Glenavon 2-2 Glentoran (AET) (Glentoran win 5-4 on penalties)
Bet McLean League Cup, Round 3
Mourneview Park, Wednesday 13th October 2021
Match report by Calum Jones
Glenavon suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak at the hands of Glentoran in the Bet McLean League Cup third round at Mourneview Park on Wednesday night.
An uneventful game that finished 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes suddenly burst into life in extra-time, with Glentoran taking the lead through Robbie McDaid in the 99th minute when he headed home Rhys Marshall’s cross.
Glenavon responded five minutes later when Andy Hall converted from the penalty spot after Peter Campbell had been fouled by Marshall.
The Glens regained the lead four minutes into the second period of extra-time as Jay Donnelly lashed the ball past the onrushing Glenavon goalkeeper James Taylor and into the net.
The Lurgan Blues responded again, however, as Josh Doyle scored a screamer of a goal in the penultimate minute of extra-time to force the shoot-out.
With the score locked at 4-4 after each team had taken five spot-kicks, sudden death was needed to settle things, and after young Jamie Doran saw his penalty strike the post, Glens captain Patrick McLean scored to send his side through to the quarter-finals.
Glentoran were the first team to threaten on three minutes when Matthew Snoddy gave the ball away to Ruaidhri Donnelly. The forward’s low shot was saved at the near post by Taylor.
Glenavon responded three minutes later when captain Michael O’Connor curled a free-kick on target, but Aaron McCarey was able to tip the ball over the bar.
Taylor was called into action again in the 20th minute when Conor McMenamin cut in from the right and fired a low shot on target, but again the Glenavon keeper was up to the task.
O’Connor managed to hit the target for a second time from a free-kick five minutes into the second half when he curled a shot round the wall, but again McCarey made the save.
Matthew Fitzpatrick came close to breaking the deadlock in the 61st minute after he’d been found by a flicked header from strike partner Andrew Waterworth. Fitzpatrick brought the ball under control and set himself for a shot, but McCarey had come off his line by the time the striker was pulling the trigger and the goalkeeper managed to smother the effort.
Both teams had penalty appeals turned down in the space on two minutes in the 75th and 76th minutes, while Andrew Doyle will feel he should have done better with a header on 77 minutes after he’d been picked out from a Campbell corner, but the defender could only head over the bar.
With the game still scoreless after 90 minutes, it was on to extra-time.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 99th minute, and there was an inevitable irony about the fact that it was two former Glenavon players who would combine to score against the Lurgan Blues. Marshall beat Daniel Wallace on the right before swinging over a cross to pick out McDaid, who sent his header beyond the dive of Taylor and into the right corner.
Glentoran’s lead lasted just five minutes, however. Campbell cut inside Marshall on the left flank and the Glentoran man lunged at his opponent to try and get a toe to the ball. Referee Shane Andrews deemed it to be a foul and decided that it had happened in the box, so a penalty was the result. Up stepped Andy Hall, and he drilled his shot to McCarey’s right to score the equaliser.
Glentoran regained the lead in the 19th minute of extra-time. McLean’s long hooked clearance completely caught out the Glenavon defence and sent Jay Donnelly through on goal. The striker showed his composure by drilling a low shot beyond Taylor and into the net.
In the 119th minute of the match Glenavon equalised for the second time, and it was the pick of the goals, as substitute Josh Doyle controlled the ball just outside the penalty area before rifling an unstoppable shot past McCarey and into the top corner with his right foot.
And so the tie would have to be decided by penalties.
Both teams converted each of their first two spot-kicks, with Hall and Jack O’Mahony scoring for Glenavon and McDaid and McMenamin on target for Glentoran, before Josh Doyle saw his effort saved by Glens goalkeeper McCarey.
A further four successful penalties from Jay Donnelly, Glenavon keeper Taylor, Gael Bigirimana and Robert Garrett meant the score was tied at 4-4 with just Bobby Burns left to take for Glentoran, but the former Glenavon player blazed his effort over the bar, meaning sudden death was required.
Young Doran was first up for Glenavon in sudden death, but his effort came back off the post, meaning McLean was presented with the opportunity to win it for the Glens. The captain made no mistake, driving the ball home to book the East Belfast side’s place in the quarter-finals.
It’s a return to Danske Bank Premiership action on Saturday as Glenavon welcome Dungannon Swifts to Mourneview Park (kick-off 3pm).
MATCH SPONSOR – McCleary and Co. Accountants, Skelton Travel Services, Ian Irwin, Jim Cordner, Tina Moore, Gene O’Neill, Andy Smith, and Jonny Drury
BALL SPONSOR – Ronnie Morrison
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Hubert Watson
Glenavon: 18. James Taylor (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 6. Andrew Doyle, 7. Andrew Waterworth, 8. Michael O’Connor (C), 10. Peter Campbell, 12. Kyle Beggs, 14. Matthew Snoddy, 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 23. Daniel Wallace, 30. Sean Ward
Subs: 26. Joshua Doyle (for 7. Andrew Waterworth, 62’), 28. Robert Garrett (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 80’), 11. Andrew Hall (for 12. Kyle Beggs, 86’), 25. Ross Hunter (for 6. Andrew Doyle, 116’), 24. Jamie Doran (for 14. Matthew Snoddy, 116’), 21. Jack O’Mahony (for 10. Peter Campbell, 116’); not used: 15. Aaron Harmon
Goals: 11. Andrew Hall (104’, penalty), 26. Joshua Doyle (119’)
Yellow cards: 6. Andrew Doyle (22’), 30. Sean Ward (38’), 10. Peter Campbell (89’)
Glentoran: 37. Aaron McCarey (GK), 4. Luke McCullough, 6. Bobby Burns, 8. Rhys Marshall, 9. Jay Donnelly, 10. Ruaidhri Donnelly, 11. Robbie McDaid, 15. Patrick McClean (C), 20. Malachy Smith, 24. Conor McMenamin, 27. Hrvoje Plum
Subs: 16. Seanan Clucas (for 20. Malachy Smith (61’), 5. Gael Bigirimana (for 10. Ruaidhri Donnelly, 61’), 19. Ciaran O’Connor (for 27. Hrvoje Plum, 72’); not used: 12. Andrew Mitchell, 22. Caolan Marron, 33. Ross Glendinning (GK), 54. Ben Cushnie
Goals: 11. Robbie McDaid (99’), 9. Jay Donnelly (109’)
Yellow cards: 10. Ruaidhri Donnelly (54’), 24. Conor McMenamin (58’), 8. Rhys Marshall (79’), 16. Seanan Clucas (91’)
Referee: Shane Andrews