Armagh City 3-0 Lisburn Rangers
Armagh City’s Irish Cup campaign started on Saturday when they took the field against Lisburn Rangers in difficult conditions with a high wind blowing mainly in City’s favour but swirling at times to make judging a pass even more difficult. Understandably the game had a quiet start but City with the wind advantage had slightly more possession.
After about twenty minutes came the first real chances of the game but visiting goalkeeper Colin Tinsley’s save from Philip Donnelly was followed by a Shea McGerrigan shot being blocked by Lisburn’s Johnston. Rangers broke upfield and fine move involving Pater McCann and James Adams ended with Connolly going down to hold the ball. From his clearance the ball fell to Jordan Bell who sent in a great shot only to see Tinsley bring off an equally impressive save.
After 27 minutes Lisburn’s Adams went down under a challenge and many City supporters were relieved to see Mr Robinson point for a corner and not a penalty kick. Armagh could have taken the lead when McGerrigan swung over a free kick but while Stefan Lavery got into a great position his header went wide. Donnelly was fouled in a dangerous position and hit the free kick well but Tinsley made another great save. In a Lisburn breakaway Chisanga got into a dangerous position but Connolly was well out to save.
Just as it began to look as if City would have nothing to show for all their wind-assisted dominance Philip Donnelly got into space about 30 yards out and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net and City were 1-0 ahead.
The excellent Tinsley made another great save at the start of the second half, this time from Lavery, but was beaten in the 57th minute when Shea McGerrigan raced away from the defence, took the ball almost to the goal line and sent a tremendous chip over Tinsley, against the far post and into the net. Although playing into a very strong wind and driving rain City looked comfortable and midway through the second half Hoey sent Donnelly clear but for once the Castleblaney man hesitated and then tried to set up McGerrigan but Tinsley was quickly out to block the shot.
With 79 minutes gone Hoey again made good ground on the right and this time sent a low ball in front of Donnelly who sent the ball low to the net for a 3-0 lead. As would be expected from any team managed by Paul kirk Lisburn Rangers never gave up and in stoppage time they won a free kick. John Connolly held on to the ball as defenders ran back and when Erwin tried to grab it from him a scuffle developed and the referee produced his cards – yellow for Connolly, red for Erwin. When calm was restored the free kick was driven over the bar and City had reached the fifth round.
City: John Connolly, Luke Grimley (Conor McAnallen), Paul Carvill, Gary Lawless (Eoin Toal), Dara Noonan , Sean Mallon, Andrew Hoey, Jordan Bell, Stefan Lavery, Philip Donnelly (David Masterson), Shea McGerrigan