COLERAINE exited this year’s Irish Cup after a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Cliftonville…
The Bannsiders made one change for the contest as Aaron Jarvis came in for Michael McCrudden but it would be the hosts who would take the lead on nine minutes. A weak back pass was seized upon by Rory Hale and the midfielder comfortably dispatched by Gareth Deane.
The visitors would create their first chance on 25 minutes as neat passage of play allowed Conor McDermott to cross in from the right but Lee Lynch was unable to steer his effort on goal. Minutes later, a snapshot from Josh Carson at the edge of the area failed to test Nathan Gartside.
Oran Kearney brought on Jack O’Mahony at the interval and the introduction of the midfielder proved to be a masterstroke as he brought the Stripes level on 53 minutes. The summer arrival from Glenavon was picked out by Lyndon Kane and finished with aplomb for his first goal since moving to The Showgrounds.
This gave Coleraine all the momentum and Gartside was proving to be busy as he saved from Andy Scott’s from distance, before diving down low to his left to tip Stephen O’Donnell’s header around the post.
However, the Bannsiders would take the lead on 65 minutes as a corner kick wasn’t cleared by the Reds and O’Donnell diverted the ball towards the net. A last ditch attempt by Ronan Hale to clear the ball didn’t materialise as the Stripes went 2-1 ahead.
On 74 minutes, Coleraine would create a further opportunity to move further in front as Matthew Shevlin was sent through on goal. The striker – who had netted four goals in his last two visits to Solitude – failed to find a way past Gartside.
Just when the visitors thought they had done enough, they would be hit with a late sucker punch in added time as Levi Ives’ cross was prodded home by Jamie McDonagh to force the tie into extra-time.
Chances would be at a premium during the first-half of extra-time, however, the Coleraine defence had to be alert to divert Ronan Hale’s goal bound effort.
On 110 minutes, the net would be hit for a fifth time as a cross into the box was headed in by O’Donnell but the defender would be denied by the linesman’s flag for offside. Minutes later, O’Donnell – who was making his 200th appearance for the club – would hit an effort on the turn that went inches by the far post.
The tie would be decided by penalties with Coleraine missing three out of their four spot kicks as Shevlin, Aaron Jarvis and Brown were denied by Gartside, which allowed Ives to slot away the winning penalty.
A tough defeat to take for Coleraine who will now solely focus on the Danske Bank Premiership and BetMcLean Cup final.
CLIFTONVILLE: Gartside, Ives, Addis (Turner ’70 mins), Gallagher (McDonagh ’70 mins), Rory Hale (Casey ’46 mins), Lowe, Doherty, Gormley, Ronan Hale, Coates, Moore (Parkhouse ’70 mins).
Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), C. Curran, Rocks.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, Brown, A. Jarvis, Carson (O’Mahony ’46 mins), O’Donnell, Lynch (Fyfe ‘103 mins), McDermott (McCrudden ’88 mins), Shevlin, Scott.
Subs Not Used: Doherty (GK), Mullan, Farren, C. McLaughlin.
Referee: Tim Marshall