Linfield 2-2 Cliftonville
[AET, Cliftonville win 4-3 on penalties]
Richard Brush made two huge saves in the penalty shoot-out as Cliftonville overcame Linfield in this evening’s County Antrim Shield Quarter Final showdown.
Leading through Ronan Doherty’s first goal for the Club on the stroke of half-time, the Reds looked to be cruising to a last-four berth when Ryan Curran nodded home the second only for the Blues to stage an unlikely comeback with two excellent goals in the final 10 minutes – substitute Dale Taylor curling home before Kirk Millar’s free-kick sent the tie into Extra Time.
After neither Joe Gormley nor Ruaidhri Donnelly could get on the end of an inviting Conor McMenamin delivery across the face of goal, Cliftonville came closer still to winning it when Joe Gorman’s header came back off the woodwork.
All of which meant that the contest would be settled from the spot, with Brush saving from Taylor after Curran had put the visitors in front.
Thomas Maguire blazed his effort over the top, allowing Linfield to level through Charlie Allen, before Chris Curran and Kirk Millar converted to make it 2-2 after three kicks each.
Aaron Donnelly put the Reds back in front and Daniel Reynolds found the net with his attempt ahead of McMenamin making it 4-3, meaning Niall Quinn had to score to keep the Blues in it – but Brush guessed the right way to book Cliftonville’s Semi Final spot.
Cliftonville: Brush, McDermott, Harney, Gorman, A Donnelly, Doherty, Wilson, C Curran, R Curran, McMenamin, R Donnelly. Subs: McKee, Foster, Gormley (Wilson, 88 mins), Maguire (R Donnelly, 97 mins), Rocks, Snodden, Hyland.