Cliftonville's record-breaking grip on the NI Football League Cup was ended with an Extra Time defeat to Glenavon this evening. Trailing to a controversial Greg Moorhouse strike at Mourneview Park, the Reds levelled through Davy McDaid to force an additional 30 minutes, during which Andy McGrory fired the Lurgan Blues 3-1 up, rendering Stephen Garrett's late strike as little more than a footnote. The hosts should have been ahead with just a few minutes on the clock when Martin Donnelly's ill-advised backpass forced goalkeeper Peter Burke into a rushed clearance which fell to the feet of Mark Sykes but, despite taking a touch to set himself, the midfielder steered the ball wide of the empty net. James Knowles blasted a half-volley off target at the other end and Glenavon keeper James Taylor denied McDaid before the first-half ended with Rhys Marshall heading wide from Mark Patton's corner delivery. The deadlock was broken 12 minutes into the second-half when, after fouling Tomas Cosgrove to snatch possession, Moorhouse - who will have been as surprised as anyone in the ground to see referee Steven Taylor prepare to award Cliftonville a free-kick only to inexplicably change his mind - strode forward and found the net via the base of the post. The Reds levelled on 69 minutes, however, when substitute Ruairi Harkin's surging run down the left ended with a cross which McDaid scuffed over the line with the aid of a deflection off Kris Lindsay. Both sides went close to banking a late winner before the 90 minute mark but the next goal would arrive in Extra Time when McGrory stroked in after being teed up by Guy Bates. The same player successfully converted from the penalty spot after Bates had taken a tumble under pressure from Burke but, despite being 3-1 behind, Cliftonville would carve out more than enough opportunities to stage a dramatic comeback - none more gilt-edged than the shot Garrett smashed over the bar from close range. Harkin and Jason McGuinness threatened in the second period of Extra Time but it would take until the very last minute for the Reds to add to their tally; Garrett finishing up after Taylor had repelled McGuinness' header.
Reds lack extra spark
Glenavon 3-2 Cliftonville [After Extra Time]
Davy McDaid shields possession from Caolan Marron; Jaimie McGovern gets the better of Mark Sykes in the air and (right) Martin Donnelly congratulates McDaid after the Reds' equaliser
4. 10. 16. 22. 26.
Caoimhin Bonner Stephen Garrett Ruairi Harkin Ross Lavery Andrew Mooney
12. 2. 3. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11. 17. 18. 23.
Peter Burke Jaimie McGovern Levi Ives Jason McGuinness Chris Curran James Knowles Davy McDaid Martin Donnelly Ryan Catney Jude Winchester Tomas Cosgrove