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Rhys Marshall ( 57)
Mark Patton ( 77)
Rhys Marshall ( 86)

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Willie Faulkner ( 19)
Willie Faulkner ( 22)
Ben Roy ( 25)

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Ards players rush to celebrate their penalties victory over Glenavon (Picture: Russell Pritchard/PressEye.com)

ARDS LOSE THREE GOAL LEAD BUT MAKE LAST FOUR ON PENALTIES

ARDS dramatically reached the semi-finals of the NIFL League Cup after a thrilling shoot-out victory over Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

The visitors raced into a three-goal lead in less than half-an-hour.

On 19 minutes William Faulkner got on the end of a
Craig McMillen ball to send a shot across Andy Coleman into the bottom corner.

And three minutes later Faulkner doubled his tally when he returned the ball into the net after defender Gareth McKeown could only clear a McMillen cross to the edge of the box.

Then, on 25 minutes, Ben Roy added a third for the visitors after connecting with a Faulkner pass behind the defence.

Rhys Marshall pulled one back for Glenavon on 57 minutes with a header after Gary Hamilton had floated over a corner.

Not long after Mark Patton almost reduced the deficit to one goal only to send the ball onto an upright after being released by Hamilton down the left flank.

But Patton wasn't to be denied on 77 minutes with a volley past Graeme McKibbin after Eddie McCallion had crossed from the right.

It got worse for Ards just a couple of minutes after that following David Gibson's dismissal for a second bookable offence.

Glenavon's comeback was completed four minutes from the end of normal time when Marshall leap highest to nod a corner home at the back post.

Moving into extra-time McMillen was denied when Marshall stretched to clear the ball while a dangerous looking Steven Gordon was knocked away by the Glenavon defence.

The Lurgan Blues then came close through Guy Bates after Hamilton had flicked the ball over the top but his shot was straight at McKibbin.

Bates then fired a ball across the penalty area but none of his team-mates managed to get the touch that would have surely turned it over the line before Marshall was prevented from claiming his hat-trick by an acrobatic McKibbin save.

Glenavon continued to press home their numerical advantage in the second period of extra-time but just couldn't find a way through.

And so onto penalties and, ultimately, sudden death. With the scores tied at 4-4 Ciaran Martyn blasted his kick against the crossbar providing Ards substitute Ryan Henderson the opportunity to secure a last four place for Niall Currie side - and he duly obliged to end this gripping encounter.

Referee:

Tags:  Ards  Glenavon