Belfast Celtic booked their place on round four of the McComb’s Coach Travel Intermediate Cup thanks to a 2-1 win over Larne Tech. Old Boys.
Goals from Darren Stuart and Jay Donnelly fired Celtic into a 2-0 lead before Matthew Devine headed home a late consolation goal for the visitors.
The first real chance of the third-round tie fell to Belfast Celtic after 10 minutes when Chris Keenan was at full stretch to collect a delicately chipped shot.
Belfast Celtic ‘keeper Nugent was earning his crust on 16 minutes when he had to palm a close-range shot from Lee Campbell. Four minutes later Campbell could only watch as a header was again stopped by Nugent on the goal line.
Three minutes before the interval the hosts broke the deadlock when Stuart’s low shot from 12 yards nestled in the net.
Just one minute into the second session Stephen McAlorum’s men came racing out of the blocks to double their advantage when Donnelly went on a solo run before rounding the advancing Keenan in the Larne goal to slot home.
The game came alive after this and it could have been 3-0 on 60 minutes when Donnelly found a bit of space inside the six-yard box only to see his header go over the crossbar.
Celtic’s Stephen Beatty came agonisingly close to adding a third only to see his blistering shot from 15 yards out hit the wrong side of the upright and went out for a goal kick.
As the minutes ticked away it was Belfast Celtic who were caught cold when in the 92nd minute Larne Tech pulled a goal back with a powerful header from Matthew Devine.