FOOTBALL: Cup heartache for Coleraine

Coleraine left back Daibhibd McIvor, clears his lines against Glentoran in The Irish Cup last night.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Coleraine left back Daibhibd McIvor, clears his lines against Glentoran in The Irish Cup last night.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

COLERAINE suffered penalty heartache at the hands of Glentoran again as they crashed out of the JJB Sports Irish Cup last night.

In what was an enthralling quarter-final replay at The Showgrounds Coleraine twice came from behind to take the game to extra time.

With the score tied at 3-3 after 120 minutes Elliott Morris proved to be the Glens hero as he saved from Stephen Lowry and Darren Boyce to send his side through to the last four.

It was particularly tough on Lowry who had put the Bannsiders in front for the first time in the tie on 110 minutes from the spot. But Scott Young’s side hit back to level the tie, just as Coleraine had done in 90 minutes.

Andy Waterworth put the visitors in front twice on the night, the second a controversial strike in injury time.

But Oran Kearney’s men never lay down and drew level through sub Stephen Carson and Marc Mukendi, who netted just a matter of seconds after Waterworth’s second.

After a tentative opening it was the visitors who carved out the first opportunity. Paul Leeman’s flick on sent Andy Waterworth through on goal, but Gavin Cullen was off his line quickly to deny him.

Cullen could do nothing though on 16 minutes after Leeman fed Waterworth again. The Coleraine defence was punished for hesitating as the striker nipped in to score his 12th of the season.

The Bannnsiders had a let off on 24 minutes after another defensive error as Ogilby gave the ball away.

Waterworth sent Burrows racing clear, the striker elected to shoot early and Cullen did well to parry his shot right on the edge of the area.

The hosts felt hard done by two minutes later as Stephen Lowry looked to have been clipped in the box as he surged on Mukendi’s lay off. But referee Brian Turkington was unmoved and booked the midfielder for simulation.

Andy Waterworth spurned a glorious opportunity to wrap the game up a minute before the break. The frontman found himself with an open goal six yards out after Cullen could only parry Fordyce’s initial effort. But he rushed his shot and scooped the ball over the bar.

Coleraine introduced Stephen Carson two minutes after the restart and he made an immediate impact.

The wide man sent an inviting cross to the back post which Aaron Canning threw himself at, but Morris somehow managed to beat the ball away.

Moments later the Bannsiders drew level and it was that man Carson. He picked up the loose ball 30 yards out after the Glens defence failed to deal with McIvor’s through ball. He beat two men before dispatching a low shot past Morris.

The Glens almost regained the lead in spectacular fashion on 62 minutes as Nixon’s header from Steele’s cross teed up Burrows.

But his overhead kick was beat away by Cullen.

The game burst in to life in stoppage time as Glentoran regained the lead in controversial circumstances.

Gavin Cullen looked to have been fouled by Waterworth as he came for a high ball, but play was allowed to go on and the striker slotted in to the empty net.

But straight from the kick off Carson picked up the ball and sent a cross to the back post. Boyce headed the ball back across goal for Mukendi to head in from a yard out just 10 seconds after the restart.

Six minutes in to extra time Carson slipped in Boyce, but the striker dallied allowing Morris to clear the ball.

The Bannsiders had Beverland to thank in first period stoppage time as he produced an unbelievable tackle to deny Waterworth his hat-trick.

Coleraine took the lead for the first time on 110 minutes and it all came from a fabulous run by teenager Daibhibd McIvor.

He ran 50 yards down the left, his cross was cut out, but he picked up the loose ball and drew a challenge from Ward.

Referee Turkington pointed to the spot and Lowry coolly slotted home past Nixon.

But just two minutes later the Glens levelled the tie again as Nixon burst through. His shot was palmed up in the air by Cullen and bounced in to the net.

The Glens almost nicked it right at the death but Cullen redeemed himself to deny Leeman before Steele’s follow up was blocked.

In to penalties and Waterworth, Harkness and Gardiner all converted before Lowry’s spot kick was beaten away by Morris.

Colin Nixon’s penalty was saved by Cullen allowing Ogilby to level things up again.

But Burrows conversion was followed by a miss by Scullion allowing Leeman to settle the tie.

But his spot kick was dramatically pushed out by Cullen.

Up stepped former Glen man Darren Boyce, but agonisingly for him his penalty was saved by Morris, just as it was in last season’s CIS Cup final.

Agony for Coleraine and now the Glens go forward for a ‘Big Two’ clash with Linfield in the semi-finals.