Stephen Doyle continued his impressive goal-streak as Loughgall saw off a spirited challenge from neighbours Armagh City in the Mid-Ulster Cup quarter-final. Doyle’s second half strike was enough for the Villagers who also had Chris Hull dismissed in stoppage time after a skirmish with Marty Lavery.
There were four changes for the Villagers from Saturday’s draw with Coagh United; Symon Ferguson replaced Marc Robinson in goals whilst Chris Hull, John Guy and Adam Pedlow all came in for Neil King, Jeff Brady and Steven Ferguson.
On 16 minutes ‘keeper Symon Ferguson did well to come out of his goals to close down the angle for Gavin Cusack, however Adam Nesbitt will be disappointed with his follow-up strike as he failed to hit the target from inside the penalty area.
Doyle saw a low shot well saved by City goalkeeper Sean Morgan on 33 minutes before Ferguson was called into action to deny Cusack’s effort that was heading for the top corner in the 44th minute.
On the hour mark, Loughgall had an excellent chance to open the scoring when John Guy connected with substitute Johnny Kernaghan’s free-kick delivery however Morgan pulled off an excellent save to parry the close-range effort. The decisive goal came in the 68th minute when the impressive Kernaghan whipped in a dangerous cross for Doyle to convert at the back post.
City failed to create any clear-cut chances to level however they did come close through Cusack’s well-hit drive that Ferguson saved with his feet on 70 minutes.
The hosts almost made sure of the win in stoppage time when substitute Mark Teggart ran into the box and pulled the ball back for Guy to strike which was saved and deflected onto the post by ‘keeper Morgan.
Loughgall: Symon Ferguson, Hall, Emerson, Hull, Stewart, Malone, Hawthorne, Guy, Doyle (Teggart 87m), Pedlow, Keenan (Kernaghan 45m). Unused subs: Flanaghan, Bradley, O’Connor.
Armagh: Morgan, Montgomery, McGerrigan, Lennon (O’Neill 79m), Noonan, Mulgrew, Lavery, Cullen, Cusack, Nesbitt, Sheridan (Quinn 85m). Unused subs: Grimley, Mallon.