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Irish defender endures rotten luck despite finding the net twice in Carabao Cup tie

Eoghan O’Connell was seconds away from being Bury’s match winner against Nottingham Forest.

EOGHAN O’CONNELL MUST be wondering this morning how he managed to end up as the fall guy for Bury in last night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.

It was an evening of mixed fortunes at the City Ground for the Cork-born defender, who celebrated his 23rd birthday the day before Bury’s first-round elimination.

Nottingham Forest v Bury - Carabao Cup - First Round - City Ground Eoghan O'Connell reacts after Bury's defeat to Nottingham Forest. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

After scoring his first goal for Bury to give the League Two club the lead with just over a minute on the clock, O’Connell looked set to be the hero as they sought to cause an upset away to their opponents from the Championship.

But Forest, who had goalkeeper Jordan Smith sent off in the first half, sent the tie to a penalty shootout when Matty Cash snatched an equaliser with 93 minutes on the clock. O’Connell stepped forward as Bury’s first penalty taker and made no mistake — but his night’s work wasn’t yet complete.

Having each used their full complement of players, the sides were still level at 9-9 in the shootout so O’Connell was required to make his way to the spot once more. This time he was denied, however, as Forest’s sub goalkeeper Luke Steele made a save to send Aitor Karanka’s side into the second round of the competition.

It was rotten luck for O’Connell, who had been one of four Irish players to score for Bury in the shootout. Jay O’Shea (who set up O’Connell’s goal in regular time), Stephen Dawson and goalkeeper Joe Murphy all converted from the spot, as did former Ireland international striker Daryl Murphy for Nottingham Forest.

O’Connell, an ex-Ireland U21 international, joined Bury last summer after seven years on the books at Celtic.

Source: bengregersNFFC/YouTube

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Paul Dollery

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