County Armagh produced a stunning display to comprehensively beat Alset Columbia by eight goals to nil in the Premier Section in Clough on Monday afternoon.
The first goal arrived as early as the first minute which set the tone for the rest of the match. Pablo Andrade’s cross was met on turn by striker Lorcan Forde who produced a composed finish to give his side the lead. The link up play between Andrade and Forde was a joy to watch all afternoon with both displaying an excellent understanding of each other’s game.
A recurring theme of this match was the frequent headed efforts on goal by Armagh players who found space all too easily inside the box. Owen McConville went close with a powerful headed effort but Alset goalkeeper Samuel Guevara was more than a match for it. Guevara was let down by some poor defending just four minutes later as Lorcan Forde headed home his second of the game. Forde almost completed a stunning hat trick inside ten minutes but his effort from just inside the box nestled wide of the post.
Alset Columbia fashioned a chance of their own on 11 minutes but Nicolasa Luna’s long range drive was off target. Armagh captain Eoin Toal was having a fine game in the heart of defence and went close to registering on the score sheet when he headed just wide from a free kick from the right hand side. It mattered little however as just minutes later it was 3-0, an excellent display of footwork from Pablo Andrade took him past the Columbian defence before producing a neat and tidy finish low into the bottom corner.
Andrade was enjoying the freedom of the left hand side of the pitch and went close to scoring once more soon after when he rattled the cross bar from 20 yards. The fourth goal duly arrived on 24 minutes when big Eoin Toal made amends for his earlier miss with a superbly controlled header past the frustrated Samuel Guevara.
Andrade and Forde combined well again on the half hour mark, the latter striking the post after a fine combination move. Midfielder Jackson Holmes will be disappointed not to have hit the target on 32 minutes when he found himself on the end of a superb team move which involved almost every forward player touching the ball. The first half scoring was rounded off on the stroke of the interval by Lorcan Forde who made space for himself in the box before calmly slotting home.
Forde was on fire in the first half but withdrawn at the break, presumably to keep him fresh for upcoming fixtures. The second period was played out in a similar vein to the first with Armagh in total control. Striker Zac Wilson hit the post on 41 minutes with a powerful effort before substitute Craig Taylor scored a stunning solo strike, beating at least three Alset Columbia defenders in the process. Armagh scored twice more right at the death, the seventh a neat finish by Ryan Leeman before Craig Taylor added a second (and his side’s eighth) following a goalmouth scramble in which keeper Samuel Guevara appeared to have been fouled.
In the end this was a superb performance from County Armagh who will be full of confidence going into tomorrow night’s clash with County Down in Coleraine (7.30pm), whilst Alset Columbia must now regroup of tomorrow’s crucial tie with Ichifuna in Portstewart (3.30pm).