Coleraine manager Rodney McAree celebrates last year's triumph in the BetMcLean League Cup (c) Presseye
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
The final three ties of the BetMcLean League Cup third round take place tonight - with a prize of a quarter-final place at stake! We look ahead all the action.
Glentoran v Coleraine (venue: The Oval; kick-off: 7.45pm)
Arguably the tie of the round as Glentoran host Coleraine at the Oval. Glentoran last won the League Cup in 2010, defeating Coleraine in the final on penalties and Ronnie McFall be looking to bring the glory days back to the Oval once again. The two sides currently sit level on points in the Danske Bank Premiership, with only goal difference separating the sides who drew 2-2 earlier in the season at the Oval.
Coleraine will have the benefit of last year’s winning manager of the BetMcLean League Cup in their dugout, Rodney McAree managed Dungannon Swifts to victory in February this year and will be keen to repeat the success with his new club. The Bannsiders narrowly overcame Ballyclare Comrades in the last round, as they needed a stoppage time Ian Parkhill goal to progress. A home quarter-final tie against Crusaders will await the winners of this one tonight.
Linfield v Institute (venue: Windsor Park; kick-off: 7.45pm)
It’s been ten years since Linfield lifted the League Cup and the Blues will be focused on overcoming Institute en route to putting that right. David Healy’s side comfortably overcame Moyola Park by eight goals without reply in the second round and have also defeated ‘Stute at Windsor Park already this season - winning 3-0 back in August.
Paddy McLaughlin’s men have found their feet back in the top flight since their earlier visit to Windsor, as they are currently in eighth place in the Premiership – only a single point outside of the top half. They also enjoyed a comfortable progression to this stage of the competition after defeating Championship side Loughgall, 5-1 in round two. The winners of this tie will travel to play the victors of Newry City v Portadown in the quarter-finals next month.
Newry City v Portadown (venue: Newry Showgrounds; kick-off: 7.45pm)
The BetMcLean League Cup can provide a welcome distraction for a Newry side whose league form has deserted them in recent weeks, Saturday evening’s defeat to Glenavon was their fifth straight defeat in the Premiership – as they now sit only a point and a place above the foot of the table. Conall Delaney’s solitary strike was enough to see Darren Mullen’s men past Knockbreda in the previous round.
The Ports are the only remaining Bluefin Sport Championship team still involved in the BetMcLean League Cup. They last won the competition in 2009 when they were in the Championship – could history repeat itself this year? Matthew Tipton’s side are currently third in the second tier, behind leaders Larne and second placed Dundela, they go into tonight’s tie off the back of a 5-0 thrashing of Ballinamallard United on Saturday and defeated Tobermore United in the last round of this competition.
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