Ballinamallard United make history against Glentoran
Ballinamallard United made history at Ferney Park last night, progressing to a major cup semi-final for the first time following a penalty shoot-out victory over Glentoran.
Johnny Lafferty's 15th minute goal had given the Mallards the lead but with 13 minutes to go Curtis Allen levelled for the Glens.
But with neither side able to find a winner in extra time it took penalties to decide the outcome.
Goalkeeper Stefan McCusker was the hero for the Mallards with two fine saves to deny Jordan Stewart and Allen, and with the Mallards scoring from their opening three spot kicks it was left to Liam Martin to settle the tie as he fired to Elliott Morris's right to seal the win.
Ballinamallard started the game brightly and John Currie forced a good early save from Morris who tipped his rising shot over the bar.
And with 15 minutes on the clock the home side took the lead through Lafferty.
Currie's delightful ball between two defenders found Chris Crilly breaking forward on the right and he pulled it back to the edge of the box to Lafferty whose shot took a slight deflection before ending up in the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
With their tails up, Ballinamallard pressed forward in search of a second and Martin fired narrowly over the bar while a Martin cross from the left was met by Ryan Campbell but he could not direct his header on target.
The Glens struggled to get going and it took them half an hour before their first real effort at goal from Allen but this was comfortably saved by McCusker.
Allen then had a good opportunity to level proceedings four minutes later when he was picked out by a Fra McCaffrey ball from the right but he was denied by McCusker.
Glentoran were the more dominant side after the break.
McCaffrey's whipped cross from the right was glanced over the top by Allen.
The equaliser arrived with 13 minutes to go.
Substitute Danny McKee's 25 yard effort was spilled by McCusker and Allen was on hand on to tuck the ball away.
In extra time, an Allen effort was ruled out for offside.
On to spot kicks, and it was to be Ballinamallard's night as they sealed their place in the last four.