THEY say that revenge is a dish best served cold and it doesn’t come much colder than today’s conditions as Gilford beat their fellow promotes to avenge the two defeats they suffered last season.
For the first time in two years Manager Stephen McArdle was able to field an unchanged team from last week. Stephen Donaghy returned after injury and Mick Cunningham had served out his one match ban. Filling out the substitutes’ roster was veteran Rony Barry
After being overshadowed by new boy Sean McKay last week, Ruairi Feeney once more grabbed the limelight as he scored twice to earn Gilford the vital points in this First Division match.
Gilford made the worst possible start to the match as they conceded a goal in the second minute as the defence was caught napping. A minute later the referee produced the first yellow card of the match when he yellow carded Ruairi Feeney for dissent in what seemed a harsh decision from the side-lines.
Armagh were riding their luck though and paid the penalty when the referee finally brought them to justice and red carded their number 16 after he was seen to hit Greenaway in the face following some tough tackling.
Wave after wave of Gilford attacks finally paid off with seven minutes to go. Mick Cunningham was released on the left and powered into the box where he was clumsily challenged. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot as he was surrounded by irate Armagh players. Ruairi Feeney carefully placed the ball before slotting it past the keeper to bring the match level.
Gilford heads were definitely up and even the withdrawal of Captain Kieran McCourt, due to injury, could not dampen their spirits. The extra Gilford man was starting to show on the Armagh players and with normal time ending Crusaders made a last push for victory. Savage played the ball out from the edge of his penalty area to Gartland who took a touch, and a look, before playing a great ball from just inside his own half to release Ruairi Feeney who beat the offside trap. He calmly looked up before placing the ball wide of the despairing keeper into the back of the net. 2-1 to Gilford.
The referee played seven minutes of stoppage time before bringing the match to a close. But not before he showed another Armagh player the red card for dissent in the dying minutes.