David Graham (032)
David Rainey (092)
David Rainey (119)

3

Luke McDowell (059)
Karl Steele (115)
Ryan Doherty (117)

3

William Armstrong scored the winning penalty for the Welders (Picture: Freddie Parkinson/PressEye.com)

WELDERS THROUGH AFTER SHOOT-OUT DRAMA

HW Welders are through to the next round of the BetMcLean League Cup following a penalty shoot-out defeat of Portstewart after a nail-biting evening at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

Portstewart enjoyed the early pressure but could only point to a shot from distance as the sum total of their efforts while, for the Welders, Chris Morrow almost found a way through when he got his head to a corner only for the ball to drop wide.

Indeed, the Welders began to assume control of the game after this with Lukasz Gwiazda having a great chance after a defensive error put him through but he could only direct the ball straight at the feet of keeper Joel Madison, followed by William Armstrong's 40-yard drive which hit the top of the net.

Portstewart remained a threat, however, with Joel Bradley given the opportunity to face down Ryan Brown but the Welders keeper did well to make a great save.

But the deadlock was broken on 32 minutes when the Welders' David Graham unleashed a piledriver from outside the area to beat Madison into the top corner. Both Gwiazda and Graham had further chances before the break to increase the Welders' lead.

Portstewart levelled just before the hour thanks to a Luke McDowell tap in when the ball fell for him after Brown had pushed out a direct free-kick.

The Seahawks were reduced to ten men on 70 minutes later following a straight red card for Richard Vauls after a tackle on David Rainey.

Hoping to make their numerical advantage count, the Welders pushed hard for the winner with substitute Alex McIlmail, Rainey and then Ross Arthurs all having chances but none were able to find the net.

Rainey did find a way through two minutes into extra-time with a fantastic header at the back post after getting on the end of a great cross from the right.

That was how it stayed until as dramatic a closing to a game as you're ever likely to witness with three goals in quick right at the end of the second period.

Karl Steele levelled for Portstewart on 115 minutes before Ryan Doherty edged them into the lead a couple of minutes after that and seemingly into the next stage only for Rainey to sensationally grab a third for the Welders to force the game into a shoot-out.

Using the ABBA system, Rainey was first up for the Welders, duly finding the net, before Portstewart's Glenn Law and Steele failed to hit the target.

Graham made it 2-0 to the Welders but Morrow failed to convert. Portstewart then got back on level terms when both Doherty and Josh Rohdich scored.

Ross Arthurs then converted for the Welders to edge them back in front which meant should Armstrong score Norman Kelly's side would progress ... which he subsequently did to secure a third round berth against last season's beaten finalists Ballymena United.

HW Welders: Brown, O'Mahony, Armstrong, Harris, Bolton, Morrow, Davidson, Deans, Arthurs, Gwiazda, Graham subs McIlmail (replaced Davidson 75), Rainey (replaced Gwiazda 65), Dornan (replaced Deans 94), Hamill (not used), Whittle (not used)

Portstewart: Madison, Vauls, Peden, Forgrave, Steele, Watt, Law, Heneghan, Bradley, Doherty, McDowell subs Holland (not used), Hamilton (replaced McDowell 112), McKinney (replaced Heneghan 68), Rohdich (replaced Bradley 93), Lindsay (not used), Hanson (replaced Forgrave 101)

Referee: Niall Gallagher

Tags:  H&W Welders  Portstewart