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City Reserves lost out in seven-goal thriller

ARMAGH CITY RESERVES 3 KILEAVY 4

ARMAGH City Reserves just missed out in the semi-final of the Gerald Kennedy Cup when they were narrowly beaten by visitors Kileavy in a seven-goal thriller.

Early on the Holm Park side were put under pressure but James Nesbitt came to their rescue with a powerful headed clearance from a dangerous corner-kick.

But the same player almost gave City the lead on 10 minutes when they won a corner and the ball fell for Nesbitt who blasted his shot just wide from close range. Armagh had another good scoring opportunity of 18 minutes when a cross from Matthew Hynds found Chris Maxwell but his shot flew over the opposition crossbar.

The City Reserves were now dominating and should have opened their account on 20 minutes but Robbie McQuaid fired wide after picking up a cross into the box by Connor McNamee. Five minutes later another chance went abegging when a Maxwell corner was pounced on by Mick Toland but once again the ball flew over the visitor’s crossbar.

Just before the interval the home side paid the price for their missed chances when a quick free-kick from Kileavy caught the City defence napping and a well struck shot on goal provided the opener. Half-time: Armagh City Res 0 Kileavy 1. Armagh pressed for an equaliser after the break and they were rewared for their efforts on 57 minutes. From a well planned set-piece move Hynds delivered the ball to Nesbitt who shot powerfully into the opposition net to make it 1-1.

But, just two minutes, City went behind once again through a bizarre score. A high ball into the Armagh box seemed to be covered by the ‘keeper who called but Sean Mallon tried to make a clearance header and only succeeded in deflecting the ball back into his own net. However, on 65 minutes, City got themselves right back into the match when, following a free-kick and a bit of frantic defending inside the box, Maxwell swooped to slip the ball under the Kileavy ‘keeper and tie the match at 2-2. With 10 minutes remaining Toland cleared the ball out of the Armagh box and seemed to trip over a opposition player in the process. The ref, however, awarded a penalty for a foul which Kileavy scored to go 3-2 up in the match. Three minutes later the visitors made it 4-2 when a rasping shot gave Armagh’s Reserve and Under 18 goalkeeper Eoin Hughes no chance. On 88 minutes City reduced the lead to 4-3 when they were awarded a penalty for hand-ball.

Hynds took the spot-kick and fired home the rebound after a fine initial save from the Kileavy stopper. Armagh tried for an equaliser but were beaten by the final whistle moments later.

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