Ballyclare Comrades player-manager Eddie Hill praised his team’s character after they fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and book a place in round five of the Irish Cup at the expense of Donegal Celtic.
Hill came off the bench to net a dramatic extra-time winner after goals from Samuel McIlveen and Gary Brown brought the Reds level.
“After being hammered by DC last week, the boys turned the tables on them on Saturday to win the at the same venue,” said Hill.
“It looked bleak when they went two up just after the interval, but full credit to the boys, they dug deep, turned the game around in what proved to be a thriller, finishing with our extra-time winner,” he stated.
“The third was no more than what we deserved,” he continued. “It would have been so easy for heads to have gone down and thrown in the towel, but the lads rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
“I have heard fans complain that our team lacked character, but this performance blew that theory to pieces, in what was a physical battle. It was a typical cup tie with the tackles flying in - Celtic had a man sent off for a rash tackle in extra-time, while we had Adam McCart red-carded from the bench.
“Passions boiled over at times, but we held our nerve, and are safely through to the next round when we might be lucky enough to draw one of the Premiership pace-setters,” he added.
Quizzed about who he favoured getting in round five, Hill said that all he wished for was a home draw, but thoughts of that are being put on the back burner while focusing this weekend’s Intermediate Cup tie with Bryansburn Rangers.
“All I know about them is that they are an Amateur League Division 1C team, and we will make normal preparations,” he added.
“Adam McCart and Chris Getty are both ruled out because of suspension and Paddy Flood is also a doubt. He dislocated a finger on Saturday and was able to finish the game only because our team attendant, Andrew Arthurs, was able to manipulate it back into place.
“But on the plus side, we have Denver Gage back, and we are hopeful that Chris Trussell will also be back from injury.”
Read match report from win over Donegal Celtic here