Irish Cup- Coagh United 0 Carrick Rangers 2 AET
Coagh’s hopes of progressing were dashed after Colin Donaldson saw red on the hour mark, a decisive moment in the game, which left the home side with a mountain to climb.
The ten that were left on the pitch gave the visitors a battle and a few scares on the way but as the match rolled into extra time, Carrick’s strength in depth finally broke down Coagh’s defensive wall with Richard Gibson getting a brace to put the Rangers into the hat.
Coagh started the match without Jamie Tomelty who did not want himself cup tied for his intended move to Dungannon Swifts; Scott McGeown started off the bench after arriving late due to work commitments while Marcus Dallas remained suspended.
The home side welcomed back Steven Glasgow and Aaron Thornton after injury and both fitted well into a well balanced defence which kept a clean sheet for the first time this season over 90 minutes.
The home side may have started the match on the back foot but as the clock ticked so did Coagh as they started to make inroads against the second best defence in Championship One.
Steven Lamont had an early chance after seven minutes with his shot smothered by the Carrick stopper. Richard Gibson was always dangerous for the visitors and his partner Jody Lynch missed two good chances early on.
On 10 minutes, James Ferguson nearly caught the Carrick keeper out with a long dipping drive but Garth Dean, on loan from Linfield, got back just in time to make the save.
Coagh’s Young had his shot tipped over for a corner but Carrick defended and nearly caught Coagh on the break with Jody Lynch forcing Hassan into a good save. The best chance of the half fell to Jason Gillespie.
Steven Park cut open the Carrick defence to send Gillespie on his way but the Coagh forward got the ball caught up under his feet and the chance was lost.
Coagh replaced the injured Steven Lamont with Scott McGeown at the start of the second half but it was William Hassin who was early into action with a superb save from Gibson. Worse came for Coagh when Donaldson got his marching orders on the hour mark for a second yellow card.
Carrick responded by bringing on Conor McCloskey for Damian Curran and they started to ask more questions of the Coagh rearguard.
Carrick had the lion’s share of possesion with a few chances falling to the home side.
The Hagan Park lads continued to frustrate the visitors with everyone taking defending as their responsibility. Near the end of normal time Coagh should have stolen it but Mathew Young shot over the bar from inside the penalty area.
Coagh’s hearts were broken in extra time when two super strikes from Richard Gibson allowed Carrick’s name to be in the hat for the next round.
This was an excellent match with a referee who was prepared to play plenty of advantages. Coagh will hopefully build on this performance and take it into this week’s Intermediate Cup clash with Derriaghy CC at Home. Kick off at Hagan Park is 1.30pm.
The following week Coagh play Bangor at home in a fixture change. Kick off 2pm.
Coagh: Hassin, Young, Thornton (Campbell), Calderwood, Ferguson, Glasgow, Park, Donaldson, Gillespie (Taylor), Kempton, Lamont (McGeown)
Carrick: Dean, West, O’Kane, McVeigh, Taggart, McCann, Harmon, Curran, Burns, Gibson, Lynch, Smyth, McCloskey, Lagan, McConnell, Bell.
Referee: Alastair Burns. Assistants: Adrian Sobiesk, Dan Reid