Derby win gives City first league victory

Thursday, 7 September 2017

THE first derby of the season took place last Saturday at Holm Park with both sides showing major changes from last season and a suprise was former City striker Shea Campbell who signed just before the deadline for Annagh being named as goalkeeper due to the unavailability of Aiden Fox.

Armagh City...4
Annagh United...1 .

The game kicked off in perfect conditions and the visitors started the brighter of the two sides looking to penetrate the City rearguard down the wings and kept the pressure on Armagh in the opening 15 minutes coming close to opening the scoring with two well struck free kicks which went narrowly over Devine's crossbar.

Armagh's defence were kept busy in the opening exchanges but right-back Kerr and central defender Montiero were alert to any danger with calm interceptions and timely tackles. From the 20th minute the home side got more into the game with Michael O'Heir starting to exert his influence leading the line with clever play and movement that started to stretch the visitors defence.

Armagh's best attack in the opening stages resulted in Clarke breaking down the right and firing over a dangerous cross but no one was on hand to apply the finish.

Annagh still looked the most likely to open the scoring, but they were rocked back on their heels on the half hour when O'Heir broke through the centre and released the ball to Tavares who took two strides forward and hit a brilliant strike into the top left corner giving Campbell no chance.

Moments later the same player should have doubled the score when Lucas sent in a great cross but his header glanced wide with the goal gaping and the game by now had taken a different complexion with Annagh being kept under pressure by a determined home side.

The second half had only started when Armagh doubled the score after being awarded a free kick just outside the area and the ball was played in for Clarke to shoot from close range, but Campbell made a fine save to parry the ball away; Lucas reacted quicker and smashed the ball home.

In the 50th minute it got even better when a good move saw O'Heir lay the ball off to Clarke who finished with a rasping drive putting the home team three goals ahead to the delight of their supporters.

Things got even better on the hour mark as Tavares passed to O'Heir who cut inside with four defenders in his way and scored from just outside the area to claim a goal his industry and overall effort deserved.

Manager Joe Kerr then replaced left-back Smith with Courtney as the home side kept up the pressure although in a breakaway Devine made a fingertip save from Annagh's Devlin when the ball looked destined for the net.

Kerr then replaced Blevins and Hynds with Fields and Judge who fitted seamlessly into the line up as by now Annagh looked a well-beaten side, although to their credit, they kept plugging away, although by now confidence ran through the home side and some great play down the left resulted in Clarke crossing into the Annagh box with the ball being scrambled away to safety by the overworked defence.

Annagh eventually got on the scoresheet when they were awarded a penalty and Devlin slotted the ball past Devine with only a few minutes remaining leaving the final score 4-1 to give Armagh their first win in the league.

After a shaky opening period Armagh took control of the game after the first goal and were good value for the win and with missing players due back aver the coming weeks this result should be confidence booster for the squad.

Armagh's line up Devine Kerr Grimley Montiero Smith(Courtney) Lucas Hynds(Fields) Clarke OHeir Blevins (Judge) Tavares

Subs not used Huston Nesbitt.


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