difficult for the Valley men.

“I thought when their man was sent off it would be harder because they went deep and they brought boys off the bench with pace to try to catch us on the break."

While their cup run is over, Scott says his players should be very pleased with their efforts.

“Pushing Loughgall so hard shows where we are at.

“It's a great run for the boys and they should be proud of themselves."

There was a large band of Fivemiletown followers in attendance on Saturday, running into the hundreds, and Scott praised the support he and the team received.

“The crowd was unbelievable and the noise they made.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere and they have followed us everywhere throughout this journey and they helped the boys get over the line against Newington and Dundela."

However, attention will now switch to league action, with Fivemiletown looking to make the jump from Mid-Ulster football to the Northern Ireland Football League structure.

They are four points off top with three games in hand on the leaders, meaning they have a good chance of making their dreams of getting into senior football in the next few years come true.

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