Jonny Frazer defends 'stonewall' penalty after Glentoran edge past Portadown
Glentoran 2 Portadown 2
Jonny Frazer admits he hasn't had many better weeks.
Hot on the heels of agreeing an extended contract, he was instrumental in helping Glentoran punch their ticket to the sixth round of the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup following a dramatic penalty shootout win over gutsy Portadown at the Oval.
Mick McDermott's boys were only seconds away from being dumped out of the tournament when Frazer went down following a collision Paul Finnegan inside the box. The red, green and black side of the stadium erupted when referee Lee Tavinder awarded a penalty kick.
Hrvoje Plum displayed nerves of steel to ram home the spot kick with practically the last kick to send the game into extra-time against a Ports side that had been bravely clinging on to Lee Bonis's 41st minute header.
Incredibly, the Championship team forged ahead again after the restart with Liam McKenna heading home a Chris Lavery cross at the back post.
But their advantage lasted merely two minutes. Ciaran O'Connor's looping cross to the back post was cut back by Gavin Peers for Frazer to tap home.
It was then down to the lottery of a penalty shootout to separate the sides.
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Plum, Chris Gallagher, Frazer, and Patrick McClean were all on target for the east Belfast side, before Peers hit the clincher, after Aaron Duke, Lavery, Ryan Carmichael and Finnegan had kept the home fans on the edges of their seats by scoring for the Ports.
"It doesn't get much better - a new contract and helping the team into the next round of the Irish Cup," beamed Frazer.
"It was a really tough game. That's what the Irish Cup is all about. It doesn't matter whether Portadown are in a league below, they came to do a job.
"There was a great atmosphere for the game, both sets of spectators were really vocal. The longer it went, the more we pushed. We just keep going right to the end. I've lost count of how many late goals we have scored.
"Thankfully, I got the penalty and Hrvoje stood up and put the ball away. After that, I always thought we would win the game. We seem to get stronger in the last 20 minutes in games, we seem to kick on."
Although Portadown players disputed the penalty decision, Frazer reckons the referee got it right.
"It was a stonewall penalty," he added. "There probably wasn't a lot of contact, but there was enough to warrant a foul. I saw the defender coming, so I tried to get my body in front of him."
Portadown boss Matthew Tipton said: "Glentoran are the best footballing team I've come up against in my time as a manager.
"I suppose I can give my boys a pat on the back because they competed with them. We have got honest kids that sticks to our game plan. I want them to know how proud I am of them."
AET, Glentoran win 5-4 on penalties
GLENTORAN: Antolovic, Garrett, Kane, Peers, Gallagher, Pepper (McClean, 84 mins), Nasseri, Crowe (Frazer, 62 mins), Plum, Duric (O'Connor, 72 mins), Van Overbeek. Unused subs: Morris, Herron, McDaid, Cowan.
PORTADOWN: Edwards, Crane, McCallum, Finnegan, Lavery, Salley, Tipton (McKenna, 62 mins), Wilson, Carmichael, Teggart (Bradley, 90 mins (McGrandles, 99 mins)), Bonis (Duke, 84 mins). Unused subs: Millar, Ferris, McCullough.
Referee: Lee Tavinder (Dungannon)
Man of the match: Bobby Edwards
Match rating: 8/10