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Goalkeeper Burke is the hero as Cliftonville hit right spot in League Cup win over Dungannon Swifts

Dungannon 3-3 Cliftonville (AET - Cliftonville win 4-3 on penalties)

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 15/10/2015

Safe hands: Peter Burke was Cliftonville's penalty hero
Safe hands: Peter Burke was Cliftonville's penalty hero

Holders Cliftonville are through to the quarter-finals of the JBE League Cup after edging a sensational third-round tie at Stangmore Park.

The Reds needed penalties to see off Dungannon after 120 minutes of action produced six goals - but no winner.

However, this game will be remembered for one of the all-time great goals of local football, a stunning strike by Dungannon's Paul McElroy from inside his own half.

It wasn't enough, however, with goalkeeper Peter Burke saving two Swifts spot-kicks to finally settle a pulsating tie.

Cliftonville made the perfect start with a goal inside eight minutes. It began with a terrific pass from Jaimie McGovern to find Jay Donnelly. The angle was difficult but the finish perfect, with his low, right-foot drive finding the far corner.

Dungannon struggled to create chances but were denied what looked like a penalty.

A corner from Dale Montgomery appeared to hit the hand of Donnelly, but the referee ignored the home side's appeals.

The Swifts should have been level soon after the restart.

However, Terry Fitzpatrick somehow headed over when the goal was seemingly at his mercy. But with five minutes remaining, the home side got the equaliser.

McElroy was first to react after an effort came back off the crossbar, heading home to force the game into extra-time.

Dungannon went ahead after two minutes of the additional period through Alan Teggart.

The ex-Ballymena United player scored with a right-foot strike from the edge of the area. But in a crazy few minutes, the Reds were soon level.

Sub Martin Donnelly set up namesake Jay, who netted his second of the night. Martin then got on the scoresheet himself to put the Reds 3-2 ahead.

But then McElroy took centre-stage with a strike which will take some beating for goal of the season. He spotted the goalkeeper off his line and hit an astonishing effort from inside his own half to level it again at 3-3.

The only way to separate the two was penalties. Misses by Dougie Wilson and Andrew Mitchell allowed the Reds' Chris Curran to score the decisive kick.

Belfast Telegraph

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