Coagh United 2 Armagh City 4
Coagh should have learned a lesson on Saturday - you should always play to the whistle. The assistant’s mistake certainly gave Armagh the advantage after they ran on to score after the ball had been out of play.
Everything was looking good for Armagh when they came from behind to storm into a 2-1 lead but Coagh levelled from a Paul Stretton free kick after Armagh lost their goal minder after he handled the ball outside the box.
At 2-2 it looked bleak for the visitors as Coagh surged forward against ten men looking for the winner but Lady Luck went with the Armagh side when the Assistant missed an out ball allowing Armagh to go 3-2 up through Adam Nesbitt, it was an easy goal for the forward as Coagh stood still looking for the flag. Coagh signed their death warrant shortly after by putting six up front, this allowed Gavin Cusack all the time and space to hit the winner with five minutes left on the clock.
After sustained pressure from the start, Coagh took the lead after four minutes. Both Scott McCordick and Mark Scott had gone close early on but the home side finally got the ball in the net after a classy run from Stephen Lamont. After a couple of one-twos the number seven slipped through the Armagh back line to side the ball past the stranded Sean Morgan. Coagh continued to dominate forcing three corners in a row through McCordick and Lamont but the visitors rode the storm and levelled through an Andrew Moore volley on thirteen minutes. The end to end football continued, Coagh forced another two corners but both were well defended by the Armagh side. The visitors’ Michael O’Neill shot over twice and came very close to scoring when the Coagh keeper hesitated coming for the cross but Steven Hawe just got in front to concede the corner. On Thirty four minutes Scott McCordick’s free kick was narrowly headed over by Roy Smyth. Armagh missed a great chance moments later, Tuda Murphy mis-kicked allowing Nesbitt in but Coagh’s David Calderwood got in front of the forward to clear and save his keepers blushes. Scott McCordick got fouled by Walker twenty yards out but got up to shoot just wide off the post. Steven Hawe had a free just wide while at the other end Armagh came close from Shea Campbell free kick.
Coagh kicked off the second half and straight away forced a free through Roy Smyth. McCordick’s long searching free kick was well taken by the visitors’ keeper. On 52 minutes Armagh’s well taken free kick from Mark Rooney saw Shea Campbell’s flick header just cleared but in the panic a Roy Smyth foul gave the visitors a chance from the spot. Adam Nesbitt stepped up to give Armagh the lead from the spot.
Coagh pushed and pushed but each time Armagh had the old guard of Shea Campbell and Johnny Walker clearing the danger with ease. Campbell and Walker again linked well from an Armagh free to force another two corners for the city side. Coagh made their first change, off went Mark Scott replaced with Paul Stretton with Stretton hitting the side netting with his first run on goal.
Armagh’s keeper saw red on 73 minutes handling the ball outside the area from a Scott McCordick shot. Michel Neill took over in goals and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net from a Paul Stretton free kick, his first in a Coagh shirt.
All credit to Armagh they continued to pressure and were gifted with an easy goal. The Assistant completely missed an out ball allowing Armagh to break and score through Nesbitt as Coagh stood still.
Two minutes later the city side had the points in the bag - Coagh had to go for it and were caught light at the back when Cusack ran clear to put them 4-2 up. Coagh had chances in the final minutes but it was Armagh’s day and they went home with the points.
This Saturday Coagh take on Moyola at 3pm in Castledawson before an Easter Tuesday encounter with Killymoon Rangers at 3pm at Hagan Park.
Coagh: Tuda Murphy, Richard Allen, Aaron Thornton, David Calderwood, Steven Hawe, Marcus Dallas, Stephen Lamont, Garth Reid, Roy Smyth, Scott McCordick, Mark Scott, Stephen Kidd, Jamie Gardiner, Paul Stretton, Alister Young, Steven Park
Armagh: Sean Morgan, Michael O’Neill, Gerald Kerr, Shea Campbell, Jonathan Walker, Andrew Moore, Mark Rouney, Liam Cullan, Adam Nesbitt, Gavin Cusacks, Shea McGerrigan, Ryan Metcafe, Marty Rice, Dwayne McGlone
Referee: David Walker (Ballymoney)
Referee Assistant: Sean Corrigan and Andrew Stevenson (Omagh)