Armagh City 1 (Hoey)
Whilst the scoreline might suggest a close contest this was anything but with City dominating from beginning to end, and deservedly gaining all three points in this important NIFL Championship clash thanks to Andrew Hoey’s late headed winner.Having lost the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, Marty Rice’s side were keen to make amends and build on Tuesday’s Mid-Ulster Cup victory.
The only change from the midweek win over Lurgan Celtic saw Sean Mallon return following his one match suspension to replace Johnny McSorley who had picked up a injury during the Mid Ulster Cup win.
The first opportunity fell to Philip Donnelly who fired over from a fine Hoey layoff. Minutes later Shea Campbell was unselfish when he tried to find a pass rather than have a shot at goal himself.
The first effort Larne had was when a Matthew Henry shot was comfortably dealt with by former Larne keeper John Connolly in the home goal. The home side with Campbell leading the line well and with Hoey, Donnelly and McGerrigan providing some excellent support play continued to have the better of game.
City saw Madison in the visitors goal deal comfortably with a Donnelly free kick from just outside the box and minutes later following a quick free kick the visitors Paul Carvill put in a superb cross which the Larne defence managed to scramble away for a corner.
Next it was the turn of McGerrigan to bring the best out of Madison when he cut inside to fire a superb effort goalward.
Before the interval in a rare attack for the visitors Michael Smith fired wide of Connolly’s goal.
The second half was a mirror of the first with the home side having the bulk of possession. Mallon fired over from distance before Hoey flashed an effort over following a great run and cut back from McGerrigan.
McGerrigan continued to torment the visitors’ defence, putting over a series of excellent crosses. Donnelly was next to shoot over having been set up by Campbell and from another McGerrigan cross Hoey headed over when well placed.
City continued to press for an opener with a Jordan Bell effort being tipped over by Madison and a Hoey shot from a McGerrigan pull back being blocked.
The deadline was finally broken 7 minutes from time when Hoey rose to head home, despite Madison getting a hand to the ball, from yet another McGerrigan cross.
A fully deserved win for the home side, their first league win since the end of August, having suffered a series of injuries to key players during the past couple of months.
Team: Connolly, Montgomery, Lennon, Toal, Carvill, Hoey, Bell, Mallon, Campbell (Lobo), Donnelly, McGerrigan Subs not used: Graham, McCarten, Rice and Verenka.