Sunday, October 14, 2007

Armagh City 1 Linfield 3

IPL, Holm Park, Saturday 13th October 2007

Team: Mannus, Douglas, McShane, Murphy, Lindsay, Mouncey, Gault, McAreavey, O'Kane, Ferguson, Thompson

Subs not used : Curran, Dickson, Mulgrew, Hogan, Miskimmon

Scorers: Mouncey 2, Thompson

My first visit to Armagh City and Holm Park, and I was pleasantly surprised. BN had warned me that it was a shithole beforehand and I was expecting ploughed field-esque conditions, but it was actually a neat, tidy wee ground, surrounded by fields and cows. Ok, so it is a bit basic, no terracing at all, and a tiny 3-row grandstand, but it was friendly.

The real jewel in the crown was the social club, on the first floor overlooking the pitch, and you don't have to pay to get in there! Beers were cheap, about 2 quid, and the staff were friendly, we got there well early at 1.30 (would have been earlier except MB led us in the wrong direction, and signposts were non-existent) so we got the best seats in the house, and a few pints in before the queues started. It did get very busy, and there wern't enough staff on, but I could watch the match inside while supping a pint, superb. Chris Walker, ex-shadow dweller, walked in during the first half and took dog's abuse from the Bluemen, 'You are ugly' being one of the more printable ones, but it was all in good spirits. I stayed there till the end of the first half when I needed to pee, lost my seat, then went out and stood with BN on the terraces in the 2nd half.

So, onto the match itself. I thought it was a pretty entertaining affair, and that we played alright. We created a lot of chances, some just wide from Thompson and Spike, and scored 2 early goals from O'Kane corners, the first a header at the near post from Mouncey, the second another Mouncey header from the rebound of Spike's header that crashed against the bar. But City were creating chances themselves and pulled one back soon after with a peach of a goal, Hawthorn bringing the ball down, fooling Winkie to create space and blasting home from about 20 yeards.

We were never in danger though and Thompson scored a good 'un not long into the second half to more or less make it safe, then Mouncey (yet again) missed a penalty for his hat-trick. After that, we were on the back foot, Armagh played some good stuff and it took two goalline clearances, one from Maccers, one from Dougie to save us. Strange we didn't bring on any subs.

Positives? Mouncey was back to his old best, getting involved, being everywhere, taking on and beating players. Spike wasn't far behind him, he's still got it, and Gaulty was his industrious hard-running best.

Negatives? Our defence looked very shaky in the 2nd half, I don't think Pat is back to full form yet, Maccers was average again, he's easily beat and still struggles for fitness, how anyone on the radio can call for him to be in the NI squad baffles me, and O'Kane for me isn't a LM (I'd play him at LB and drop McShane). Not bringing on any subs.

Unfortunately, no pics, as I realised my formerly-broken-and-thought-fixed camera didn't actually work in the daylight after all. D'oh. Highlights possibly to follow.

Thompo's as usual excellent pics of the day here. No idea how big the crowd was, maybe 1000 Bluemen there?

Nice day all in all, AND I predicted the right score, sweet.

1 comment:

17 Boxing Days And Counting said...

My dad got lost on the way to Armagh 2 years ago when we won the league.

Followed 10 cars in front of us who were following a supporters bus, who took a wrong turn.

Had to make a U-Turn or we were heading for Monaghan.

My brother`s supporters bus got lost and missed the first 30 mins.

My family is glad to hear we weren`t the only ones to get lost going to Armagh