Armagh City 7 v Ballymoney 1


ARMAGH City produced their finest displays at home in many seasons on Saturday as they put Ballymoney United to the sword.

City were ruthless as they hammered in seven goals to remain top of the Championship Two table with two games played.

And now the difficult job for Marty Rice is to keep his players’ feet on the ground after what has been their best start to a season in recent memory.

There was an immediate start for new signing Paul Carville, who put pen to paper in midweek.

City hit the ground running and came close to taking the lead on five minutes when Shea McGerrigan broke down the left, crossed the ball into the box but Gavin Cusack was just unable to stretch far enough.

But City did take the lead moments later when McGerrigan was able to fire home from the edge of the box.

On eight minutes it should have been 2-0 with McGerrigan again providing all the danger.

He again broke down the left, produced another telling delivery but this time Miceal McKenna was unable to hit the target.

The second goal came on 24 minutes when Barry Quinn raced free down the right, brought play up to the byline before squaring the ball for McGerrigan to blast his shot past Andy Sturgeon.

Ten minutes later Ultan Lennon was kicking himself  for missing a gilt-edge chance to slot in the third. The ball came swinging in from a corner but Lennon missed his opportunity from inches out.

City, however, did get their third goal six minutes from the break. Once again Quinn’s pace was too much for United to deal with and when he race free of the defence, he delivered a cross into the box where Matthew Hynds time his run to perfection to fire home.

The game, as a contest, was over going into the second half but, unlike last week’s win at Killymoon, the goals continued to come.

And four minutes after the restart it was 4-0 with McGerrigan once again the main playmaker.

Another impressive break led to a cross from which Gavin Cuscak scored with a bullet header.

Ballymoney had a chance to pull a goal back on 52 minutes when they were awarded a penalty but Francis McKenna failed to score from the spot kick.

Back came City and two minutes later they made it 5-0. And it proved to be the perfect debut for Carville as his free kick from wide out on the right deceived the entire Ballymoney defence and trickled in at the back post.

McGerrigan was unlucky not to have his hat-trick on 59 minutes when he fired just wide of the target after being set up by Quinn.

The rout continued on 75 minutes when McGerrigan again caused havoc, crossed from the left for Cillian Sheridan to score his first of the season.

And six minutes later City made it a magnificent seven when Cusack was on the end of a deep cross before lobbing ‘keeper Sturgeon.

Ballymoney had the last say in the game when they scored a consolation goal five minutes from time when Kyle Buckley was on target with a free kick from the edge of the box.

Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery, Paul Carville, Ultan Lennon, Johnny Walker, Miceal McKenna, Barry Quinn, Liam Cullen, Gavin Cusack, Matthew Hynds, Shea McGerrigan.

Subs: Cillian Sheridan for Barry Quinn (68 mins), Dara Noonan for Johnny Walker (77 mins), Gareth Grimley for Matthew Hynds (82 mins). Not used: Ryan Hughes, Chris Maxwell.

Ballymoney United: Andy Sturgeon, Francis McKenna, Kyle Buckley, Mark Watson, Chris Getty, Gerard Gillan, Ryan Craig, Liam Kearney, Stephen Lyons, Ian Christie, Paul Keane.

Subs: Conor Reid, Lee McClelland, Daniel Lavery.

Posted in First team news

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