Banbridge Town 0
City kicked off their Mid-Ulster Cup campaign on Tuesday night with a home game against Premier Intermediate League side Banbridge Town in a game which initially turned out to be a contest between two strong defences as the opening twenty minutes were largely played in midfield and neither side getting a shot on target.
In the 21st minute City attacked on the left and won a corner which was taken by Ciaran Murray who swung the ball in front of Sean Mallon who powered a header into the net for a 1-0 lead. This seemed to spark both sets of forwards into life and from the kick-off Town’s Andrew Wilson went on a good run and sent a dangerous ball into the box but the ball was held by the diving John Connolly.
City attacked again and although the visitors got the ball away Ultan Lennon won it back and fed Shea Campbell whose swerving shot was well turned away by Cairnduff. At this stage Murray looked the most likely to score and the Town goalkeeper did well to deal with his dangerous cross and then held a strong shot from the same player. Bell and Montgomery combined well to create a chance but Murray’s shot was too high.
Connolly was called into action to hold a dangerous cross from the dangerous Ryan Moffett who seemed to have lost none of his old skills; then James Wilson’s dangerous run and cross saw the ball run just of the visiting forwards’ reach. Moffett, Downey and Andrew Wilson put together a good move which was well cleared by Jordan Bell.
At the other end City had a penalty kick claim turned away, and the less desirable side of Murray’s game became apparent as he asked the referee to reconsider his decision. He continued his appeal until he was back at the halfway line and was duly booked and still irate at the half time whistle. His protests went on as the players left the pitch until he left the referee with little option to show another yellow card, leaving his team-mates a man short for the whole second half.
The ten men came out with all guns blazing and a good shot by Andrew Hoey was well held by Cairnduff and a great move started by Hoey and carried on by Donnelly and Bell ended with Campbell flicking the ball wide of Cairnduff who reacted well to save.
After 53 minutes Hoey made space for himself and when his strong shot took a slight deflection Shea Campbell slammed the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.
As Banbridge Town tried to get back into the game Moffett sent James Wilson clear but Connolly was well out to claim the ball at his feet. Connolly was alert to save a Moffett free kick but in general Eoin Toal and Dara Noonan were too strong for the visiting forwards and the game ended in a 2-0 victory for City who will now look forward to the quarter-final draw.
Armagh City: John Connolly, Dale Montgomery, Ultan Lennon, Eoin Toal, Dara Noonan, Jordan Bell, Andrew Hoey, Sean Mallon, Shea Campbell, Ciaran Murray, Philip Donnelly subs Eamon Kelly and Ryan McGerrigan 76 for Lennon and Hoey, Dwayne McGlone 82 for Campbell
Banbridge Town: Stephen Cairnduff, James Wilson, Daniel Devlin, Stephen Atkinson, Stuart Thompson, Niall Lavery, Mark Teggart, Matthew McCartan, Conor Downey, Andrew Wilson, Ryan Moffett subs Adam Pedlow 56 for A Wilson, Damien McParland 63 for Lavery, Ashley Gregg 82 for Devlin
Referee: Alistair Burns