Dergview got into their stride much quicker than their Armagh City hosts in this competitive Belfast Telegraph Championship One fixture at Holm Park.
The visitors opened the scoring on 15 minutes when a cross from right wing-back Philip Wallace was diverted into his own net by City central defender Dara Noonan, giving ‘keeper Sean Morgan no chance.
But after their poor start the home side began to assert themselves and were unlucky not to equalise before the break with fine efforts from Marty Havern and Philip Donnelly.
Immediately after the restart a long-range effort from Sean Mallon whizzed just wide of the Dergview upright with their stopper Jack Beggs beaten all ends up.
However, the visitors hit back immediately and Gareth Falconer missed a great chance to put his side further ahead when he blasted over the top from just eight yards out.
But Armagh were bossing the game at this stage and they deservedly equalised on 56 minutes when a 25-yard shot from Donnelly flew into the top left-hand corner of the net despite the best effort of Beggs.
In the final quarter City went quiet again and Dergview dominated but, despite this, Armagh had two of the best chances to claim all three points when late efforts from Stephen Murray and Dale Montgomery just went abegging.
City’s Intermediate Cup quarter-final clash with Bangor has been brought forward to next Saturday, 28 February, to avoid further fixture disruption. Both sides had a free week due to Irish Cup games. The game remains a 3pm kick-off at Holm Park.
Both Championship 1 games against Carrick Rangers have now been re-scheduled also, with the first game at Holm Park on Tuesday 24 March, kick-off 7.45pm, with the return at Taylor’s Avenue a week later on Tuesday 31 March, kick-off 7.45pm.
City’s 2-1 win over Sport & Leisure Swifts at the weekend has been rewarded with a home tie against Bangor in the quarter-final of the Intermediate Cup, a rematch from last season’s final.
The Eagles came up against a tough Sport & Leisure side at the weekend, going a goal down before Stephen Murray grabbed a brace – the second with just minutes remaining – to keep City’s cup dreams alive.
The visit of the Seasiders promises to be another challenge, with Bangor sitting on top of the Championship 1 table, as they have for most of the season. City will be keen for revenge after losing out in last year’s finale with an eye to making it to May’s showpiece event once again.
The Intermediate Cup quarter-finals are set to take place on Saturday 7 March, kick-off 3pm.
City will face top flight opposition in the last four of the Mid-Ulster Cup after taking care of Lurgan Celtic on Tuesday night.
Goals from Stephen Murray and Martin Havern were enough to see off a spirited performance from the Championship 2 leaders, though not until City keeper Sean Morgan had kept Celtic at bay with a few outstanding saves.
Portadown, Glenavon and Dungannon Swifts were the other winners in last night’s quarter-finals, so the Eagles are assured another crack at a Premiership side with a place in the final at stake.
Glentoran 4 – 1 Armagh City
Highlights from Saturday, as City came up against a Glentoran side determined not to leave things as tight as last season. After a goal-less opening 45mins, the Glens got a scrappy opener before Stephen McAlorum’s cross deceived everyone to find the net and the Premiership side were in control. Stephen Murray grabbed a great goal at the other end, to the delight of the travelling City support, but the Glens had too much for the Eagles on the day.
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