IT took extra time to separate Glentoran and Larne, as Dylan Davidson’s goal seven minutes from the end was enough to seal the win for the Glens. Extra time came after an exhilarating 90 minutes in which both sides shared four goals. After a long night though, it was the Glens who made it through to the third round of the Bet McLean League Cup.
In a dramatic start to the first half, Robbie McDaid struck the crossbar, and then on 19 minutes, Kane’s header was superbly cleared off the line by Ben Tilney.
With 25 minutes gone, Tomas Cosgrove crossed into Jeff Hughes in the area with Elliott Morris having to strain to grasp hold of the ball. A chaotic scramble ensued involving David Scullion and Darren Stuart with Morris eventually securing hold of the ball.
Shortly after half an hour, Stuart scored the opener, tapping in at the near post having been set up by Scullion’s fine work and cross from the right.
Just on the stroke of half-time, Hughes played a blind pass across the back four with the interception being made by McDaid who fired a sweet strike past Devlin into the bottom right to bring the home side back on level terms.
Glentoran went ahead on 56 minutes courtesy of Kane’s bullet of a header past Devlin, getting on the end of a long throw-in.
However, on 68, the away side equalised through substitute Chris Ramsey, rifling the ball into the back of the net after Morris failed to get control of the ball from a Scullion corner.
With 20 minutes to go, McGuigan was in on goal to score, but former Cliftonville keeper Devlin got a hand to it to deny McGuigan. It then seemed like the home side had retaken the lead when McDaid tapped in at the far post on 71 minutes, but the linesman’s flag quickly cut short the celebrations.
With no further goals the game went into extra-time and Larne went close through two headed attempts, firstly from Patrick McNally and then Jeff Hughes produced a great save from Elliott Morris.
Then, with just seven minutes remaining on the clock, Connor Pepper played the ball into Nathan Kerr with the sub crossing to Davidson to poke home the winner.
Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Kane (c), Birney, McGuigan, McDaid (Allen), Pepper, Crowe, Gordon (Kerr), Redman (McCarthy), Byrne (Davidson)
Unused subs: Nelson, McMahon, Ferrin
Larne: Devlin (c), McEleney (Ramsey), Kelly (Finnegan), Scullion, Stewart (Gilmour), Stuart, Tilney, Hassin, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes
Unused subs: Dougherty, Henry
Referee: Andrew Davey
Larne are back on the road once more this weekend for Championship Match Day Four against PSNI. Kick-off at Newforge Lane is 3pm.