City need to stop the rot!

After successive home defeats Armagh City will be hoping to get back to winning ways this Saturday. Marty Rice’s team will have exta incentive when they welcome Glebe Rangers to Holm Park in the Belfast Telegraph Division Two Championship.For revenge will be in the air as the County Antrim outfit inflicted a rare 4-1 defeat on City in their opening league encounter of the season at the end of November. Currently lying fourth in the championship, Glebe have lost just three of their 17 league matches, to date – the same as Armagh!
 
Last weekend Rangers turned on the style and power against a rejuvenated Banbridge Town to run out easy 6-2 winners. And, as result, they will travel to Holm Park full of confidence.At the same time Armagh were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against a powerful and skilful PSNI side. The previously Saturday, City were beaten 3-2 by Ards Rangers in the Intermediate Cup. City captain Liam Cullen was sidelined for the PSNI match but he should return to lead his team for this ‘must win’ encounter from his familiar central midfield role.
 
Armagh, presently sitting in second spot in the league, need a victory to protect their position and continue the push for promotion this season. 
Most of the squad will be available for the Glebe match and this will give manager Rice some selection headaches of the right kind as he now has a larger pool of players to call upon. 

City have played very well in patches during recent weeks but one of their most notable flaws has been the inability to put away their goalscoring chances! This Saturday they must get a real handle on this aspect of their play because, if not, they could pay the price as they did against Ards Rangers and the PSNI. The inexperienced Armagh also have a tendency to drift in and out of matches – going through a bad patch at some point in the game. However, they will be hoping to find more consistency at the weekend.

Having said that, however, City are very capable of playing sensational football and have ripped several sides apart this season when producing their best form. Left-sided attacker Shea McGerrigan, after missing several matches due to a hamstring injury, played his first full game for some time against the PSNI and he should be back to his sharpest after getting 90 minutes play under his belt. His namesake, Ryan McGerrigan, also had a slight injury but he could come back into the selection reckoning after sitting on the bench for the last two games. The same may apply to right-sided attacker Barry Quinn who came on as a second-half sub against the PSNI.The defensive and midfield set-ups may be looked at as Armagh have conceded five goals in their last two games. But minor adjustments rather than major surgery could be the solution. 

Everything looks set for a ding-dong match as both sides have a real incentive to pull out all the stops for victory. 
The Armagh City v Glebe Rangers Belfast Telegraph Division Two Championship encounter kicks-off at Holm Park, Armagh, this Saturday, February 9, at 3pm. All welcome

Posted in First team news

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