Crewe United pulled off the shock of the Irish Cup Round 5 dumping Championship side Knockbreda out of the competition.
Irish Cup Round 5
Knockbreda 1 Crewe United 2
Crewe travelled to Breda Park as underdogs in the Irish Cup but not without optimism having only lost
Crewe opened the brighter of the two sides with some good passing and confidence on the ball. The first real opening resulted in a goal after 15 minutes when Eamonn McAllister picked up the ball on the right, cut inside and fired past Ryan McBride in the Knockbreda goal from 25 yards out.
This helped the Glenavy side grow in confidence and when the home side did attack the Crewe defence worked hard to limit space and nullify the threat of Halliday and Johnston. Seeking to press home the advantage Crewe kept going forward and were rewarded on 25 minutes when the ball broke on the edge of the box to William McCracken who fired past McBride from 20 yards out. It was no more than Crewe deserved Knockbreda tried in vain to get into any sort of rhythm as it was Crewe who retained the ball well and didn’t look unnerved against the Championship side.
In an attempt to get back into the game Knockbreda made a couple of changes at half time. It seemed to make a difference with the introduction of Dylan Wilson injecting some life into the homes side. McMaster hit the Crewe crossbar on 55 minutes with a speculative effort but Crewe did look dangerous on the break despite the homes side now dominating possession.
Knockbreda then won a penalty on the hour mark for Breda after a trip from Conor McCarthy and Mark Cooling duly scored from the spot. The experienced Michael Halliday won a 2nd penalty on 88 minutes when brought down by Gerard McErlean in the Crewe goal and it looked like Breda were about to force extra time. However Mark Cooling stepped up again to take the kick electing to strike it to the opposite corner of the net and the ball thumped off the post and rebounded to safety.
The final whistle blew much to the delight of the Crewe players, managers and supporters and the club made history, booking their place in the last 16 of the Irish Cup for the very first time.
Crewe Team: McErlean, McCarthy, Deane, Burns ©, Fox, Maguinness, Carson, McAllister, Armstrong, Devine, McCracken. Subs: Henderson (80), Finlay (80), Michael O’Neill, Chris McCleave
Here are a few of the reports on a historic victory: