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Cliftonville 2-2 Coleraine [3-1 on penalties]

Nathan Gartside saved three penalties as Cliftonville celebrated shootout joy at the end of a typically chaotic Solitude showdown with Coleraine.

Ahead when Rory Hale seized on an early defensive mistake, the Reds were left chasing the game when the Bannsiders turned things round in the second-half and, just when all looked lost, up popped Jamie McDonagh with an injury-time leveller.

When a further 30 minutes of action could not separate the sides, the contest progressed to a penalty shootout, where Gartside saved from Matthew Shevlin, Aaron Jarvis and Rodney Brown, allowing Levi Ives to step up and stroke Cliftonville through to the quarter-finals of the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup.

In a bright start for the hosts, Sean Moore came close to getting on the end of an inviting cross from Joe Gormley before the deadlock was broken when Brown’s poor backpass allowed Rory Hale to race through and find the net.

Lee Lynch clipped an effort over the top and Josh Carson lashed wide as the Bannsiders sought a quick route back into the contest before Cliftonville saw penalty appeals dismissed by referee Tim Marshall, who wasn’t convinced that Lyndon Kane’s outstretched arm had made contact with a Gormley delivery into the box.

After the break, Stephen O’Donnell headed over from a promising position and Ronan Hale drew a straightforward stop from visiting keeper Gareth Deane before Coleraine levelled when Kane nodded the ball into the path of half-time sub Jack O’Mahony, who produced a confident finish into the top corner.

A fingertip stop from Gartside stopped O’Donnell from putting the Bannsiders in front but, from the resulting corner, Cliftonville were unable to clear their lines and Ronan Hale’s attempt at a last-ditch clearance ended with the ball in the back of the net.

Unable to mount any real pressure in the final third, the Reds were grateful to Gartside for denying Shevlin with an intervention that kept home hopes alive – and that faith was fully rewarded in injury-time when McDonagh ghosted in at the back post to convert an Ives cross.

Though Cliftonville enjoyed the better of the play in extra-time, it was Coleraine who came closest to winning it when O’Donnell first had a header ruled out for offside before hooking an attempt wide while stood virtually on the goal-line.

With neither side able to find the goal that would settle things, the tie progressed to a shootout which began with Ronan Hale finding the net before Gartside produced a superb stop to turn Shevlin’s attempt against the crossbar.

Though McDonagh was denied by Deane, the Reds’ advantage was maintained by Gartside clawing Aaron Jarvis’ effort out, allowing David Parkhouse to make it 2-0.

Dean Jarvis then registered for the Bannsiders, whose hopes of equalising after Gormley blazed over were dashed when Gartside came out on top against Brown, meaning Ives’ conversion wrapped things up.

Cliftonville: Gartside, Ives, Addis (Turner, 70 mins), Gallagher (McDonagh, 70 mins), Rory Hale (Casey, 46 mins), Lowe, R Doherty, Gormley, Ronan Hale, Coates, Moore (Parkhouse, 70 mins). Unused subs: G Doherty, C Curran, Rocks.