Loughgall and Armagh City had to be content with a share of the spoils in an entertaining and hard-fought local derby at Lakeview Park. Both managers would be disappointed not to take all three points as a number of clear-cut chances weren’t taken throughout the game.
The hosts started the game brightly forcing a number of early corners putting City ‘keeper Niall Geoghegan under pressure. An indication of this threat came after only five minutes when Daniel Burns’ whipped cross was volleyed narrowly over the crossbar by captain Ryan Moffatt.
Armagh created chances as well and came close in the 8th minute when Shea McGerrigan’s cross was headed over by Dara Noonan.
On 21 minutes Loughgall forward Conor McMenamin saw his 25 yard low strike come off the inside of the post and agonisingly spin across goal and wide with Geoghegan beaten.
Then on 32 minutes Geoghegan had to be alert to save with his feet from McMenamin’s low shot after City right-back Dale Montgomery was caught in possession.
Loughgall grabbed a deserved opener five minutes before the break when Stephen O’Neill was left unmarked at the back post to head home Daniel Burns’ cross from the right wing.
One minute later, in almost a carbon copy of the goal, Burns’ cross found an unmarked O’Neill however his goal-bound header was superbly saved by the diving Geoghegan.
The lead lasted only three minutes as Andy Moore hit a sublime strike from 25 yards that nestled in the top corner beyond the reach of Villagers’ ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan.
Armagh City stepped it up the second half and created a number of good chances. On 57 minutes Stephen Murray collected the ball on the right flank, came inside and delivered a great cross for McGerrigan who headed narrowly wide when well placed.
Winger McGerrigan was then denied with the best opportunity of the game when, on 76 minutes, Murray again set him up superbly. McGerrigan was clean through on goal but he was thwarted by a fantastic last-ditch tackle by Mark Carson to save what looked like a certain goal.
Loughgall rallied in the final five minutes and could have collected all three points when Moffatt’s cross found McMenamin at the back post but the Linfield loanee couldn’t keep his headed effort on target. And then in injury time, City ‘keeper Geoghegan did well to parry O’Neill’s vicious half-volley.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Carson, Rodgers, Stewart, Alderdice, Anderson (Smith 57m), Ferguson, Moffatt, D Burns (Curtis 57m), McMenamin, O’Neill. Unused subs: Kingsberry, Dallas, Copeland.
Armagh City: Geoghegan, Montgomery, Carville, McAnallan, Noonan, Moore, O’Hara, Cullen, Murray, Boyle (McParland 76m), McGerrigan (G Grimley 81m). Unused subs: Morgan, L Grimley.