Donegal Celtic had to come from behind to avoid a possible Irish Cup upset when they travelled to face Belfast Telegraph Championship side Loughgall. The hard-fought win secured the West Belfast side passage into the sixth round where they will face Danske Bank Premiership leaders Cliftonville.
It was Loughgall who started brightest with two chances for Wesley Boyle to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes. The ex-Portadown man failed to hit the target on both occasions after good initial play by Dale Malone.
After wasting these two opportunities, Boyle put the Villagers deservedly in front in the 24th minute when he latched onto Malone’s terrific pass before calmly slotting past the outrushing ‘keeper John Connelly.
However the hosts’ lead lasted only five minutes when DC levelled through Paul Bradley’s spot-kick after Mark Miskimmon was upended in the penalty area.
And it was in-demand striker Miskimmon who put the Premiership strugglers in the ascendency when he pounced on a loose ball around the edge of the penalty area before firing a great strike beyond home ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan.
As Loughgall looked for an equaliser, going close twice through Malone’s and Boyle’s driven shots, Pat McAllister’s side clinched their cup win in injury time. Striker Paul McVeigh headed the ball into substitute Joe Todd’s path who emphatically smashed the ball home from close range.
Loughgall: Buchanan, McGarry, Rodgers, Copeland, King, Lindsay (Guy 77m), Malone, Ferguson, McMahon (Carson 61m), Brady, Boyle. Unused subs: Blevins, Stewart, Lavery.
Donegal Celtic: Connelly. Keegan, McShane, Hughes, Bradley, Devine (McAreavey 56m), Downey, Deans (McCleary 56m), Miskimmon, McAllister (Todd 70m), McVeigh.
Referee: Arnold Hunter