After 2 weeks without a game Town 04s were back in league action today hosting Armagh City in Lurgan. Again Town were struggling with numbers having only 12 players available for selection, this however did not play on the minds of the boys, who worked hard throughout to try and get their first result this season against Armagh. They certainly looked to be on the right track when early in the game quick pressing by Spencer Young gifted him possession high and right of the pitch, Spencer was able to slip Josh Johnston through on goal who in turn slotted past the out coming keeper to give advantage Town, unfortunately Lurgan didn’t hold the lead for long when losing the ball in midfield the Armagh winger was then given to much freedom to run and deliver a great cross into the heart of the Town area which was met by the unmarked visiting striker heading just out of range of James Hamilton in the home goal. The football was pretty end to end with interesting battles going on all over the park. Town stretched the lead when a corner was whipped deep into the opposition 6 yard box Kyle Thompson rose and headed home with the ball closely followed over the line by Adam Vennard, taking no chances. Armagh again hauled themselves back into the game before Spencer Young was fed through by Jake Turner, still having plenty to do Spencer collected the ball and running at pace against an out coming keeper who took the Town Striker out but the ball continued and trickled over the line. The Armagh keeper could very easily have seen red for the challenge but the referee felt it wasn’t even worth speaking to the player. Town came in 3-2 to the good at half time and looking on top of the game.
The second half kicked off and Town stretched their lead further when Spencer Young was again taken down in the area, this time resulting in a penalty which Josh Johnston dispatched cooly into the bottom corner. Town were very unfortunate to stretch their lead further when a corner was again met by the head of Kyle Thompson only to see his shot come off the crossbar. Armagh could very easily have been down a second player not long after when the referee witnessed a city defender kicking out off the ball but instead of getting the cards out decided just to speak to the player. This is were the referee seemed to lose the game completely not dealing with incidents he did see and dreaming up incidents he didn’t see. For a period City earned free kick after free kick within shooting distance with the referees explanations not matching the game. City pulled a goal back when a ball wasn’t dealt with down the left hand side resulting in a ball whipped in across the box and slotted into the net, Armagh then got their equaliser from a corner kick, with numerous pushes and fouls taking place before the ball was bundled over the line, resulting in the Town keeper having to spend the next few minutes untangling both feet from the back of the net from when he was shoved during play, the referee unbelievably missing every one of the fouls leading up to the goal despite it being from a dead ball situation into the box. City continued to pile the pressure on and got their reward and the winning goal when a clearance landed 20 yards from goal and and Armagh defender struck the ball finding its way through a throng of players and into the net.
Disappointed for the boys today who put in a great shift, beaten by some avoidable mistakes but the icing on the cake was the refereeing decisions at key stages that ultimately cost Town the game, and have no doubt Armagh went home knowing they got a gift today.
Team: James Hamilton, Tom Leatham, Adam Vennard, Kyle Thompson (1), James Maguire, Ben Cullen, Ronan Watkins, Spencer Young (1), Josh Johnston (2), Ethan Gorman, Jake Turner, Kyle White.