COLERAINE would be beaten at the first hurdle in this year’s North-West Senior Cup as Limavady United deservedly went through to the next round…
In what would be a mix of first-team players and members of the club’s U20 squad, there would be a boost to the squad as Josh Carson made his first start of the season as youngsters Zac Dealey, Senan Devine and Kyle McCloskey were all given the chance to impress.
Paul Owens’ side would have the first sight of goal with just three minutes on the clock as Aaron McLaughlin fed the ball into the path of Ryan Doherty from just outside the box. The midfielder’s instinctive effort would force Martin Gallagher into making a routine stop.
Just after Joe McCready had a shot saved, the ex-Coleraine man would play a pivotal role as the Roesiders took the lead on 20 minutes. A superb through ball by McCready sent John Butcher through on goal and he kept his composure by guiding the ball into the bottom corner.
The first chance of note for the Bannsiders came just after the half hour mark as Andy Mitchell’s free-kick went inches by the far post, whilst at the other end, Butcher almost had his second of the evening as his cross clipped the far post before being cleared to safety.
However, Coleraine would equalise before the half-time whistle as a perfect pass by Devine released Mitchell inside the area and the big striker duly converted via the post.
Coleraine – who had U20’s manager Marty Smith in the dugout – would make the brighter start after the interval and would threaten twice in as many minutes as Michael McCrudden saw a shot deflect just wide, before Jake Wallace’s rasping drive from just outside the box sailed over the crossbar.
A mistake by Coleraine would lead to United going close just after the hour mark as McCready picked upon a poor pass and drove towards the box. The striker’s driven strike looked certain to find the top corner but Gallagher was there to claw the attempt over the crossbar.
With twenty minutes remaining, there was nothing Gallagher could do as the Roesiders regained the lead. A pin-point corner kick was on the money for Matthew Walker to convert from close range.
Things would go from bad to worse soon after as the Stripes would go down to ten men as McCloskey was dismissed after being adjudged to have fouled Ian Parkhill who was through on goal.
The result was put beyond doubt on 76 minutes and in fine style. A lay-off from McCready to Doherty saw the Limavady ace hit a thunderous drive into the top corner for the goal of the night.
To their credit, Coleraine finished the contest strongly as Paul Wells denied Wallace, Daniel Smyth had a shot cleared off the line by Graham Crown and Luke McKendry hit his own post with a pass back.
After reaching the final last year, there will be no such return this time around as United reach the semi-final stage.
COLERAINE: Gallagher, Carson, O’Mahony (Curran ’73 mins), Mitchell (Martin ’85 mins), Wallace, McCrudden (Smyth ’73 mins), Harkin (Tejada ’85 mins), Devine, Gaston (Moffatt ’77 mins), Dealey, McCloskey.
Subs Not Used: Pearson (GK).
LIMAVADY UNITED: Wells, McLaughlin, Walker (Crown ’78 mins), Carlin (R. Boorman ’66 mins), T. Boorman, Tennant (Pomeroy ’66 mins), Doherty, Parkhill, McKendry, Butcher (Brown ’66 mins), McCready (McCloskey ’78 mins).
Sub Not Used: Purcell (GK).
Referee: Shane McGonigle
*Image supplied by DJT Photography*