Irish Cup fifth-round replay: Coleraine 4-3 Cliftonville

Coleraine hold on to beat Cliftonville 4-3 at Ballycastle Road in the Irish Cup fifth round replay

Ten-man Coleraine endured a nervy closing 10 minutes before beating last season's losing finalists Cliftonville in a thrilling Irish Cup replay.

Coleraine led 4-1 after 80 minutes but late goals from Ciaran Caldwell and Joe Gormley ensured a frantic finish.

Paul Owens put the Bannsiders ahead on 11 and Gary Browne doubled their lead on 35 after Michael Hegarty's red card.

After David McDaid's penalty, Diarmuid O'Carroll replied before Ruairi Harkin struck Coleraine's fourth on 72.

While Coleraine had to hang on desperately at the finish, they fully deserved a victory which sets up a sixth-round home tie against Dungannon Swifts on 8 February.

After Saturday's surprise home defeat by Portadown, Reds manager Tommy Breslin attempted to freshen up his side by making five changes with Liam Boyce and George McMullan left out and O'Carroll, Ciaran Doherty and Chris Curran among those drafted in.

However on an absolute gluepot of a pitch, the Reds struggled to get any flow into their game in the opening half.

With Coleraine showing the greater appetite, Browne and Hegarty went close before Owens opened the scoring on 11 minutes after his own initial effort had been blocked.

The game looked to have reached a potential turning point on 23 minutes after Hegarty was handing a straight red card by referee Raymond Crangle for a studs-up challenge on Tomas Cosgrove.

However, Coleraine refused to buckle and they doubled their lead on 35 as Browne calmly stroked the ball past Conor Devlin after being set-up by the lively Owens.

After a poor opening 40 minutes, the Reds attempted to rally before the break but Coleraine keeper Eugene Ferry made smart saves to deny O'Carroll and Curran.

The tie looked over on 50 minutes as McDaid rammed a penalty to the net after he himself had been fouled by Jamie McGovern.

But O'Carroll gave the Reds a glimmer of hope with his 53rd-minute reply as his diving header flew past Ferry after a Curran cross.

At that stage, Cliftonville may have sensed that tiredness could become a factor in the Coleraine ranks given the visitors's numerical advantage.

Coleraine appeared to be having none of that as Harkin struck their brilliant fourth goal on 72 after storming upfield and producing an exchange of passes with Owens.

But in the end, Coleraine needed Harkin's goal as Caldwell replied on 76 after being set up by Gormley before the prolific Reds striker bundled his 31st goal of the season with 10 minutes of normal time left.

That made for an anxious finish for the home side and O'Carroll missed a further Reds chance with Martin Murray's cross also being deflected on to the woodwork and out for a corner.

But Coleraine somehow held on.

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