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County Antrim Shield: Michael Dougherty the hero as poor Glentoran pay the penalty

Glentoran 0-0 H&W Welders, AET Welders won 4-3 on pens

By Kris Jack

Published 23/09/2015

Sky high: Fra McCaffrey sends his spot-kick blazing over the bar as Glentoran crash out of the County Antrim Shield
Sky high: Fra McCaffrey sends his spot-kick blazing over the bar as Glentoran crash out of the County Antrim Shield

Glentoran exited the County Antrim Shield after losing 4-3 on penalties to H&W Welders as Johnny Addis saw his decisive spot-kick saved by Michael Dougherty in a dramatic end to a drab contest at The Oval.

Gary Smyth's side were worthy of their win for their first-half efforts alone, but a sloppy second period from both sides inevitably gave way to extra-time then penalties, as neither team could find a way to goal in 110 minutes - only 10 minutes each way is played in extra-time in the County Antrim Shield.

The hosts were first to threaten, an early Stephen McAlorum free-kick clipping the bar, before the Welders' Chris Middleton smashed a set-piece from 25 yards into the shins of the assembled wall.

A low Josh Cahoon shot, which was comfortably taken by Elliot Morris in the Glens goal, was sandwiched by speculative efforts at the other end from Conor McMenamin and David Scullion as both sides searched for the game's opener.

The visitors' Sammy Devine then went close after neat interplay on the right before Cahoon's header dropped just beyond the back post.

A Scott Davidson shot led to Smyth's side's best opportunity of the half, as the resultant corner found the head of Gary Spence, but his powerful connection was cleared off the line by McAlorum.

In their next attack, Eddie Patterson's side almost took the lead, Calum Birney's header stopped by former Glentoran ace Dougherty's strong fist.

The Glens struggled to do much else in the way of attack, Curtis Allen caught offside on a number of occasions, while a spattering of free-kicks in good areas were either easily taken by Dougherty or drifted wide.

A driving run from left-back Steven McCullough produced a daisy-cutter that Dougherty got down to sharply, but it was all that the Premiership side could muster in a poor first-half.

Things didn't fare much better in the second. The Welders saw a Middleton header well clawed out by Morris and substitutes Fra McCaffrey and Johnny McCaw combined for the Glens in the dying moments of normal time, but both sides seemed content to take it to extra-time.

In the 20 minutes that ensued, the best chance to win the game fell to Allen, who had been in hiding for most of the night.

McCaffrey picked his strike partner out from the right wing, but he dragged a poor shot well wide from eight yards with little pressure on him.

And so the game went to the dreaded penalty kicks.

Scott Davidson saw the first Welders kick saved before Neil Dougan, Middleton and William Armstrong netted for Smyth's men.

Glentoran scored through Allen and Birney, before McCaffrey blazed his effort over the bar. George Gray netted for the Glens, with Cahoon slotting past Morris to put the Welders 4-3 ahead.

That put the onus on Addis to keep the hosts in it, but his weak penalty was smothered by Dougherty as a sea of yellow ran to the heroic keeper from the halfway line to celebrate their progression to the next round.

GLENTORAN: Morris , Holland (Gray 29), Birney , Scullion (McCaffrey 78), Allen, McAlorum , Addis , Gordon , McMenamin (McCaw 78), McCullough, Smith. Subs not used: Gibson, Hogg.

H&W WELDERS: Dougherty , Dickson , Armstrong , Harris , McMiIllan , Spence , Deans , Davidson , Devine (Dougan 82), Cahoon , Middleton. Subs not used: McLellan, Bowers, Dougan, Galbraith.

Referee: Andrew Davey (Carrickfergus)

Belfast Telegraph

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