Armagh City 3 Tobermore Utd 0
Armagh City cruised to another comfortably win at Holm Park on Saturday as they continue their challenge for Championship Two honours.
They accounted for visitors Tobermore United by 3-0 but, while welcoming the result, will not be happy with their the overall performance.
City made a sluggish start to the game and almost paid the price when the visitor’s Ryan Winton went close after 20 minutes.
And, moments later, local ‘keeper Sean Morgan was yellow-carded when he rushed outside the box to illegally thwart the breaking Gareth McLaughlin.
As the game progressed, however, Armagh gradually got to grips with affairs and scored a superb opener on 36 minutes.
Gavin McParland collected the ball 25-yards out and, instead of laying the ball off, he turned and fired a powerful low shot past deceived Tobermore stopper Paul Wells.
This score separated the teams in a rather messy opening half but, thankfully, City did manage to raise their game after the break.
In fact, they quickly created three goal-scoring chances and Wells did well to block opportunities from Stephen Murray, Eamon Kelly and Ultan Lennon following corners from the right.
But Tobermore were tenacious and resolute in defence and made life difficult for Armagh.
The pressure, however, eventually told on 59 minutes when a superb through pass from Philip Donnelly set McParland on his way once again. The big striker timed his run into the box brilliantly and, as Wells rushed out to close him down, McParland cleverly lobbed the ball over the stopper’s head from 10-yards out to score.
This second goal seemed to breath renewed confdence into the City players and they ruled the roost for the remainder of the match.
They could have gone further ahead but Wells was at his brilliant best to save a low shot from Murray and then finger-tip a goal-bound thunder-bolt from Shea McGerrigan over the crossbar.
But, moments later, Armagh did get their just rewards when Ryan and Shea McGerrigan combined before the latter fired a dangerous cross into the box where Kelly arrived to head home with power and precision.
In the end a vital three points but, with tougher teams still to meet, City will have to raise their performances in the future.
However, with players of the calibre of Ryan and Shea McGerrigan back from injury and Donnelly returning after a one-match suspension, the squad will be at full strengh for the run-in.
Armagh City: Sean Morgan (y/c), Dale Montgomery, Paul Carvill (Ryan McGerrigan on 67), Ultan Lennon, Dara Noonan, Eamon Kelly, Philip Donnelly, Liam Cullen, Stephen Murray (Matthew Hynds on 67), Gavin McParland (Kevin Keegan on 80), Shea McGerrigan. Sub DNP: Philip Richards.
Tobermore Utd: Paul Wells, Adam Crawford (Glen Clarke on 77), Daryl Magee, Colin Donaldson (y/c), Sean Henaghan (Chris Beattie on 77), Dean Stewart, Marc Harkness (David McClements on 50), Gareth McLaughlin, James McGahan, Trevor Parkhill, Ryan Winton. Sub DNP: Barry Anderson.