Armagh City 3 Glebe Rangers 0
Armagh City stretched their unbeater run in the Belfast Telegraph Championship to eight games after their victory over Glebe Rangers on Saturday.
As a result, the Holm Park outfit have opened up a five-point gap over their nearest challengers in the race for the title.
City, however, started slowly and almost went behind when a 25-yard curling shot from Glebe’s Tommy Elder struck the crossbar before rebounding to safety.
In fact, the visitors dominated the opening quarter, prompted by the rampant Elder and Ryan Marks.
But City eventually worked their way into the match and should have scored on 20 minutes when both Kevin Keegan and Matthew Hynds were denied with superb back-to-back saves from Brian Kane.
Moments later Armagh’s Shea McGerrigan broke in from the left and was unfortunate to see his flashing shot go just wide of an upright.
But, immediatley, Glebe were spurred back into action and City’s Dale Montgomery had to be alert to clear a goalbound shot of the goal-line.
Then it was City’s turn to hit back when a great three-man move involving Shea McGerrigan, Murray and Hynds ended with the latter just dragging the ball wide of an upright.
And it was no surprise when they put together the best move of the match to take the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Hynds placed an inch-perfect cross into the path of Gareth Grimley and he flicked the ball into the box where it was met by gthe onrushing Shea McGerrigan. He cut in towards goal before firing the ball across the six-yard box where it was met at the far-post by Stephen Murray who fired home with aplomb.
But Rangers still had time to counter-attack and a combination of City goalkeeper Sean Morgan and central defenders Dara Noonan and Luke Grimley kept efforts from Elder and Aron Williamson at bay.
Half-time: Armagh City 1 Glebe Rgns 0.
If Armagh began the first-half slowly, it was completly the opposite after the break.
The immediatley carved out a chance when Grimley broke on the right and fired a shot across the face of the Glebe goal with Kane beaten all ends up.
Shea McGerrigan then broke through the middle but his 30-yard effort flew just over the crossbar.
City were now bossing the match and deservedly went 2-0 ahead on 54 minutes. Ranger’s stopper Kane was sold short by a poor back-pass and Murray nipped in to win the ball, round the custodian and slot home into an empty net.
Five minutes later McGerrigan was again in the thick of the action and Kane had to go full-length to save a powerful shot low-down to his left.
Armagh sealed the points on 68 minutes when the added a third score. The busy McGerrigan broke on the right but Kane and Chris Nicholl seemed to have stemmed the attack. However, the ball broke off the defender back into the path of the Armagh wingr who again had the easy task of finding the empty net.
A silimar error almost allowed McGerrigan in for a second but, on this occasion, the ball drifted narrowly wide.
Near the end City forced three quick corners and Liam Cullen had a brilliant opportunity to put the home side further ahead. But he got underneath the ball from two yards out and amazingly drilled it over the Glebe crossbar.
After a slow start Armagh eventually took a firm grip of the game and ran out deserving winners. Once again a strong all-round team performance, with central defender Dara Noonan just about taking the man-of-the-match tag, although he was pushed all the way by young Luke Grimley, Stephen Murray, along with Shea and Ryan McGerrigan.
This Saturday, October 26, City make the long journey to Portstewart for another Belfast Telegraph Chamionship Two match, which kicks-off at 3pm.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery (Philip McBirney on 82), Ryan McGerrigan (y/c), Luke Grimley, Dara Noonan, Matthew Hynds (y/c), Gareth Grimley (Mickey Toland on 69), Liam Cullen, Stephen Murray, Kevin Keegan (Paul Carville on 80), Shea McGerrigan.
Glebe Rgns: Brian Kane, John Hume, Jackie Morrison, Alan Sheppard, Chris Nicholl, Ian Christie (y/c), (Kirk Brace on 63), Ryan Marks, Peter Kennoway, Aron Wilkinson, Tommy Elder, GarethHenry (Warren Morrison on 78).