Dergview 2 – 0 Armagh City
After moving up from the second division this season was always going to be a difficult one for Armagh City and if there was anyone left who thought otherwise Saturday’s game against Dergview at Darrragh Park will have removed any doubt.
Resplendent once more in their squad numbered jerseys, this was on paper a stronger City side with Ryan McGerrigan and Shea McGerrigan both available again. Dale Montgomery moved to the right wing in place of Kevin Keegan and Robbie McQuaid dropped to the subs’ bench. A strong Dergview defence was generally in control of the City forwards in the early stages although the Armagh defenders were also able to withstand a lot of pressure and neither goalkeeper was tested in the first half hour.
Stephen Murray had the game’s first real shot after 31 minutes but Boggs saved comfortably and a great move by City ended with Liam Cullen shooting just over the bar. A high ball from Nathan Cashel dropped dangerously as it swirled in the wind but Sean Morgan got a strong punch to clear the danger. City got back on top and their best attack came when Eamon Kelly sent a great pass to Ryan McGerrigan on the left and he sent over a cross which was just in front of Stephen Murray who leapt forward to power a fierce header over Boggs only to see the keeper make a tremendous save to get the ball away for a corner. Shea McGerrigan took the kick but was again denied by the Dergview goalkeeper who dived a few minutes later to stop a shot from Andy Moore.
Early in the second half Armagh put together another great move when Moore sent Shea McGerrigan away and his cross fell for Murray to hit in his stride but he cleared the crossbar. Home manager Richard Clarke brought on Tom Carlin at this stage, a move which was to change the course of the game. He had two early attempts at goal though Sean Morgan was equal to both but in the 59th minute Carlin beat the City defence to a long ball down the left and sent over a cross which eluded everyone in the middle of the penalty area and bounced in front of Darren Higginbotham and the ex-Ballinamallard man slammed it into the net for a 1-0 lead. Morgan did well to block another effort from Carlin as the Derg men pressed for a second goal.
With 62 minutes played an unusual incident took place. Marty Rice brought Philip Donnelly and Barry Quinn to the touchline to replace Liam Cullen and Luke Grimley but as he was waiting for the ball to go out of play Cullen mistimed a tackle on Higginbotham. He then handed the captain’s armband to Ryan McGerrigan and left the pitch only to be recalled by the referee who showed him a yellow card. When Grimley went off Dale Montgomery moved to his accustomed right back position. A couple of minutes later Andy Moore hit a half chance too close to Boggs but in general Dergview began to have more of the play and Arkinson sent a good through ball to Richard Lecky who saw his strong shot beaten away by Morgan. A couple of bookings followed as City’s efforts to get back into the game became too frenetic.
With five minutes left Adam Lecky who had been dangerous throughout the match got free on the left, beat a defender, cut in and sent over a low ball which was deflected by Richard Lecky to give Morgan no chance. City kicked off and Stephen Murray tried a shot from the half way line but Boggs got back to turn the ball away, colliding with a post as he did so but he was able to resume after treatment and Dergview saw out the match.
Dergview: Jack Boggs, Philip Wallace, Gareth Falconer, Gareth Liggett, Colin Robinson, Blaine Burns, Gavin Arkinson, Adam Lecky, Richard Lecky (yc 58), Darren Higginbotham (Richard Lynch 87), Nathan Cashel (Tom Carlin 50)
Armagh City: Sean Morgan, Luke Grimley (Barry Quinn 62), Ryan McGerrigan, Conor McAnallen, Dara Noonan (yc 70), Eamon Kelly, Dale Montgomery, Liam Cullen (yc 63) (Philip Donnelly 62, yc 81), Stephen Murray, Andy Moore, Shea McGerrigan (Ryan Martin 86)
Referee: Stephen Wallace, Londonderry