Depleted Celtic suffer derby defeat

Colin Malone. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Colin Malone. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

A much depleted Lurgan Celtic lost 2-0 to Armagh City to Knockramer Park on Saturday.

Missing several key players - including the recently signed Daniel Ryan to injury - and others due to holidays it was a much changed look to the starting formation and line-up.

As both teams started cautiously it was almost 20 minutes before there was a threat to either goal, and it was courtesy of an Armagh shot that was well saved by Celtic’s McCorry.

The warning sign was there and a few minutes later Armagh took the lead following a disputable corner.

It was was initially cleared by McCorry but dispatched into the corner of the Celtic net from the edge of the box.

Celtic improved following this set back and only a great save from the Armagh keeper prevented Richie Thompson getting his first goal for Celtic following a through ball from Jordan Gibson.

On the half hour mark a Thompson flick on put strike partner Fitzpatrick in to space on the edge of the box,only for the keeper to smother the shot and prevent a Celtic goal.

The game was opening up and on 40 minutes it was the Celtic keeper’s turn to save a shot following a quick Armagh break.

With minutes remaining in the half the lively Thompson suffered a groin injury and had to be replaced by Devlin.

Celtic came out after the break and were the better side for most of the second half.

On 49minutes Celtic did find the net courtesy of McCarron, but it was ruled out for a foul on the Armagh keeper.

On the hour mark a goalmouth scramble from a Celtic corner somehow stayed out.

Chances continued to come Celtic’s way with first O’Hara being unlucky with a chipped effort and then a Fitzpatrick header narrowly missing from a corner.

It was not all one way traffic though, as a good block from Hutchinson and then the framework of the goal prevented almost certain goals for Armagh with 15 minutes remaining.

As has been the story on previous occasions this season - with Celtic looking likely to get a much deserved equaliser- instead it was Armagh who found the net, with Shea Campbell firing home.

With time almost up and Celtic trailing 2-0, the home team were reduced to ten men as Hutchinson got sent off for an off the ball incident and Armagh held on for the victory.