Belfast Telegraph

Slick Armagh set up battle against Glentoran with 3-1 win over Ards

By Robert Jones

THIRD tier Armagh City claimed a famous Irish Cup scalp when they knocked out Ards at Holm Park, clinching a big sixth round clash with holders Glentoran.

City hammered awful Ards with an impressive second half performance that sealed a well deserved 3-1 win.

Steven Murray's brace undid Ards and secured a showdown with Glentoran at Holm Park.

While City celebrated, Ards were left humiliated not just by the scoreline but by the abject nature of the performance.

Niall Currie's men are nine points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership and now out of the Irish Cup.

The club that romped to the Championship title last season have not won a single game since November, and their only away victory all season came in a League Cup tie against minnows Wakehurst in August.

Ards started brightly, taking the lead in the 16th minute thanks to a marvellous strike from William Faulkner after the midfielder latched on to a smart pass from forward Ross Arthurs.

Corey Davidson had a good chance in the 29th minute when he ran on to an Alan Blayney long ball but on this occasion the Dubliner dinked it into the side netting.

Armagh had a great chance in first half stoppage time but Matthew Hynds' shot was blocked by Andrew Hunter.

City equalised in the 55th minute when Steven Murray bundled the ball into the net after it dropped down off the crossbar.

It was no surprise when Marty Rice's men took the lead two minutes later when club stalwart Ultan Lennon headed home a corner when left unmarked.

City completed the drubbing from the penalty spot after Ards midfielder Andy Smith committed a foul in the box with six minutes left on the clock.

Steven Murray made no mistake from the spot.

Armagh have now earned a plum draw at home to the cup holders in the next round on February 8, while Ards look like a side destined for relegation.

Things won't get any easier for the basement side either.

They face league leaders Linfield at Windsor Park on Friday without either Blayney or James Knowles.

Armagh City: Morgan, Montgomery, McGerrigan, Lennon, Noonan, Kelly, Hynds, Cullen, Murray, Donnelly, Carvill.Subs: L Grimley, G Grimley, Keegan, Toland, Daly

Ards: Blayney, Knowles, Armstrong, Hunter, McDowell, Faulkner, Smith, Henderson, Davidson (70 Bingham), Cleary, Arthurs (59 Mitchell). Subs: Bingham, Gordon, McClelland, Mitchell, Cully

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn).

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