Ciaran Kilduff scored an injury time goal to give Shamrock Rovers a 2-1 aggregate win over Coleraine at The Showgrounds and a place in the Setanta Sports Cup Quarter Finals.
Shamrock Rovers came racing out of the blocks at The Showgrounds in Coleraine. The first chance of the game fell to Jason McGuinness although the big defender failed to connect with a floated Sean O’Connor delivery from a right wing free kick.
The high tempo start from the visitors caught the home side off guard and resulted in Rovers taking the lead on five minutes. Ronan Finn intercepted David Ogilby’s pass before feeding Gary McCabe down the right. The winger picked out Mark Quigley with a sublime cross and the striker guided the ball into the net with the outside of his right boot.
Trevor Croly’s men continued to dominate possession without threatening Michael Doherty in the Bannsiders’ goal and McCabe was a constant thorn in the side for the home team.
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney had his head in his hands on 28 minutes as striker Shane Jennings somehow steered his back post header off target with the goal at his mercy.
McCabe was next to try his luck but his turn and volley was dealt with comfortably by Michael Doherty between the posts. Coleraine’s top scorer Curtis Allen was introduced for the injured Shane Jennings just before half time.
The home side started the second half with more purpose with former Derry City midfielder Ruairi Harkin showing an impressive range of passing. Clear cut chances continued to be at a premium, however.
Gary McCabe was again involved in the action as the midfielder was the first name in Arnold Hudson’s book for dissent, a constant problem in the Dubliners career. Both sets of players were struggling with the conditions under foot as the pitch continued to cut up as the night progressed.
Michael Doherty produced a fine fingertip save as he tipped James Chambers’ 25 yard dipping effort onto the bar on 63 minutes. Jason McGuinness fired over from the resulting corner after a scramble in the box.
Strikers Ciaran Kilduff and Thomas Stewart were introduced from the substitutes bench as Trevor Croly looked to settle the tie inside the ninety minutes.
Rovers changed to a more direct approach as the more robust Ciaran Kilduff took the place of Mark Quigley as the central striker. Quigley moved to the right in an attempt to find more space.
To the delight of the travelling fans the switch paid off just as extra time was looming, Ciaran Kilduff finding the bottom corner of the net after a scramble in the box a minute into stoppage time.
Coleraine: Michael Doherty; Aaron Canning, Howard Beverland, David Ogilby, Ryan McIlmoyle; Michael Hegarty, Stephen Lowry, Ruairi Harkin, Paul Owens, Joel Bradley; Shane Jennings (Curtis Allen 42).
Subs not used: Greg Shannon, Kyle McVey, Jamie Tomelty, David Scullion, Johnny Watt, Darren Boyce.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Pat Sullivan, Jason McGuinness, Derek Foran, Conor Powell; James Chambers, Shane Robinson; Gary McCabe (Ciaran Kilduff 69), Ronan Finn, Sean O’Connor (Thomas Stewart 77); Mark Quigley.
Subs not used: Conor Winn, Ken Oman, Conor McCormack, Stephen Rice, Karl Sheppard.
Booked: Gary McCabe (53), Pat Sullivan (66), Mark Quigley (73).
Referee: Arnold Hudson.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: James Chambers (Shamrock Rovers) - Everything positive Shamrock Rovers did involved the midfielder.