Armagh City 3 Wakehurst 1
ARMAGH City produced another slick performance on Saturday to comfortably brush aside the challenge of Wakehurst in their Belfast Telegraph Championship Two clash.
And the victory gives the Holm Park side top spot in the table after three matches – albeit on goal difference from Belfast outfit Knockbreda.
Armagh started strongly and took a deserved lead on 16 minutes when striker Stephen Murray outpaced his marker and rounded the Wakehurst ‘keeper before sliding the ball into the empty net.
The visitors started to push forward in search of an equaliser but two timely tackles from City’s man-of-the-match Ultan Lennon kept their lively frontmen at bay.
This proved crucial as City weathered the storm and hit back to score a curious second goal on 30 minutes.
An inswinging corner from the left by right wing-back Dale Montgomery flew over a host of players directly into the net past the hapless ‘keeper.
Now 2-0 ahead, City seemed to go back into their shell somewhat and this allowed Wakehurst to push forward and reduce the arrears.
A visiting defender won a header in the Armagh 18-yard area and knocked the ball across goals where, despite a superb initial save from Sean Morgan, the quick-silver Jason Paul slammed home the rebound from close range.
This reverse woke Armagh up and they almost extended their lead just before the break when the hard-working Micheal McKenna blasted over the Wakehurst crossbar from just six yards out.
With a narrow lead at the interval it was essential that Armagh upped their pace after the break.
And this they did in fine style with a brilliant footballing display.
Just after the restart a clever throw-in from Montgomery found Murray in space and the big striker sent in a searing volley which just cleared the opposition crossbar.
Murray was again in the thick of the action on 52 minutes but this time his powerful shot was deflected for a corner.
And City’s flying left-winger Barry Quinn then went even closer four minutes later when he cut into the Wakehurst box, drifting past three defenders in the process, before planting a low shot against the opposition upright with the ‘keeper beaten all ends up.
Armagh’s Gavin Cusack fired another powerful effort just over on 70 minutes as the local team continued to dominate in the one-sided second period.
However, the best effort of the match came with just 15 minutes left. Lennon lined up a direct free-kick and looked to clip the ball into the Wakehurst box. However, he cleverly shot powerfully and directly at goal and almost caught the opposition ‘keeper unawares.
With five minutes left City wrapped the game up when Quinn skipped down the left flank once again and crossed into the six-yard area where Cusack was on hand to slip the ball home.
This was certainly a score Armagh deserved and, had they been more clinical, should have added to their tally.
Another fine overall peformance from Armagh with every player giving their all to achieve their third championship win in a row.
This Saturday, September 1, City will again play at Holm Park, Armagh, when Queen’s will be the visitors. Kick-off 3pm. This will be another tough test for the local side but, if they continue to produce a similar brand of flowing football, then they can certainly bag full points once again.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery, Paul Carville, Ultan Lennon, Dara Noonan, Micheal McKenna, Barry Quinn (Ryan McShane on 85), Liam Cullen (y/c), Stephen Murray (Gareth Grimley on 90), Gavin Cusack, Matthew Hynds (Cillian Sheridan on 74).
Stroll in the park for slick City side.
Posted in First team news