H&W Welders 3
Armagh City 0
A much changed and youthful City side made their exit from the League Cup at Tillysburn on Saturday against an experienced Welders side.
The home side were on the offensive from the first whistle and won a series of early corners which were easily dealt with by the City defence.
The first effort on target by either side came on 15 minutes when a long range effort by Matthew Hynds was comfortably saved by home keeper Craughwell. Minutes later the home side took the lead when Ross Arthurs made a strong run down the left before cutting the ball back to Leon Bonnes to score from close range. The home side pushed to add to their lead but the City defence held firm well marshalled by Caio Lobo and Leo Montiero. The nearest they came to adding a second was when a Scott McMillan header was cleared off the line by Daniel Courtney.
City gradually started to grow into the game with Michael O’Hehir working tirelessly upfront being well supported by Jack Clarke, Thai Blevins and Simon Smyth from the midfield area. On 40 minutes a Hynds effort flashed past a post and on the stroke of half time Jack Clarke had the ball in the net from a corner but his effort was rather harshly ruled out for what the referee considered an earlier foul on the keeper as he flapped at the ball.
City replaced Edilson Tavares with Mark Lucas at the interval and his introduction added much more attacking emphasis to the side. The City defence was breached four minutes into the half when David Graham doubled the home side’s lead following a free flowing move.
The young City side did not let their heads drop and came back strongly with a superb Ernestas Verenka effort being well saved a minute after he had come on and a Jack Clarke effort also hitting the target after he had been found by a very good pass from Conor Kerr.
Keeper Daniel Devine did have to come to the visitors rescue when he made a superb full length save stretching to his left to push a shot away. Minutes after coming on Taylor Huston had a fine effort on the turn well saved by the Welders keeper.
The home side added a third ten minutes from time when Ethan Boylan found the net from what appeared to be an offside position but the effort was allowed to stand. The combination of Lucas and Huston on the right up front continued to ask questions of the home defence and minutes from time Huston got beyond the defence only to push his effort pass the keeper’s right hand post.
Armagh City: Devine, Kerr, Courtney, Montiero, Lobo, E Tavares, Hynds, Clarke, O’Hehir, Blevins, Smith Subs: Lucas replaced Tavares, Huston replaced Blevins, Verenka replaced Smyth Not Used: Buchanan