Rangers left deflated after extra-time goal

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

RATHFRILAND Rangers slumped to an extra-time defeat in the Clarence Cup as Ballynahinch Olympic continued their giant-killing spree.

Rathfriland Rangers ...1
Ballynahinch Olympic ...2

The visitors to Iveagh Park on Saturday dumped Rathfriland's Premier Division rivals Downpatrick out in the previous round of the competition.

And they struck late to equalise against the Whites to take the game the distance, before a late counterattack killed off the tiring home side.

It was a second defeat in a row for new boss Aaron Black's side, and it could have been avoided had they seized the multiple chances they had to score.

New signings Ryan Kane and Mark Teggart made their competitive debuts for Rathfriland after good performances in the midweek friendly against a Crusaders XI, which the Whites lost 3-2.

And Teggart blazed a chance over the bar from 10 yards out which really should have broken the deadlock in the first-half.

And more good chances were squandered in the second period before Teggart got his goal.

Costello rounded the Ballynahinch 'keeper and although he was forced wide, he had the awareness to know that Teggart was arriving at the back post, and slipped the ball across the six-yard box for his teammate to finish.

That goal came on the hour mark and in the moments that followed the dominant Whites should have put the game to bed.

But they failed to do so and left themselves vulnerable to a late equaliser as the game wore on.

And that is exactly what happened in the 84th minute, when a superb corner was swung in to the back post and was met by a powerful header that left Whites' 'keeper Harrison with no chance.

Ending level after 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time and Rathfriland maintained their attacking threat even though their legs were clearly becoming heavy.

With mere moments to go in the second period, a Rathfriland attack was halted and two 'Hinch players broke forward.

Harrison repelled the initial effort on goal, but then all fell kindly for the striker to poke in the winner and send the visitors into raptures.

While Ballynahinch had held much less of the ball and had far fewer chances over the course of the game, their defensive effort and work rate could not be faulted.

The Whites were left to rue yet another flat cup performance - disposing of lesser opposition has proven to be a tricky task for the team in this season's knock-out competitions.

Another cup game awaits this weekend, when the Whites welcome Belfast side Newington to Iveagh Park, and boss Black will want his side to find their fight again.


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