With Jason Hill, Jimmy Callacher and Andrew Waterworth all missing through injury it was a much changed Glentoran side which took the field at Drumahoe to face Institute in the Irn-Bru League Cup.
The Glens started brightly and Carl McComb, making his first competitive start, ran onto a through ball and hit the crossbar after 9 minutes although a late flag for offside brought the play back. On 10 minutes a long range shot from Darren McAuley for the home side was well off target. Glentoran were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal on the quarter hour mark but Stuart Elliott’s effort came off the defensive wall and went out for a corner. A dangerous right wing cross from Martin Murray on 18 minutes found McComb in the area but his powerful header came back off the bar. Martin Murray then shot off target (19) and a speculative 35 yard drive from Elliott (21) was comfortably saved by Marty Gallacher. It was merely a range finder though and a minute later Stuart Elliott put the Glens in front with an unstoppable 20 yard shot. Murray and Elliott combined well to create a chance for Mark Clarke but he scuffed his shot. On 28 minutes the home side really should have been level but Paddy McLaughlin, unmarked in the area, managed to head wide from 6 yards out! On the half hour mark, Elliott Morris did well to save a 25 yard free kick which took a deflection on its way through to goal.
Institute had a couple of chances early in the second half. On 47 minutes Darren McAuley blasted over when through on goal and then from a set piece Aaron Walsh (51) also failed to hit the target. On 54 minutes the Glens really should have doubled their lead. The ball was played into the area and Martin Murray did well to set up Carl McComb. McComb should have made it 2-nil but dragged his shot wide. David Howland’s shot was inches over the bar on 56 minutes and 2 minutes later the same player fired wide when set up by McComb. On the hour mark Institute drew level with a superb strike. A left wing cross was nodded down by former Glentoran player, Stephen Parkhouse and Darren McAuley smashed it home off the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the area. On 63 minutes the home side went in front. A ball through the middle found Michael McCrudden who drilled it home with the Glentoran defence appealing for offside. 5 minutes later Glentoran manager, Eddie Patterson made a triple substitution with John McGuigan, Richard Clarke and Jim O’Hanlon replacing Stephen McAlorum, David Howland and Carl McComb. On 71 minutes O’Hanlon and Elliott combined well to set up Martin Murray but his effort, from a tight angle, came back off the post. Jim O’Hanlon shot wide (73) and then both he and skipper, Colin Nixon were denied by excellent defensive blocks as the clock ticked down. 2 minutes into added time Glentoran finally broke through. A Sean Ward throw-in found Marcus Kane in the area and he flicked the ball over Marty Gallacher to make it 2-all. A minute later the Glens thought they’d won it. A Richard Clarke free kick was poorly cleared by Gallacher and Stuart Elliott headed the ball over the keeper only to see it cleared off the line.
Glentoran dominated the first period of extra time with Ward, Magee and Nixon all having chances. The best chance though fell to O’Hanlon in added time but he headed wide from Sean Ward’s cross. Jay Magee did well to usher Ricky Lee Doherty out of play (110) before Richard Clarke went close with a 20 yard drive (113). On 116 minutes a shot from Jim O’Hanlon hit Martin Murray and went wide of the goal. With neither side able to grab a winner the game was decided by a penalty shoot-out.
Institute went first.
Sean Roddy scored. Colin Nixon scored for Glentoran.
Joe McCreadie scored. John McGuigan scored.
Dean Jarvis shot over. Jim O’Hanlon scored.
Aaron Walsh had his shot saved by Elliott Morris and Jay Magee scored to give the Glens a 4-2 win.
Glentoran: Morris, Ward, Kane, Magee, Nixon (capt), McAlorum, M. Clarke, M. Murray, Howland, Elliott & McComb.
Subs: McGuigan for McAlorum, R. Clarke for Howland and O’Hanlon for McComb (68 mins).