Belfast Telegraph

No way through as Chris Johns stands tall to frustrate Glentoran

Coleraine 1 Glentoran 0

By Jonathan McNabb

An inspired performance from Coleraine goalkeeper Chris Johns helped the Bannsiders secure a spot in the Tennent’s Irish Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Glentoran.

After a slow start to proceedings at The Showgrounds, it took a moment of magic for what proved the only goal to arrive. A fantastic lay-off from Jamie McGonigle found Darren McCauley and the in-form striker slotted under the body of Elliot Morris for his 16th goal of the season.

Seven minutes later, McCauley and Coleraine nearly doubled their lead as poor defending from the Glens meant the ball landed at the feet of the striker, but he blazed his effort well over the crossbar.

Ronnie McFall’s side couldn’t get a foothold in the game until midway through the half and their first chance landed on the head of Marcus Kane, but the Glens captain couldn’t convert.

On 35 minutes, Curtis Allen played a neat one-two with Alex O’Hanlon and the Glens marksman looked up and tried to lob the ball over Johns, but the in-form Glens hitman surprisingly sent his strike over.

The visitors should have been level on the stroke of half-time when Robbie McDaid’s header was cleared off the line, before the former Leeds United man’s rebound was dealt with by a superb stop from Johns.

The second half started like the first ended with Glentoran on the front foot, and they should have found the back of the net on 57 minutes but McDaid fired wide from close range.

Then, on 71 minutes, a strong, powerful run from Steven Gordon found Allen, but his effort sailed inches past the far post.

Coleraine carved out their first opportunity of the half on 77 minutes as McCauley fired an effort straight at Morris, before the same player produced a smart save from the veteran keeper moments later.

The visitors missed two glorious chances to send the game into extra-time as Allen headed wide from eight yards, before Gordon latched onto a through ball from Dylan Davidson and fired straight at Johns.

At the other end, a through ball found Eoin Bradley but his turn and shot trickled wide. There was time for the visitors to carve out two more opportunities as Allen failed to convert when one-on-one and Dan Kelly struck at Johns as Coleraine survived a Glentoran onslaught to book their spot in the semi-final.

Belfast Telegraph

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