Cliftonville march on with fightback Irish Cup victory over Coleraine

Cliftonville’s quest for a treble trophy haul goes on after a 2-1 comeback win over Coleraine in the quarter-finals of the Samuel Gelston Whiskey Irish Cup.

The Reds had to do it the hard way after Lyndon Kane had given the visitors a first-half lead.

But talisman Joe Gormley came off the bench to level things with his first touch 10 minutes into the second half.

And star man Jamie McDonagh sealed a last-four place on 65 minutes with a trademark long-range effort.

Jamie McDonagh celebrates scoring for Cliftonville in last night's 2-1 success over Coleraine to secure Irish Cup quarter-final delight. Pic by Pacemaker.

The Bannsiders can feel aggrieved though as Gormley seemed to bundle his goal home with his arm.

And they also had a penalty appeal waved away after Matthew Shevlin seemed to be upended in the box.

It’s Cliftonville though who march on with a treble still on the table.

The hosts were making their intentions known early on as both Daniel Kearns and Rory Hale tried their luck from distance - neither effort troubled Gareth Deane in the Coleraine goal.

The Reds had a clearer opening on seven minutes as McDonagh crossed for Ryan Curran, but he too failed to hit the target with a volley.

Deane was called into action three minutes later as that man McDonagh weaved his magic down the right again before teeing up Kris Lowe, the keeper parried the initial effort before gathering the loose ball.

After that initial flurry of activity the game settled, with the hosts dominating the ball.

But with 25 minutes on the clock they were left stunned as the Bannsiders cut them open.

Kane set off on a trademark run forward, exchanged passes with Patrick Kelly before lashing a shot past Luke McNicholas.

Oran Kearney’s men were clearly lifted by the goal and should have extended their lead in the 32nd minute.

Jamie Glackin’s free-kick picked out the run of Rodney Brown in the box, but his downward header was straight at McNicholas.

The centre-back went close again with an audacious effort on the mouth of half-time.

Brown intercepted the ball on the halfway line before attempting to lob McNicholas from fully 40 yards, the ball though dropped onto the roof of the net.

Gormley was thrown into the fray 10 minutes into the second half and he made the perfect introduction, drawing his side level inside a minute.

The big striker ghosted in at the back post to bundle home McDonagh’s cross with what was his first touch.

McDonagh was to have another big impact 10 minutes later as the Reds capitalised on a slack pass by Glackin.

McDonagh surged forward and placed a sublime shot past Deane into the top corner.

Then came a moment of controversy soon after as Shevlin went down in the box but he was booked for simulation by referee Lee Tavinder as Coleraine looked for a penalty.

The Bannsiders pushed for an equaliser late on but Cliftonville stood firm to move into the semi-finals.

The remaining Irish Cup quarter-final ties will take place today from 3 o’clock: Glentoran v Newry City AFC, Crusaders v Dungannon Swifts, Ballymena United v Larne.

Cliftonville: McNicholas, Ives, Hale (Gormley, 55), R.Curran, McDonagh, Lowe, Addis, Doherty, Turner, Gallagher (Coates, 78), Kearns (C.Curran, 70).

Subs (not used): McKenna, McDermott, O’Neil, Donnelly.

Coleraine: Deane, Kane, Brown, Lowry, McLaughlin (McKendry, 69), Carson, Wilson (Bradley, 69), O’Donnell, Glackin, Kelly (Allen, 86), Shevlin.

Subs (not used): Gallagher, Mullan, Traynor, Mitchell.

Referee: Lee Tavinder.


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