Jordan Allan is mobbed by his Coleraine team-mates after opening the scoring (Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com)
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Lyndon Kane secured a place in the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland League Cup following a long, long night at The Showgrounds.
Both sides enjoyed half chances during the opening exchanges.
Andrew Mitchell flashed an effort wide from the edge of the box as early as the second minute while Brad Lyons saw a shot meet a similar fate soon after at the other end.
Unfortunately, this early promise didn't translate into an exciting first half with only a 33rd minute Jamie McGonigle header against the post from an Ian Parkhill cross looking likely to break the deadlock.
After the break, McGonigle looked threatening moving forward only to see his shot denied by a perfectly timed Michael Gault block.
Then, around the hour mark, Parkhill crossed for James McLaughlin but he headed wide as Coleraine moved closer to making the breakthrough.
Oran Kearney's side came close again with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when Darren McCauley crossed for McLaughlin but he headed wide.
And McLaughlin squandered another opportunity late in normal time as McCauley delivered once again, this time the header going wide at the back post from six yards.
The Bannsiders were presented with two stoppage time chances to prevent the game slipping into extra-time but Lyons could only fire wide from close range while, from a Kane cross, McLaughlin couldn't keep the ball on target.
The Crues had a rare chance five minutes into extra-time when David Cushley crossed for Jack Smith but the substitute couldn't get a strong enough connection to make it count.
Smith forced a save from Chris Johns a short time later while Lyons called Michael Dougherty into action at the other end.
But the goal Coleraine richly deserved finally arrived on 104 minutes. Once again McCauley supplied the ball, a left foot drive across the face of goal, for substitute Jordan Allan to slide in to turn home at the back post.
However, Crusaders levelled nine minutes later after Richard Clarke threaded the ball through for Smith to turn and shoot into the bottom corner.
There was further drama to come right at the end of the game. Referee Ian McNabb adjudged that Dale McCreery had controlled the ball with his hands, on came Neil McCafferty from the bench to take the resultant penalty but, with his first touch of the game, he sent the ball spinning wide.
With barely no time left there was no option but to settle the tie via a penalty shoot-out with Kane eventually emerging as Coleraine's hero to book that place in the last four.
Penalty shoot-out sequence:-
Richard Clarke (Crusaders) scores 1-0
Neil McCafferty (Coleraine) scores 1-1
Jack Smith (Crusaders) misses 1-1
Gareth McConaghie (Coleraine) scores 2-1
Michael Gault (Crusaders) scores 2-2
James McLaughlin (Coleraine) saved 2-2
David Cushley (Crusaders) scores 2-3
Darren McCauley (Coleraine) scores 3-3
Andrew Mitchell (Crusaders) scores 3-4
Jordan Allan (Coleraine) scores 4-4
Salou Jallow (Crusaders) misses 4-4
Lyndon Kane (Coleraine) scores 5-4
Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Douglas, McCauley, McLaughlin, Brown, Kee, McConaghie, Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle subs Mullan (not used), Ogilby (not used), McCafferty (replaced McGonigle 120), Allan (replaced Parkhill 71), Higgins (not used)
Crusaders: Dougherty, Kerr, McClean, McCreery, Gault, Mitchell, Lowry, Caddell, Cushley, Soares, Jallow subs Clarke (replaced Soares 75), Doyle (not used), Smith (replaced Lowry 71), Wilson (replaced Caddell 80), Craughwell (not used)
Referee: Ian McNabb