IRISH CUP: Colin Lurgan Celtic prepare for Linfield semi-final without a recognised goalkeeper

Lurgan Celtic boss Colin Malone
Lurgan Celtic boss Colin Malone

Lurgan Celtic will go into the biggest game in the club’s history without a goalkeeper.

Number one Conor McCorry was sent off last week in a league game against Annagh United, but the club had hoped to play Larne tonight so they could field a goalkeeper against Linfield at Windsor Park.

However, after having initially been told the game with Larne could go ahead, they were contacted later with news the game could not now take place.

“It has thrown our cup plans into chaos,” said a fuming manager Colin Malone.

“Our other keeper Jamie McAtavey has a fractured wrist so we are looking at having to go with an outfield player in nets against a team like Linfield on their home ground.

“I don’t understand how NIFL can tell us one day the Larne game can be played and then the next minute it is off. The implication was that we would field a weakened team against Larne. But I don’t have a big squad and would have to put out a decent side as we are also looking for league points.

“So, in terms of sporting integrity the game cannot be played. What about sporting integrity on Saturday – taking on Linfield without a goalkeeper?”

It is understoodstriker Dale Malone could play in goal against the Blues.

The club added in a statement: “Lurgan Celtic take issue of the supposition that we would field a “weakened team” against Larne, how can this allegation be made before the side has even taken the field?

“That is like convicting someone of an offence because you think they might commit one.”