City slam door shut on Barn!

Armagh City firmly shut the door on the Intermediate Cup aspirations of Barn United at Holm Park on Saturday. 
The local side ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in a match which was played in difficult weather conditions, with both teams battling against high winds and driving rain throughout.

City began the third round tie in positive fashion and quickly mounted a series of attacks down both flanks through the lively Shea McGerrigan and Dale Montgomery, who had moved forward from his usual position of right wing-back. Despite bossing the early play, Armagh’s final ball was poor and few clear-cut chances emerged. Their best efforts at this stage was a stinging shot from Ryan McGerrigan, while a Stephen Murray effort failed to trouble Barn ‘keeper Connor Brown. Two further half-chances fell to midfielders Matthew Hynds and Gavin Cusack but City were constantly frustrated by a keen United defence which rode their luck in the opening half-hour.
The breakthrough eventually arrived for Armagh on 35 minutes when a pass into the box from Cusack struck the hand of Barn defender Paul Mathers and ref Gerry Murray pointed to the penalty spot. City striker Murray took the spot-kick and fired the ball into the net just wide of the outstretched Brown. 

Half-time: Armagh City 1 Barn Utd 0. 

After the break it was the home outfit who again went on attack. Though once again, all their good build-up work was spoiled by the lack of a clinical finishing touch. However, City finally rounded off a team move on 51 minutes when a superb through ball from Hynds was collected on the right by Montgomery. He squared into the six-yard area and Cusack was able to run the ball into the net from close-range to make it 2-0 for Armagh. City almost added to their tally on 65 minutes when a header from central defender Ultan Lennon narrowly missed the mark and, at this stage, the local team were cruising. 

Five minutes later, the situation changed dramatically. A free-kick into the box from the Carrickfergus side seemed to have been collected easily by City stopper Sean Morgan but, inexplicably, the ball fell from his grasp and the inrushing Wayne Patterson was able to stab the ball home from just a yard out to reduce the arrears to 2-1. This score gave confidence to the Amateur League side and they stormed forward for the next 10 minutes, causing concern in the City defence from dangerous back-to-back corner-kicks. However, Armagh weathered this mini-storm and Paul Carville was then unfortunate to see his 25-yard free-kick skim the opposition crossbar.
On 90 minutes, City deservedly wrapped up the spoils when a three-man break led by Ryan McGerrigan cut the Barn back-four apart. The left wing-back laid the ball off to Adam Nesbitt who fired a low 15-yard angled shot into the corner of the United net giving Brown no chance.     

In the end a much-needed cup win for City who are shaking off the rustiness of having played only two matches during the past month. 
Serveral players caught the eye on Saturday, with captain Cullen and Cusack having strong games. But Ryan McGerrigan produced a terrific all-round display to make him man-of-the-match.

Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Ultan Lennon, Ryan McGerrigan, Dara Noonan, Johnny Walker (Adam Nesbitt on 65), Matthew Hynds, Dale Montgomery, Liam Cullen (capt), Stephen Murray (Marc Davidson on 85), Gavin Cusack, Shea McGerrigan (Paul Carville on 39). Subs not used: Chris Maxwell, John Daly. 
Barn Utd (Carrickfergus): Connor Brown, Robert Armstrong, Aaron Anderson, Neil McKnight, Paul Mather, Matthew Bingham (Andrew Hall on 60), Gary McKee (David Hardy on 70), Darren McKinty (y/c), Wayne Patterson, Nicky Sharples, Omar Attisard (Paul Matthews on 60). 
Ref: Mr Gerry Murray (Dungannon)

Posted in First team news

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