December is shaping up to be an exciting month of cup action for City, with recent draws setting up home ties with Lisburn Rangers in the Irish Cup on Saturday 5 December (ko 3pm), and St Patrick’s YM in the Intermediate Cup on Saturday 12 December (ko 1.30pm).
Marty Rice will be hoping that his young side can continue their strong performances in recent years in each competition, but a first chance of silverware will cup in the Bob Radcliffe Cup over the Christmas period.
After last month’s semi-final win over Dollingstown, City had to wait until to discover their opponents. Loughgall’s 2-1 win over Annagh United sets up a tasty double-header either side of Christmas, with a league tie at Lakeview Park on Saturday 19 December to be followed by the Bob Radcliffe Cup final at the same venue on Boxing Day!
Marty Rice’s Armagh City side travelled to Dixon Park on Saturday and disappointingly saw an early lead slip away as the home side grabbed all three points in a scrappy encounter.
The Eagles got off to a flying start on the uneven surface, with frontmen Shea McGerrigan and Stefan Lavery attacking the Ballyclare defence in the opening moments. An early corner allowed McGerrigan a chance to put the ball in the danger-zone, and when Andrew Simpson blocked Jordan Bell’s goalward header the referee immediately pointed to the spot for a handball offence. Lavery confidently grabbed the ball and stroked it home to give City a third minute lead. Read more ›
Armagh City 2-2 Donegal Celtic
Armagh City and Donegal Celtic played out a draw at Holm Park on Saturday with the visitors twice having taken the lead. The opening quarter hour was fairly even with neither side making any real chances.
The home side then had a spell where a Philip Donnelly shot was saved by Donegal Celtic keeper Sean McIlhone, a Ryan McGerrigan effort went over the bar and a further Donnelly effort was again pushed away by the keeper. The constant probings by Hoey and Donnelly from midfield and raiding runs down the left by Ryan and Shea McGerrigan created continual difficulties for the Celtic defence. It looked almost certain that City would make the breakthrough when Marty Havern turned in the box but once again his effort was saved by the visiting keeper who also saved Andrew Hoey’s follow up effort. Read more ›
Sean Mallon grabbed an early goal for City in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Tillysburn Park.
H&W Welders 1-1 Armagh City
Armagh City travelled to Tillysburn Park in Belfast on Saturday, looking to follow up an impressive win at the same venue back in April.
Marty Rice’s side got off to the perfect start when, with just 4 minutes on the clock, Sean Mallon bundled the ball over the line from Shea McGerrigan’s corner. The home side protested that the ball hadn’t crossed the line, but the assistant referee had no reservations and immediately signalled a goal for City.
The young Eagles were buoyed by the early goal and continued to press forward with the nippy front trio of Donnelly, Havern and McGerrigan though without carving any real openings.
The home side, who had started the season with two impressive league wins, soon came into the game with Rainey and McClellan looking threatening, though without really taxing Connolly in the City goal. Read more ›
There has been further good news for City youngsters, with goalkeeper Conor Larkin and midfielder Eoin Toal selected in the Northern Ireland U17 squad travelling to Slovenia next month. They will play two friendlies against Slovenia on 25 and 27 August with both games kick off at 5pm local time (3pm GMT) in Zreče, Slovenia.
Conor and Eoin have been key members of City’s youth sides in recent years, and will be with Joe Kerr’s U17 team in the National League this season after representing County Armagh at the Milk Cup this summer.
Their selection is testament to the continued good work going on at the club, with coaches, parents and players all working hard to provide talented local youngsters a chance at developing their skills to the highest standards.
Congratulations and best of luck on your travels, Conor and Eoin!
Banbridge Town 3-1 Armagh City
Armagh City travelled to Crystal Park, Banbridge on Tuesday night but failed to make an impact in the game and were well beaten by the home side. Indeed this is the one knock out cup in which City have failed to make any real progress over many years.
After a scoreless first half Ryan Moffatt broke the deadlock to fire Town in front on 51 minutes from the penalty spot after Christopher McGrath had been brought down. Andrew Hoey levelled for City with 20 minutes remaining, however six minutes later Matthew McCartan rifled the ball home from the edge to restore the home side’s lead.
Read more ›