Sport & Leisure Swifts 0 – 4 Armagh City
Armagh City recorded an emphatic 4-0 victory in their first away game of the season, with goals from Richard Nesbitt, Matthew Hynds and two from Adam Nesbitt doing the damage.
Sports & Leisure got off to the better start and put City under early pressure, partly due to some poor passing by City. In fact, Sports & Leisure should have taken the lead in the eighth minute when they hit the inside of the post and the ball somehow went across the face of the goal before skidding behind outside the opposite post. Sports & Leisure continued to have the better of the play for the opening half hour, limiting City to creating chances through counter-attacking play, and Sports and Leisure once again went close to taking the lead when they hit the crossbar in the 27th minute.
This pattern was broken on 33 minutes when Richard Nesbitt latched onto a well weighted pass, beat his marker & shot low into Sport & Leisures’s goal to put City in the lead, somewhat against the run of play. Five minutes later, Montgomery came very close with a shot that struck the crossbar.
City’s two center halves, Bruce and Finlay were booked in the closing minutes of the first half. The team went in at the break with the score remaining 1-0 to City in an open encounter and with the promise of more goals to follow in a match that appeared far from settled.
The second half continued in the same vein with City playing counterattacking football & Adam Nesbitt latched onto a route one pass over the top to score for City on 51 minutes.
Sports & Leisure did not give up and almost reduced the deficit a minute later, but City goalkeeper Sean Morgan pulled off a great save.
The game was effectively over as a contest on 55 minutes when the referee gave a penalty to City and a straight red to the Sports & Leisure defender for being last man. Adam Nesbitt converted the penalty to put City 3-0 up.
Despite the scoreline and being one man down, Sports & Leisure put in a creditworthy performance as they kept trying to get forward and continued to create chances. Sean Morgan pulled off a great double save on 68 mins and an amazing last ditch block on the line by Ryan McGerrigan in the 85th minute kept the clean-sheet intact.
Eventually, the advantage of having an extra man told and City substutute Matthew Hynds scored in the 75th minute to make it 4-0. This was a terrific result in a tough away game for City and a great response to last week’s defeat.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Ryan Metcalff, Ryan McGerrigan, Stuart Bruce, Nicky Finlay, Jonny McSorley, Gavin Cusack, Liam Cullen, Adam Nesbitt, Richard Nesbitt, Dale Montgomery
Subs:Matthew Hynds on 54mins for Jonny McSorley, Gerard Kerr on 76mins for Stuart Bruce
Unused subs: Michael O’Neill, Dara Noonan, Neil Cochrane.