Carrick Rangers 'keeper Brian Neeson (Picture: Mervyn McClelland/PressEye.com)
Tuesday, 01 September 2015
Carrick Rangers were taken all the way to a sudden death penalty shoot-out by Championship opponents Lurgan Celtic.
Celtic might have gone ahead on nine minutes. Aaron Harmon conceded a spot-kick following a challenge on Dale Malone who dusted himself down to take the penalty only to be denied by a Brian Neeson save to his right.
At the other end ten minutes later Josh Cash was denied only by a goalline Aaron Rogers clearance after Andrew Doyle had knocked on a Joe McNeill corner.
Rangers were reduced to ten men a couple of minutes from the break after Doyle was shown a straight red card following a challenge on Malone.
Josh Barton almost opened the scoring just three minutes into the second half when he ran from distance to force Neeson into a low save to block his 20-yard left-foot effort.
That was the closest either side came in the remainder of normal time.
The deadlock was eventually broken 11 minutes into the first period of extra-time when Aaron Haire converted from the spot after Mark Surgenor had conceded a penalty.
However, Carrick levelled early in the second period courtesy of a Gary Browne finish from the edge of the box.
Penalties were needed to separate the sides with Rangers 'keeper Brian Neeson converting the first kick of sudden death before going between the sticks to save from opposite number Gavin O'Neill to send Carrick through.
Carrick Rangers: Neeson, Smyth, Traynor, Surgenor, McNeill, Harmon, Johnston, Doyle, Browne, Cash, Miskimmin subs Chines (not used), Roy (replaced Miskimmin 78), Cherry (replaced Johnston 92), Arthur (not used), Mackie (replaced Cash 78)
Lurgan Celtic: O'Neill, McVeigh, Rogers, Hutchinson, McCann, O'Hara, Malone, Barton, Haire, Lavery, Doyle subs Bunting (replaced McVeigh 37), Douglas (replaced Doyle 112), Kemp (replaced Lavery 115)
Referee: Chris Morrison