RECENT signing Warner Mullen netted twice as Strabane Athletic produced one of the shock results in the fifth round of the Tennents Irish Cup at Knockbreda on Saturday.
Mullen, who returned to his hometown club from Ballinamallard United at the end of last year, converted a ninth minute penalty and in the second half tapped home the winning goal to secure Athletic a sixth round clash with fellow intermediate side Larne Tech OB.
That draw offers Eamon Curry’s Strabane a realistic shot at advancing to the last eight but that’s for another day.
For the meantime Curry is just happy to savour what was a fantastic achievement for Northern Ireland Intermediate League club.
“I was delighted for the fans and the players,” said Curry.
“There must have been 200 supporters made the trip. They were tremendous from start to finish, in the second half in particular they saw us through a scrappy period.
“But most of all it was reward for the players who have been tremendous all season.
“Their attitude right back to pre-season has been excellent and it was great to see them celebrating together.
“Knockbreda are very direct and they got in behind us a few times but Jack Boggs made two great saves in the first half to keep us in it.
“We made a change at half-time to counter attack their directness and that helped us. The tie was very scrappy for 20 minutes after the break but after that Knockbreda got on top.
“With 16 minutes to go we managed to get up the field and Warner finished a cross from Kyle Harte. For the remainder of the game Knockbreda bombarded us but that’s nothing new for us.
“We had to do that against Banbridge, St James’ Swifts and Derriaghy in the first round. We are used to that now.”
Next time out though Athletic will start on an even keel against Larne Tech and that presents the North Tyrone men with a great opportunity of reaching the final eight.
Curry admitted the shoe will be on the other foot to a certain extent.
“It’s one of those ones where we will have to cope with not being the underdog for a change,” said the manager.
“We are both on the same level and both teams are going to fancy taking each other out.
“Without getting ahead of ourselves the big carrot dangling now is the quarter-finals. It’s just an opportunity, nothing more nothing less.”
FULL INTERVIEW WITH CURRY NOW AVAILABLE ON ULSTER HERALD WEBSITE