Irish Street pay the penalty in shoot-out
Ardmore progressed to the third round of the City Cup after a dramatic 10-9 penalty shoot out win over Irish Street, at Prehen, on Saturday.
Stuart Moore’s men for their part showed again that they can certainly mix it with the big boys and came within a missed spot kick of knocking out the Premier Division champions.
The first match after the Christmas break seldom tends to be a classic as players lack match sharpness, and this game was devoid of any spark for the opening 20 minutes of play.
Gary Collette brought the game to life in the 21st minute when he volleyed home from the edge of the box to give Ardmore the lead.
Gareth Brown skipped past Jordan Watson before crossing to Collette who gave Jack Glenn no chance with his shot. It was a piece of sublime skill.
Irish Street sprung into life after this, and enjoyed a short period of domination as they fought to get on level terms with their illustrious opponents.
Jonny Wilson was always their best outlet and the pacy front man threatened to draw the teams level after a long ball from Stuart Moore found him through on goal, but he could only find the side netting.
On the stroke of half-time Ardmore doubled their lead when Collette took full advantage of a defensive mistake and chipped Jack Glenn from 20 yards. Again it was another scintillating finish and good enough to win most games.
A chance for either side at the start of the second half seemed to turn the tide of this game.
Firstly combative Ardmore midfielder Peter McLaughlin had a close range effort saved by Glenn, and it is hard not to conclude that if he had have scored the game was over as a contest.
Irish Street countered immediately when Mark McKitterick’s beautifully weighted pass found danger man Wilson, who took a neat first touch before side-footing past Darren McCarrick to make the score 2-1.
Both sides had a number of half chances to add to the scoreline throughout the second period but they failed to capitalise on them.
With time almost up Irish Street had one last roll of the dice when they won a late corner.
Steven Blair floated a dangerous ball into the Ardmore box which fell fortuitously at the feet of Moore and the big man made no mistake finding the Ardmore net.
Referee Brian Golligher blew for full-time shortly afterwards, and as the sides could not be separated after extra-time the outcome of the game would be decided by penalties.
To be fair to both teams the penalty kick shoot-out was of a particularly high standard with the first ten attempts all finding the net.
With light fading fast at Prehen, Ardmore keeper McCarrick pulled off a good save from the unfortunate Uel Bradley to put his side through to the next round.
Ardmore manager Damien McGee was delighted at the end of the game.
“I thought we did enough to win it in ordinary time but fair play to Irish Street. They battled hard, put it up to us today and I’d like to wish them all the best in the Irish Junior Cup next week.”