All white for City at New Grosvenor

Lisburn Distillery 1-2 Armagh City

After a slow start to the new season, Armagh City got their league campaign properly underway on Saturday with a fine victory against Lisburn Distillery. Manager Marty Rice had a strengthened panel of players to bring to New Grosvenor, with Paul Carvill starting on the left side while striker Gavin McParland was named among the substitutes.

The Eagles got off to a flying start, moving the ball with purpose and looking threatening going forward. Stephen Murray and Shea McGerrigan looked dangerous with their pace and direct play, and that combination quickly paid off with Murray slipping an inviting ball to McGerrigan who coolly finished with his left foot past McBride in the Distillery goal.

Despite several offside calls going against him, McGerrigan’s speed was a constant worry for the home defence throughout the first half. Soon after giving City the lead, the winger found himself contesting a bouncing ball with ‘keeper McBride, with a collision between the pair forcing the ball to break to Ronan O’Hara whose lob just evaded the top corner of the net.

Distillery finally started to come into the game midway through the half after City’s early dominance, and Sean Morgan had to be alert to acrobatically tip Martin Jones’ rasping effort over the crossbar. The home side’s best attacking threat in the opening period came mainly from set pieces, with Morgan looking commanding in the air until a Robbie White challenge forced the ball loose from a corner. City seemed to expect the referee’s whistle to blow, and as Bingham poked the ball goalward O’Hara did well to clear amongst a cluster of City defenders.

Having lost their early momentum City became drawn into a midfield battle, with no real chances of note before the interval. Distillery boss Tommy Kincaid made a pair of substitutions at the break, making clear his disappointment with his side’s first half performance.

Within minutes of the restart the Whites had a free-kick wide on the right wing and as the ball swung in Distillery defender Darren Nixon prodded the ball towards goal and over the stranded Morgan. McAnallen threw himself at the ball and looked to have saved City’s blushes with a hooked clearance, but as Nixon turned away in disappointment the assistant referee quickly indicated that the ball had crossed the line and the home side were on level terms.

The goal seemed to spur Armagh back to life however as they sharpened up their passing game and started to dominate the play once again. McGerrigan and Murray both came into the game once more, with Murray having a golden chance spurned by a heroic challenge by Ciaran Burns. Ultan Lennon then threatened from a corner and Murray fired a low shot wide of the target as the visitors turned the screw on a tiring home defence.

Sensing the opportunity to snatch all three points, Marty Rice made an attacking double substitution that pushed City forward as Philip Donnelly and Gavin McParland replaced O’Hara and McGerrigan. The pair immediately made an impact as Armagh forced a series of set pieces deep in Distillery territory and finally the break-through arrived.

Dale Montgomery’s perfectly flighted inswinging corner from the left was met by a towering leap from Lennon at the back post and he made no mistake with a firm downward header with just 11 minutes remaining.

City refused to sit back on their lead and continued to threaten on the break. Distillery’s only half chances in the dying minutes game from set pieces, but Armagh’s defence stood strong and held out for the victory.

Distillery defender Niall Derry received a late red card for a head-butt on McParland, and City saw out the remaining minutes for a well-deserved three points to move them off the bottom of the Belfast Telegraph Championship 1 table.

Armagh City: Morgan, Montgomery, Carvill, Lennon, McAnallen, Cullen, Moore, Kelly, O’Hara (Donnelly 66 min), S McGerrigan (McParland 66 min), Murray. Unused subs: L Grimley, G Grimley, R McGerrigan.

Posted in First team news

Busy time at Holm Park

The start of the new football season means plenty of hard work behind the scenes at Armagh City FC. This started at the weekend when the club hosted a cross-border tournament featuring top youth teams from Belfast and Dublin.

As well as City, representative teams from Linfield, Shelbourne and St Joseph’s YC took part.

This week two of the Eagles rising stars were rewarded for their efforts when picked to join the Northern Ireland Under 16 squad. Conor Larkin and Niall Cassidy were due to line-up in back-to-back internationals against Iceland and Poland!

FINALS

During ths coming season several important games, including football finals comprising Mid-Ulster teams, have been pencilled in. This follow the completion last year of City’s magnificent all-weather 3G pitch. Shower facilities at Holm Park have also been updated as the committee continues to strive and upgrade the ground at Ardmore. Currently, a number of local teams train at Armagh FC and there is still some time slots available which can be booked by sporting or community groups at reasonable cost. Contact the club or any committee member for details.

WEEKEND

While the senior team will have a rest this weekend, there will still be plenty going on in the clubrooms. This Saturday, August 30 – Black Saturday – the bar will be open from 12noon and there will be a chip van in operation throughout the afternoon.

A covered outside area is being created and, it is hoped, visitors to the colourful demonstration will call in for a taste of Armagh City FC hospitality. Free taxi from Orangefield Estate shop from 12.30pm.

The clubrooms continue to open on Sunday afternoons as well, when patrons can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, watch TV, or play music on the all-around sound system, in comfortable surroundings.

So, why not call in and enjoy the craic.

Posted in First team news

PSNI come back to haunt City again

Armagh City 1 – 2 PSNI

City lost out to PSNI at Holm Park with the same scoreline as their previous encounter just over a week ago, and once again, despite taking the early lead. Earlier the visitors had recorded the same scoreline when dumping the Eagles out of the League Cup at Newforge. The police side also inflicted City’s first home reverse for 23 games as the teams swapped positions at the bottom of the league.

Ultan Lennon put City in the lead when he rose high in the box to head home an inch perfect corner after only 5 minutes. In an opening spell where City were well on top, Lennon almost scored a carbon copy goal a few minutes later, but the ball flashed narrowly wide. 

The momentum swung dramatically after City’s initial burst and it was no surprise PSNI levelled in the 27th minute. McWilliams scored a simple tap in after City’s defence botched an attempted clearance from a corner. Moments later Armagh ‘keeper Sean Morgan was at full-stretch to smother a stinging shot after yet another lightening raid from the visitors.

On the half hour mark the PSNI took a deserved lead when Ashton McDermott rose unopposed in the box to head home a corner from the right. At this stage the police outfit were well in control and thoroughly deserved their half-time lead.

The second half brought a marked improvement from City, with a number of good spells and quite a few good attacks down the left flank. Shea McGerrigan came closest to getting City back on level terms when he hit the post with a great strike from the edge of the box. He also sent in a series of dangerous crosses into the box during the half but Scott McCrory and Barry Moore were excellent at the heart of the PSNI defence and dealt very capably with everything which came their way. 

As City pressed for the equaliser they left themselves exposed at the back and John Dobbin, McDermott and McWilliams all had chances to make the home side pay even further. Despite this, Armagh continued to press and they were unlucky not to level on 90 minutes when sub Conor McNamee headed over from just two yards out.

Match Sponsors: MG Leisure Developments

 

Video highlights courtesy of PSNI Football website:

City team: Morgan, Montgomery, McGerrigan, Lennon, Noonan, Kelly, McAnallen, O’Hara, Donnelly, Murray, McGerrigan.

Subs: Cullen, Grimley, McQuaid, McNamee, Moore.

PSNI FC: Harrison, Gray, Robb, McCrory, Moore, Berry, Anderson, Dobbin, Adamczyk, McDermott, McWilliams.
Subs: McLaughlin, Holden, Kirk, Moody,Brehm

 

Posted in First team news

City hoping for swift revenge over PSNI

Armagh City will be hoping for swift revenge this Saturday when they play host to the PSNI in a vital Belfast Telegraph Championship One encounter. The police recently inflicted an extra-time 2-1 defeat on the Eagles in their competitive League Cup clash.
The teams know each other well, as both gained promotion to Championship One this season!

Little separates the sides and, in their previous league encounter at the end of last season, City and the PSNI shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller.

The City squad has slowly being getting back to full strength and, at the weekend, were able to include left wing-back, Ryan McGerrigan, and attacking midfielder, Shea McGerrigan, to the team following their one-match suspension.

Cultured central defender Dara Noonan is also poised to return as the Holm Park outfit focus on grabbing their first league win of the season on Saturday.

This is the boost Marty Rice’s outfit need to establish themselves in a higher grade of football this season.

Certainly, the police will prove a really tough test as, traditionally, there is never much between the sides.

The vital Armagh City v PSNI Belfast Telegraph Championship One match gets underway at Holm Park this Saturday, August 23. at 3pm.

A strong local support would be most welcome!

Posted in First team news

Dergview too strong for City

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

Posted in First team news

Stung by police comeback

PSNI 2 – 1 Armagh City

Match highlights courtesy PSNI Football website

 

City bowed out of the Wasp Solutions League Cup in the first round, losing to PSNI despite taking an early lead.

After resisting early pressure from the team who gained promotion alongside City last season, Eamon Kelly put City into the lead with a wonderful curling effort from 20 yards out. This prompted a strong comeback and a period of sustained pressure, although City’s pacy attack continued to unsettle the PSNI defence with some swift counter-attacks.

The pressure eventually told when Taylor Kirk headed an equaliser in the 27th minute, connecting with a good free kick from Holden. City responded well, and looked set to regain the advantage when Stephen Murray chipped the PSNI ‘keeper, only for Moore to clear the ball off the line.

As the second half got under way, City continued to take the game to their rivals, but couldn’t regain the lead after winning a series of chances from corners. PSNI then took the lead with 15 minutes left when McWilliams went on a solo run and curled a great shot past Morgan. PSNI then held the upper hand and controlled the remainder of the game.

City will look for revenge in just 11 days when PSNI visit Holm Park in the league.

Armagh City Team: Morgan, L Grimley, Montgomery, McAnallen, Noonan, Kelly, Moore, Cullen, Quinn, McQuaid, Murray

Subs: Daly, McNamee, R McGerrigan, Donnelly, Nesbitt

PSNI: Harrison, Gray, Holden, Kirk, Moore, Berry, McLaughlin , Dobbin, Adamczyk , McDermott, McWilliams.

Subs: Moody, Dabrowski, Robb, Macauley, Rushe

Posted in First team news