Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup: Fifth Round

Coleraine 3 - 1 Loughgall
07 Jan 2023 - 15:00The Showgrounds

A strong second-half performance would prove decisive as Coleraine reached the sixth round of the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup…

The Stripes made three changes for the contest as Rodney Brown, Eamon Fyfe and Michael McCrudden were handed starts at the expense of Lyndon Kane, Lee Lynch and Jack O’Mahony.

Loughgall threatened inside the opening two minutes as a cross into the box by Mark Carson was flicked over the crossbar by ex-Coleraine striker Nedas Maciulaitis.

However, Coleraine thought they edged ahead on seven minutes as Matthew Shevlin did well to seize possession in the visitors’ box but his lobbed effort clipped the post and cleared to safety. A minute later, Loughgall stopper Daniel Devine was called into action to palm away Conor McKendry’s driven effort.

Just before the half hour mark, McKendry would have another sight of goal as the winger burst into the area but his low effort went wide of the far post. On 35 minutes, Jamie Glackin’s cross found Michael McCrudden ten yards from goal but his header was gathered by Devine.

After McKendry saw another chance come and go, it would be the visitors who would forge ahead in first-half stoppage time. A cross into the box by Robbie Norton was headed home by Jackson Holmes at the back post.

The Bannsiders needed a response and boss Oran Kearney made two changes at the interval as Lee Lynch and Conor McDermott replaced Kieran Farren and Eamon Fyfe.

Early pressure would be rewarded on 53 minutes as the Stripes drew level. A forward pass by Dean Jarvis found McKendry inside the box and the winger did the rest himself and he cut inside and placed a strike into the bottom corner.

The momentum was firmly with the hosts who gained the lead on 59 minutes as Glackin was fouled inside the box by Ben Murdock. The ball was picked up by Shevlin who dispatched from 12 yards to make it 18 goals for the campaign.

A devastating 14 minute spell was completed when Kearney’s men made it 3-1. A ball into the box was challenged by Shevlin with the loose ends being gobbled up by McCrudden who expertly found the bottom corner.

Dean Smith’s side – who are currently top of the Championship standings – refused to lie down and forced Gallagher into a smart save moments later as Nathaniel Ferris saw a strike saved, with Tiernan Kelly’s rebound going inches by the far post.

On 78 minutes, Coleraine almost stretched their lead in fine style as a lobbed ball by McCrudden was chested down by Shevlin back into the path of his strike forward who fired wide.

The final chance would also come for Kearney’s troops as Lynch and McDermott worked the ball well on the right-hand side and a ball into the box was met by Shevlin who saw a shot on the turn saved.

COLERAINE: Gallagher, D. Jarvis, Brown, A. Jarvis, McKendry, McCrudden, Fyfe (Lynch ’46 mins), Farren (McDermott ’46 mins), O’Donnell, Glackin (Carson ’84 mins), Shevlin (O’Hara ’90 mins).

Subs Not Used: Deane (GK), Kane, Mullan.

LOUGHGALL: Devine, Carson (Hoey ’71 mins), Rea (Magee ’79 mins), Murdock, Kelly, A. Teggart, Maciulaitis (E. Teggart ’79 mins), Norton, Cartwright, Holmes (Patton ’79 mins) Duke (Ferris ’64 mins).

Subs Not Used: Turker (GK), Lyttle.

Referee: Shane Andrews