Glenavon 2–2 Glentoran
Glentoran win 5-4 on penalties
Paddy McClean’s winning penalty was all that could separate Glenavon and Glentoran, with the latter progressing to the last eight of the Bet McLean League Cup.
The Lurgan Blues gave a fine account of themselves, with Danny Wallace and Michael O’Connor particularly standing out for the Mourneview men.
Glenavon’s stand-in captain O’Connor had the first real chance of the game when he warmed Aaron McCarey’s gloves on six minutes. The midfielder struck a free kick from 20 yards out after Peter Campbell had been fouled, but the goalkeeper tipped the ball over for a corner.
They had another great chance when Campbell cut in on goal and got a shot away. The lively home support cheered as it seemed to hit the netting, but unfortunately for Glenavon it was the wrong side of the goal.
Mick McDermott felt aggrieved that Andy Doyle didn’t get his marching orders when he was penalised for a high boot on Robbie McDaid. Referee Shane Andrews had to tell the Glentoran boss to end his lengthy protestations, with the Glenavon defender receiving a yellow card.
Sean Ward and Hrvoje Plum were also booked during the first half, making it a busy opening 45 minutes for the referee.
O’Connor again tried his luck on 36 minutes from a free kick directly in front of goal but just couldn’t beat McCarey, who was equal to the shot.
And the same player was denied by the goalkeeper at full stretch when he curled a free kick around the wall four minutes after the restart.
Midway through the half Matthew Fitzpatrick fired a shot at McCarey after getting onto a flick on, but really the second half saw both teams restricted to half chances.
And that stalemate meant that extra time had to be played.
Andy Hall, on for Kyle Beggs, curled a free kick that was pushed away by the goalkeeper before Matthew Fitzpatrick had the home fans on their feet with his effort, only for it to come back off the post.
However, it was the east Belfast side who were to break the deadlock, very much against the run of play, on 99 minutes, heading home from a Rhys Marshall cross.
But Glenavon got back on level terms when Campbell was fouled as he cut inside the box from the left. Hall stepped up and sent the ball to McCarey’s right, with the goalkeeper getting a faint hand to the penalty.
Jay Donnelly was to give the visitors their lead back five minutes into the second half of extra time, blasting past James Taylor.
When all hope looked lost, it was another of Glenavon’s substitutes, Josh Doyle, who levelled the scores up in the last minute. A ball in from the right fell for Doyle who unleashed an awesome finish into the back of the net.
In the end it came down to penalties – Josh Doyle and Jamie Doran both missing for Glenavon, either side of Bobby Burns putting his over the bar for Glentoran, with Paddy McClean scoring the winner for the visitors.
GLENAVON: Taylor, Ward, A Doyle, Birney, Wallace, Beggs, Snoddy, O’Connor, Campbell, Fitzpatrick, Waterworth. Subs: Hall (Beggs 87), Harmon, O’Mahony (Campbell 116), Doran (Snoddy 116), Hunter (A Doyle 116), J Doyle (Waterworth 62), Garrett (O’Connor 81).
GLENTORAN: McCarey, McCullough, Burns, Marshall, J Donnelly, R Donnelly, McDaid, McClean, Smith, McMenamin, Plum. Subs: Bigirimana (R Donnelly 62), Mitchell, Clucas (Smith 62), O’Connor (Plum 73), Marron, Glendenning, Cushnie.
REFEREE: Shane Andrews