Belfast Telegraph

Ref admitted howler: Connolly

Armagh City 0 Glenavon 2

By Simon Mulligan

Armagh City goalkeeper John Connolly said referee Arnold Hunter admitted he'd made a huge error in allowing Glenavon's opening goal to stand on Saturday.

James Gray put the Lurgan Blues ahead after 32 minutes of the Holm Park encounter, seizing on a loose ball just outside the box and dodging past Connolly to stroke into an empty net.

The Championship side appealed that the strike should have been chalked off because possession had been knocked out of Connolly's grasp by Glenavon's Rhys Marshall just seconds beforehand - but ref Hunter awarded the goal that set the holders on their way to a quarter-final trip to Portadown.

"The referee has admitted he got it wrong. It is hard to take but what can you do," said Connolly.

"We were well in the game - it was close. For a game like that to be changed in that way, well I have to be careful about what I say, but it was shocking."

Glenavon doubled their advantage through a Gregory Moorhouse penalty in the second half but it was Gray's controversial strike that was the talk of Irish Cup sixth round day.

"When the keeper had the ball, I actually turned to jog back and then realised the ball was at my feet," said Gray.

"I just put it in the net and then thought about asking questions afterwards. It's up to the referee to make the decision then. I think it's more of a coming together with the goalkeeper.

"It's unfortunate for them and fortunate for us, but overall I think we've deserved the win.

ARMAGH: Connolly, Montgomery, Carvill, Toal, Lennon, Grimley (McSorley), Mallon (Blevins), Kelly, Hynds (Campbell), Rushe, Mullen. Unused subs: Graham, Rice

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Canning, Marshall, Patton (Cooper), Sykes, Marron, Moorhouse, Elebert (Lindsay), Singleton, Gray, Renato (Hall). Unused subs: Martyn, Bates

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge)

Man of the match: Caolan Marron

Match rating: 6/10

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