Armagh City 0-3 Newbuildings United
Armagh City were dumped of the Irish Cup at the weekend when they were totally outclassed by Newbuildings United at Holm Park.
And it was a more than comfortable victory for the Intermediate League minnows who, from the start, dominated the match. City’s cause was hampered when they were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark after Nicky Finlay picked up his second yellow card of the day. But, in reality, City boss Marty Rice can have no complaints about the result as his side were lucky to concede three goals.
It was a long journey for the visitors but their band of supporters made it a fantastic cup atmosphere from start to finish. Officials at Holm battled hard on Saturday morning to clear the lying snow off the pitch and the heavy surface seemed to suit the visitors. City were dealt a blow before kick off when skipper Liam Cullen was forced to withdraw from the starting team.
The writing was on the wall for City as early as the first minute of the game when Ricky Lee Dougharty crossed from the left but Stephen Curry was unable to convert at the back post whilst unmarked. But City failed to learn from that early scare and they fell behind just four minutes later. Newbuildings again broke down the left with Gareth Falconor beating City for pace and his cross into the box was turned into his own nets by defender Neil Cochrane.
City’s first meaningful attack of the game three minutes later should have resulted in a goal when Adam Nesbitt raced free. The striker, however, elected to take a shot on goal instead of passing to Darren Bruce who had broke into the box unmarked.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage on 11 minutes but were denied by a fantastic save from City ‘keeper Sean Morgan following an equally spectacular shot on the half volley from Bryan Scanlon. City continued to look nervous and they were given a real let off on 14 minutes following a moment of hesitation from Morgan on the edge of his box. He presented Nathan Robinson with a gilt-edged chance to extend the lead however Cochrane came to City’s rescue when he cleared a certain goal away for a corner.
But there was no surprise when Newbuildings took a more than deserved 2-0 lead on 18 minutes. Robinson was given far too much space on the edge of the box and he made sure in placing his shot past the reach of Morgan. The relentless pressure continued and two minutes later City were given another let off when Dougherty was then denied a penalty when upended in the box.
Finlay tried his luck for City from distance on 31 minutes and his shot forced a decent save from Conor Thorton. Seven minutes later Dougharty raced free of City’s defence again but his final touch was poor and the chance was gone. Right on the half time whistle City came close to pulling a goal back when Andy Moore’s shot from a Dale Montgomery pass was scrambled away to safety.
Into the second half and it remained one-way traffic. On 50 minutes Dougharty left the defence wanting again but this time Morgan did enough to force the striker wide and shoot off target. And already difficult task became even harder on the hour mark when Finlay was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Robinson forced a save at the second attempt from Morgan on 69 minutes as Newbuildings went for the jugular. However it was City who were denied a goal by the base of the post when Dara Noonan’s header from a John Whitten cross struck the woodwork. At the other end 10 minutes later the woodwork denied Dougharty when his chipped shot over Morgan’s head came back off the crossbar.
But the final nail was driven into City’s coffin two minutes later when Falconor’s cross was met with a diving header by Graham Moore. It was no more than Newbuildings deserved but for City it was a day to forget as their poor record in the Irish Cup continued for another season.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Ryan Metcalfe, Ryan McGerrigan, Nicky Finlay, Neil Cochrane, And Moore, Cillian Sheridan, John Whitten, Darren Bruce, Adam Nesbitt, Dale Montgomery.
Subs: Gavin Cusack for Dale Montgomery (half time), Dara Noonan for Neil Cochrane (62 mins), Richard Nesbitt for Cillian Sheridan (72 mins). Not used: Liam Cullen.
Booked: Neil Cochrane, Richard Nesbitt.
Sent off: Nicky Finlay.
Newbuildings United: Conor Thorton, Stephen Wallace, Graham Moore, Peter Blair, Jason Moore, Stephen Curry, Bryan Scanlon, David Scanlon, Ricky Lee Dougharty, Nathan Robinson, Gareth Falconor.
Subs: Grant Buchannon for Stephen Wallace (72 mins), Matthew Smyth for Nathan Robinson (73 mins), Mark Olphert for David Scanlon (83 mins).
Not used: Christopher Beattie.
Booked: Graham Moore.