Armagh City 5 Annagh Utd 1
ARMAGH City easily won their derby clash with Annagh United in the Belfast Telegraph Championship Two on Saturday.
The unbeaten Holm Park outfit ran out comfortable 5-1 winners and, as a result, are now leading the table by three points after notching up six wins and a draw.
But City had to weather an early storm and were saved by their crossbar and ‘keeper Sean Morgan as both Shea Campbell and Matthew Brown went close for the visitors.
With 10 minutes gone, however, Armagh started going through the gears and they produced top-class football which totally ripped the opposition apart.
Their best early chance fell to Stephen Murray but his volley was brilliantly turned around an upright by United ‘keeper Andy Wright.
The Annagh stopper was in the action again on 24 minutes when he superbly tipped over a close-range shot from City captain Liam Cullen but, at this stage, the writing was already on the wall.
For, a minute later, Armagh took a deserved lead when a header from Dara Noonan struck the crossbar and Murray stabbed the ball home from the resultant melee.
Almost immediately City made it 2-0 when superb work from Ryan McGerrigan and Kevin Keegan ended with a 50-yard pass to set up Murray with a run down the left flank. He then made an inch-perfect cross into the box and Shea McGerrigan nipped in to place the ball under the advancing Wright.
On 31 minutes it was 3-0 to City and this time it was Shea McGerrigan who set up Murray for a carbon copy score – this time after a driving run down the right flank.
Just before the break it was game over as Armagh turned their dominance into a fourth score.
After another lightening raid down the left, McGerrigan’s cross was partially cleared into the path of City’s right wing-back Dale Montgomery on the edge of the box. He then drilled a powerful low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, giving Wright no chance.
Half-time: Armagh City 4 Annagh Utd 0.
With the match over as a contest by the interval, Annagh tried to save face in the second-half and, to a great extent, achieved their aim.
However, the visitors had to weather an early storm and were lucky to survive an inswinging free-kick from Shea McGerrigan which just managed to evade three onrushing team-mates.
But Annagh did fight back and scored a consolation goal on the hour when former City player Campbell flicked home a deep cross from the right.
However, the local side simply upped their pace once more and scored the goal-of-the-match through man-of-the-match Ryan McGerrigan.
A superb cross from Montgomery was met on the run by the left wing-back who volleyed home brilliantly a 15-yard angled shot which gave Wright no chance whatsoever.
Towards the end of the game City could have added to their tally, with the best chance falling to sub Micky Toland.
In the end, another convincing win for Armagh with every player making their mark in an exciting all-round team performance.
Armagh City. Sean Morgan, Dale Montgomery, Ryan McGerrigan, Luke Grimley, Dara Noonan, Matthew Hynds, Gareth Grimley (y/c), (Philip McBirney on 85), Liam Cullen, Stephen Murray, Kevin Keegan (Mickey Toland on 63), Shea McGerrigan (Robbie McQuade on 87). Sub DNP: Eoin Hughes.
Annagh Utd: Andy Wright, Jordan Bell, Brian Pentland (Nathan Riddell on 68), Stephen Acheson, Iain Latimer (Raymond Harper on 75), Richard Allen, Francis McCann, Gavin McMahon, Shea Campbell, Jaime Gardiner, Matthew Brown (Adam Nesbitt on 45). Subs DNP: Greg Harrison, Ryan Murphy.
Ref: Damien Basketfield (Banbridge).