COLERAINE reached the third round of the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup after a 2-1 win on penalty kicks against Formartine United…
The Bannsiders made a strong start to the post-Oran Kearney and threatened three times in the opening eight minutes. The first chance was created after only two minutes when Aaron Burns released Eoin Bradley but the striker’s lob sailed over the crossbar. Three minutes later, a wicked delivery from Ciaron Harkin evaded a vital touch from both Burns and Bradley that would have resulted in a goal. The final opportunity landed at the feet of Bradley as he cut in from the right-hand side but his drive was well held by Main.
The home side did have the ball in the net on 12 minutes as Josh Carson’s cross was drilled home by Bradley but the winger was adjudged to have been in an offside position. As such, the Stripes were to rue those missed opportunities as the visitors took the lead with their first venture forward as a defensive lapse resulted in Austin MacPhee profiting from close range.
This allowed Formartine to be in the ascendancy and the carved out two further chances as Gareth Rodger had an effort blocked, before Stott struck wide. However, just after the hour mark, Coleraine would find themselves level in spectacular fashion as Carson picked up possession at the edge of the box and rifled home a delightful half volley.
Just before the break, the home side had the perfect chance to take the lead as Burns was fouled inside the area. The spot-kick was taken by Bradley but Main made the perfect stop to prevent Skinner from adding to this season’s goal tally.
The second-half was a more cagey affair with MacPhee threatening again as he curled an effort over the bar. At the other end, Ian Parkhill dragged an effort wide, before forcing Main to tip a 35-yard effort away from danger as the game looked certain for penalty-kicks.
The Bannsiders sensed a winner and threatened when Harkin blazed over from a free-kick and Bradley’s daisycutter went inches by the far post. The Highland League side would end the game with 10 men as Rodger was sent-off for a second bookable offence for handball as the game would be decided by penalty-kicks.
The first five penalties were missed as Johns saved from Stuart Anderson, Gary Fraser hit the post and MacPhee’s panenka-style spot-kick went over the bar for Formartine. As for the Stripes, Ian Parkhill’s strike was saved by Main, before the stopper had the easy task of saving Carson’s effort as the midfielder slipped.
The first successful penalty was scored by Gareth McConaghie, before Andrew Greig levelled with a delightful effort into the bottom corner. Bradley redeemed himself by netting again with substitute Conor Gethins striking wide when he had to score meaning the Stripes progressed to the next round.
The draw for the third round will be broadcast on the SPFL Facebook page this Tuesday at 1pm.
COLERAINE: Johns, Harkin, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Crown, McConaghie, Burns, Parkhill, Traynor, Canning.
Subs Not Used: Mullan, Douglas, Gawne, Owens.
FORMARTINE UNITED: Main, Crawford (Burnett ’63 mins), Smith, S. Anderson, J. Anderson, MacPherson, Stott (Gethins ’84 mins), Rodger, Fraser, MacPhee, Greig.
Subs Not Used: Whyte, MacDonald.