MALAHIDE United advanced to the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup but were taken the whole way by Bangor Celtic at Gannon Park last Thursday night after normal and extra time had ended in stalemate.
In the end, Brian Kane proved the local hero with a couple of stops in the shoot-out to make it through to the national level of the competition after a tight game.
The hosts probably did more to win the tie in normal time but clear chances were at a premium. Sean Skelly proved a strong early presence with a couple of early incisions with Ryan Dooney going close from one of his crosses as they pushed on in the opening phases.
But they were almost stung when Conor Riddick found space to draw a good save from Kane on the counter attack. Amateur international Ray Whelehan was making his presence known in midfield and he went close with an effort but could not draw a save, keeping the scoreboard blank at half-time.
Malahide continued to probe in the second half while Bangor defended reasonably resolutely, offering up few chances, but they struggled to create much going forward. Whelehan, cutting through from midfield, was denied once more by Stephen Conlon as the tempo stepped up as time wore on, both sides seeking to snatch a winner.
None accrued, however, as Simon Madden was kept out while Whelehan’s third pot-shot went off target. Bangor did enjoy their best period late in the game as Lar Dunne corner caused plenty of problems with Kane doing well to keep the ball safe from harm.
Dunne’s swinging cross, meanwhile, picked out Patrick Quinlan but he headed off the post and away to safety in a major late scare. Extra-time could have produced a winner when Whelehan was fouled in the box by Brian Mooney was who was shown a second yellow card.
It also gave Whelehan a penalty shot but again he was frustrated as he aimed for the top of the net. Conlon read his intentions and dived to save brilliantly.
With Malahide unable to take advantage, it led to penalties from which they ultimately prevailed. Gareth Logan and Eoin Lannigan were both on the mark in round one but Kane’s save in the second series from Wesley Doyle put Malahide in the ascendancy as Madden was on target.
Both Shane Dunne and Adam Shehabedeen netted for United before Kane stopped Michael Fox’s fourth round penalty to see Malahide take their place in the next round.