Cookstown Celtic 3 Strule United 4 -
Cookstown Celtic hosted Strule United in the first round of the Junior Cup on Saturday and they exited the competition following a 4-3 defeat after extra time.
The visitors started much brighter than Celtic and went close with a couple of half chances.
Cookstown started coming into the game more and took the lead against the run of play on the half hour mark.
Devlin released O’Neill down the right and he powered into the box before finding Maguire who placed the ball beyond the keeper to give Celtic a half time lead.
The visitors were back on level terms soon into the second half when a long ball caused confusion in the Celtic box which left the Strule attacker free at the back post to nod home.
Celtic soon found themselves behind when the Strule attacker pressurised the Celtic defence into a mistake and the attacker squared to his colleague to tap home.
Things got worse for Celtic when they went further behind, the Strule defender progressed up the pitch unchallenged and he released the Strule striker who was ruled to be onside and he lifted the ball over O’Neill in Celtic goal to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
This sparked some urgency into Celtic and they reduced the deficit soon after when Muldoon converted a penalty after Maguire had been felled in the box.
Celtic went close to levelling matters with efforts from Maguire and Bates. With time running out Celtic got the equaliser when a delightful delivery from Hughes on the right was met by the head of Hanna who thumped his header past the keeper to force extra time.
Celtic’s joy was short lived however when in the fist minute of extra time a quickly taken corner by the visitors resulted in the unmarked attacker free to head into the net.
Celtic tried to force another equaliser but the visitors defended resolutely for the remainder of extra time and they deservedly progressed into the next round.