Larne Tech Old Boys and Barn United are both up against Crumlin opposition in next Saturday’s Steel and Sons Cup second round ties.
The Tech travel to 1a stablemates Crumlin United, where they lost 3-1 in their last visit back in January, where Paddy Kelly’s side avenged a 7-1 walloping at Dennis Harvey Park the previous October.
Tech manager Johnny Hastings told the Times: “We’re looking forward to it. Crumlin play that big pitch of theirs well but a wee run in the cup will be nice.
“We’ll be missing Marty Steele, Gary Montgomery and Keelan McAuley but hopefully Lee Campbell and Josh McAllister will be back in contention.”
One man the Tech will need to keep an eye is Crumlin striker Pat Wall, who netted five goals in their two games played last week.
On Saturday, the Tech suffered only their second defeat of the season – and both of them have been by the odd goal at that very familiar away ground, the Cliff - against that ‘other Crumlin team’, Premiership outfit Crumlin Star from Ardoyne.
The Tech boss, however, insisted: “We deserved something out it. Star’s winner was a penalty, and only the referee knew what it was for! We were also hard done by when Kele McAuley was sent off for a harsh second yellow!”
By then the Ardoyne side were already down to ten, after a ‘save’ from an outfield player in the box ten minutes into the second half; Lee Thompson stroking home the resultant penalty.
Back though came Crumlin Star through Ciaran Murphy, and shortly after McAuley’s dismissal, Barry McKervey grabbed that controversial winner from the spot.
Sean Ward, nonetheless, could have forced extra time, somehow scooping the ball over from point blank range, after Niall McAllister’s initial effort pinged back off the post.
Crumlin Star are back in East Antrim next Saturday, at Barn United in the Steel and Sons.
As Barn boss Jim Pherson reflected: “Two years ago, we came so close to beating them, but for a 97th minute penalty that should never have been.
“We normally have good matches with them, especially at our ground, and we’re looking forward to it.”
On Saturday, Barn were almost one of Saturday’s Irish Cup shocktroopers, coming from two goals down at Premier Division outfit Killyleagh Youth Club before crashing out 3-2 on penalties.
Maybe there was an omen for things to come when United’s Mark Tweedie missed a penalty just before half time, with the County Down side 2-0 up.
Barn, however, bounced back through Andrew Dummigan and Matthew Bingham and while Dummigan netted again in the shootout, along with Gary McKee, Bingham missed, as did Paul Mathers and Stephen Brennan.
Elsewhere, 18th Newtownabbey Old Boys’ tie with 1b side Sirocco Works has been switched from Ballyskeagh to Cloyne Crescent, as Sirocco’s ‘landlords’ Lisburn Distillery are at home base, against Kilmore Rec, while Kilroot Rec play Sport and Leisure at the Cliff on Friday night.