City look set for Promotion/Relegation play-off tussle

Thursday, 6 April 2017

ARMAGH City moved one step closer to the dreaded promotion/relegation play-off as they suffered a disappointing defeat against the Welders at Holm Park.

Armagh City ...0
H & W Welders ...3

Indeed their fate will be confirmed this weekend at Lurgan Celtic, even victory would not keep City's hopes of leap frogging Knockbreda in 10th place. Even three wins in the final three games would need to see City over turn a goal difference of 14 goals and hope that Knockbreda go without picking up a point in their final three games.

So it is almost 99% certain that City will face a nail-biting two legged promotion/relegation play-off.

On Saturday City's long list of unavailable players was added to when it was discovered that young right back Conor Kerr suffered a hairline fracture of a kneecap in the recent match at Annagh.

They therefore went into Saturday's match with the Welders without Kerr and other injured players Luke Grimley and Ultan Lennon as well as the suspended Dale Montgomery.

Despite the absentees the home side dominated possession in the first half.

They caused no real threat to the Welder's goal the nearest they came was when Eamon Kelly failed to make proper contact with a Johnny McSorley cross and minutes later when Conor Mullen headed a Paul Carvill cross narrowly wide.

Their first shot on goal didn't arrive until the half hour mark when Sam Johnston parried away a long range Sean Mallon effort.

The visitors failed to have a single shot on goal in the half, however in added time at the end of the half Craig Harris got clear of the home defence but delayed his shot and the chance was lost.

The second half was only seconds old when Harris fired an unstoppable effort past home 'keeper John Connolly to give the visitors the lead.

Before the home side had time to regain a foothold in the game David Rainey doubled the visitors lead when he tapped in at the back post.

Two minutes later the Welders' 'keeper palmed away an excellent Carvill cross with Camara ready to pounce to reduce the arrears.

The game was put beyond the reach of the home side when Rainey scored his second and his side's third just before the hour mark.

The remainder of the half saw the visitors control the game as the home side struggled to get the passing game which had been a feature of the first half going.

Team: Connolly, Campbell, Toal, Hutchinson, Carvill, Kelly, Rice, Mallon, Camara, Mullen, McSorley.

Subs: Hynds replaced Mallon, Boyle replaced McSorley, Verenka replaced Rice.

Not Used: Buchanan and Graham


In other news young central defender Eoin Toal has had a busy fortnight as on top of playing for City he has linked up with Northern Ireland U19s for a training camp before helping Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys to a 4-1 win over England in Torquay and then playing in the 2-1 win over Scotland last Friday at Solitude.

Northern Ireland complete their Centenary Shield campaign in Cardiff on the 12 April still in with a chance of lifting the trophy.

The March 200 club draw winners have been announced. Lucile Lester picked up 250, while John henry and David Courtney lifted 25 each.


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