Armagh City Win Both at Home and Away when the 1st and Reserve Teams are victorious over both Annagh Teams.
Armagh City 2 Annagh 1 ( Annagh Res 0 Armagh City Res 2)
ARMAGH City were well worth their derby victory over old rivals Annagh in this Belfast Telegraph Championship Two match at Holm Park.
Two-goal hero Gareth Grimley ensured the points came City’s way in a keenly fought encounter between two very hard working outfits.
However, Armagh always held sway and, despite some second-half pressure, deservedly ran out winners.
They created more clear-cut scoring chances and were denied on several occasions by the brilliance of Annagh ‘keeper Andy Wright who pulled off several fantastic saves during the match.
City began at lightening pace and Grimley made two decisive openings within 10 minutes.
He raced through on the Annagh goal early on but stumbled in the act of shooting and the ball screwed across the six-yard box just eluding the onrushing Stephen Murray.
But, on 12 minutes, City made the breakthrough their early play deserved.
The ball was crossed into the box by Murray and Grimley, with his back to goal, contolled the ball brilliantly and swivelled to send a curling 10-yard shot past the outstretched Wright.
City continued to control the game and opened up the Annagh defence on several occasions, with Ryan McGerrigan and Paul Carville combining well on the left to create further chances.
However, against the run of play, the Portadown side were to grab an equaliser on 24 minutes.
A ball into the box struck the upraised arm of Carville and referee Wesley Campbell immediately awarded a penalty. Dean Smith elected to take the spot-kick and he easily tucked the ball home past Armagh ‘keeper Sean Morgan.
Despite this setback City again went on the offensive and Shea McGerrigan was unlucky to see a fierce 20-yard effort fly past an upright.
Just before the break the Armagh winger had another opportunity. City were awarded a free-kick 22-yards out and McGerrigan’s sweetly struck shot seemed destined for the top right-hand corner of the net. But stopper Wright pulled off a magnificent save to push the ball over the crossbar and away to safety.
On the restart the home side again pushed forward at every opportunity and deservedly regained the lead on 50 minutes.
A superb cross from the left by Ryan McGerrigan picked out Grimely at the back-post and he headed the ball back across goal to defeat Wright on this occasion.
At this stage it was the turn of Annagh to throw caution to the wind and they pushed forward at every opportunity. The visitors brought on former City favourite Alan Murphy and the ‘big man’ made an immediate impact with his ariel power, causing panic in th Armagh goalmouth on several occasions.
But City’s twin centre-backs, Ultan Lennon and Johnny Walker, literally rose to the occasion and defended tanaciously to keep the opposition at bay.
Armagh were now relying on quick breaks and should have added to their tally when Murray burst into the box and fired across the Annagh goal-line. With two onrushing City players just failing to tuck the ball home, it drifted narrowly wide.
Walker almost got into the scoring act for City when he just failed to finish off two headed chances from corner-kicks, while Murray was unlucky to see his low shot strike one of his own players on the Annagh goal-line.
Overall this was a hard fought but decisive win for City who will once again be annoyed to miss several clear-cut chances. However, they produced a sterling defensive performance and for long spells played incisive and flowing football which had Annagh struggling.
This Saturday, November 17, City travel to play Chimney Corner in Antrim in a Championship Two match which kicks-off at the earlier time of 2pm.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery, Ryan McGerrigan (Matthew Hynds on 70), Ultan Lennon, Johnny Walker, Micheal McKenna (Dara Noonan on 89),Gareth Grimley, Liam Cullen, Stephen Murray (Chris Maxwell on 90), Paul Carville, Shea McGerrigan. Sub DNP: Ryan McShane.
Annagh: Andy Wright, Chris Coleman, Darragh Peden, Iain Latimer, Richard Allen (Alan Murphy on 65), Jordan Bell, Richard Nesbitt (Greg Harrison on 86), Shea Campbell, Sam Marshall (Jay Gardiner on 65), Dean Smith (y/c). Sub DNP: Nathan Riddle.
Ref: Mr Wesley Campbell (Augher).