Ballyclare Comrades’ 3-1 defeat in Armagh was overshadowed by the shock resignation of manager Eddie Hill (inset).
“I didn’t jump, and I wasn’t pushed,” stressed Hill, “but I was no longer enjoying my football, so I decided to stand down.”
The club moved swiftly to promote Hill’s assistant, David Dorrian, to the top job.
The defeat leaves Ballyclare six points above the relegation zone with six matches remaining - four of which are against promotion-chasing Bangor, Ards, Carrick and H&W Welders.
When Randal Reid pulled one back for the Comrades at Holm Park in the 75th minute, hopes soared of getting something from the Championship 1 fixture, but the hosts immediately cancelled that one out and it was curtains for the Reds.
In what turned out to be his last game in charge, Hill recalled Chris Getty, Gary Brown and Reid for this six-pointer, and the early signs were encouraging.
Brown had an early effort cleared off the line and the visitors should have opened the scoring on 21 minutes, when Reid blazed over after Cooper had cut the ball back from the line.
Moments later it was City who were in front when Murray converted a penalty after Getty had brought down Donnelly.
With the wind in their favour Armagh began to dictate and Paddy Flood was glad to see Donnelly’s chip rebound off the angle of the goal-frame on the half-hour.
City almost doubled the lead before the break when the impressive Murray just failed to connect at the back post.
The Comrades’ lack of firepower was punished when Armagh went two up in a quick counterattack in the 65th minute, Havern pouncing on the loose ball after Flood and foiled Murray.
Ballyclare hopes were revived with the award of a penalty following a trip on Peter Duffin. Sammy McIlveen’s spot-kick was saved, but Reid followed up to net the rebound.
Armagh had to wait just three minutes before Hoey tucked the ball neatly under Flood as he advanced off his line.
Ballyclare: Flood; C Reid, Getty (McGowan 76) , McCart, Buckley; Brown, McIlveen, Browne (Duffin 62), Cooper, Simpson, R Reid. Subs not used: Kane, Simms, A Hill.
Saturday’s league fixture: H&W Welders (h).