Armagh City 0 – 2 Sports and Leisure Swifts
Armagh City were well beaten in the opening round of the Irn Bru League Cup at Holm Park on Tuesday night.
Sports and Leisure Swifts took the spoils after producing a strong display against an out-of-sorts City outfit.
From the outset the Belfast visitors were the more aggressive and potent side and forced Armagh ‘keeper Sean Morgan into making several superb saves to keep them at bay. In contrast, City’s attacks were restricted to one or two efforts, including headed attempts from Stuart Bruce from corner-kicks.
The home side’s Richard Nesbitt also fired goalwards but overall City’s attempts throughout were few and far between.
Two minutes before the break Sports and Leisure deservedly made the breakthrough when Terry Kelly drilled the ball home watched by a static Armagh defence.
Seven minutes after the interval, the Belfast side doubled their advantage and the match was effectively over. On this occasion Sports and Leisure successfully evaded the City off-side trap and the ball was squared to the onrushing John Donnan who tapped it into the empty net from close range.
Matters could have been worse for the Holm Park outfit on 70 minutes but a bullet-like shot from just six yards was brilliantly saved by the outstanding Morgan who somehow cleared the danger. A follow-up close-range flick from a visiting forward was also cleared off the goal-line moments later as City were constantly caught on the break.
With 10 minutes remaining Armagh suffered yet another setback when striker Richard Nesbitt was given his matching orders for a second bookable offence.
In the end a disappointing defeat for City but nothing should take away from the efforts of the visitors. However, this is an early season wake-up call for Armagh and it will be interesting how the young squad reacts to this reverse.
Armagh City: Morgan, Metcalfe, McGerrigan, Finlay, Bruce (Cocherane 85), Cullen, McSorley (Moore 60), Cusack, Montgomery (Hynds 70) ,A.Nesbitt, R.Nesbitt (sent off)
Unused subs: Noonan, O’Neill