Belfast Telegraph

One step at a time for Armagh City dreamers

By Stuart McKinley

Armagh City manager Marty Rice is refusing to allow the prospect of a glamour Irish Cup sixth round clash with holders Glentoran to sway his focus – because he is only thinking about winning the fifth round replay against Ards tonight.

The Belfast Telegraph Championship 2 side were seconds away from dumping their Premiership opponents out of the competition 10 days ago, with the referee blowing for full-time immediately after Craig McMillan's equaliser.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the draw for the last 16 handed them a potential money-spinning tie at home to the Glens.

Rice, however, is taking things one step at a time.

"I will let other people, those on the committee and maybe the supporters, think about playing Glentoran while I concentrate on trying to get to that stage," said Rice.

"The fact that we have played Ards once already means that any element of surprise that we might have had is gone.

"The positive thing is that because we came so close to getting a result it has given the players an added confidence.

"They now know that they can go out and compete with Ards and if we do that again then you never know what will happen."

And Rice too is excited by what his team can do against top flight opposition.

"Usually when a team causes a cup upset either their goalkeeper has had a stormer, they score a lucky goal or have ended up against 10 men," he said.

"That didn't happen with us, we worked for everything we got and on reflection I was very pleased with the performance."

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