City Slip Up in Cup

Armagh City 2 Ards Rangers 3
(after extra-time)
ARMAGH City went into meltdown mode during their fourth round Belfast Telegraph Intermediate Cup tie against visitors Ards Rangers on Saturday.
The Holm Park outfit were flying from the outset and led comfortably 2-0 at the interal – the match all but done and dusted!
But, after the break, City went into their shell and allowed Rangers to dictate play and, ultimately, claim a place in the fifth round of the tournament.
This was a match Armagh could and should have won but, in the end, the frittered away chance after chance and allowed the opposition to score a devastating winner late into injury-time.

The local outfit went on the offensive from the the start and opened up the Ranger’s defence on several occasions, even before their sixth minute score!
The goal came from a long throw-in by Dale Montgomery which eventually was deftly headed into the corner of the net by in-form striker Stephen Murray, giving opposition ‘keeper David Ferguson no chance.
Armagh were spending long periods in the Ranger’s half at this stage and the much heralded Amateur Premier League champions offered little in response.
City’s domination was highlighted further on 32 minutes when Murray chested the ball into the path of the onrushing Philip Donnelly and his 20-yard effort squeezed under the diving Ferguson who was disasppointed by his attempt to save.
After this score Rangers did push forward but, while they did have more possession, their scoring attempts were snuffed out by an eager City midfield and solid defence.
Half-time: Armagh City 2 Ards Rgns 0.
After the break City again pushed forward and Ferguson made amends for his earlier effort when he rushed out of goal to snuff out a chance from Paul Carville.
Moments later the visiting ‘keeper again came to his side’s aid when he pushed away an effort from Murray as the striker ran through unopposed.
But chances began to dry up for Armagh as Rangers finally got to grips with the game. The visitors almost reduced the arrears on the hour when a Ricky Barr headed was flicked narrowly wide.
And, 15 minutes later, Rangers were rewarded for their renewed efforts.
After creating two further chances, the Ards side were awarded a corner on the left. The ball was driven to the back-post where sub Marc Hanna rose unopposed to head powerfully past Armagh stopper Sean Morgan.
And, on 84 miuntes, the teams were back on level terms. A defensive error allowed Gary McDermott to pick the ball up on the edge of the City box. The striker fired goalwards and the ball struck an Armagh player before spinning into the back of the Armagh net over the outstretched Morgan.
With extra-time on the cards there was still time for City to rectify the situation.
And they began the first period like a house on fire and seemed destined to take the tie.
Murray had three superb scoring chances but he spurned them all, while Shea McGerrigan and Donnelly were also guilty of not finding the net when well placed.
In the final period City again pushed foward without reward and were eventually hit by a late sucker-punch from Rangers.
During a rare raid the ball was floated over from the left and, during the resultant goal-mouth scramble, Barr was the quickest to react, poking the ball into the Armagh net from just a yard out.
This score was a real sickener for City who were left with no time to bring matters to a deserved penalty shoot-out.
In the end Ards Rangers were a relieved side, knowing they had got out of jail against an Armagh team who should have won this cup match comfortably.
City need to take a long hard look at themselves and maybe consider why they became so negative after the interval – especially while holding a two-goal cushion!
Armagh City:Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery, Paul Carville, Ultan Lennon, Dara Noonan (y/c), (Adam Nesbitt on 110), Johnny Walker, Matthew Hynds (Shea McGerrigan on 69), Liam Cullen, Stephen Murray (y/c), Gavin Cusack (Philip McBirney on 84), Philip Donnelly (y/c). Subs not used: Ryan McGerrigan, Richard Nesbitt.
Ards Rangers: David Ferguson, Mark Drysdale, Marc Roy, Gerard Watson (Johnny Roy on 45), Jamie Patterson (Adam Walsh on 60, y/c), Ryan Stewart (y/c), Johnny Hall, Glenn Bowers (y/c), (Marc Hanna on 70), Darren Sterling, Ricky Barr, Gary McDermott. Sub not used: Jackie Kerr.
Ref: Lee Tavender, (Dungannon).

Posted in First team news

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