Glentoran continued their build up to the new campaign with a good work out against Liverpool U21 team at the Oval. With several players unavailable, manager Eddie Patterson moved Mark Clarke into the centre of defence to partner Jay Magee. Recent signings Ryan O’Neill, Niall Henderson and Johnny Addis all started the game with trialist, Ashley Cain also in the line up.
Liverpool’s Adam Morgan had the first effort on goal after 4 minutes and Glens’ keeper Elliott Morris had to be alert to save from Villyan Bijev moments later. On 6 minutes Glentoran broke down the right, David Scullion left the ball for Richard Clarke but he was unable to get a shot on target. Clarke did come close a minute later. His shot from a narrow angle was turned away for a corner by Ryan Fulton in the Liverpool goal. A Glentoran corner was met by Johnny Addis but his header lacked power and was easily gathered by Fulton. On 10 minutes good interplay between Kris Peterson and Joao Carlos Teixeira saw Teixeira through on goal but Morris was quickly out to clear the danger. Just before the quarter hour mark the superb Teixeira released Adam Morgan but Morgan hesitated and Marcus Kane got back to deny him.
Elliott Morris saved from Bijev on 17 minutes whilst at the other end Jakub Sokolik was on hand to block David Scullion’s effort. Scullion and Richard Clarke combined to create a chance for Johnny Addis but he was unlucky with his header. Stephen McAlorum was on hand to intercept when Adam Morgan had another opportunity (22 mins) and McAlorum was also in the action at the other end, having his shot blocked on 27 minutes. 5 minutes from the break Niall Henderson won the ball on the right but his cross just eluded Addis and was gathered by Fulton. Liverpool went straight down field and Morris was forced into another save by Morgan. On 43 minutes Liverpool finally made the breakthrough. A great cross from the right by Ryan McLaughlin was met by Kris Petersen and the young Swede beat Morris from 10 yards.
Glentoran made 3 changes at the start of the second half and one of them, David Howland, made a great challenge to deny Nacho (47 mins). Teixeira played a superb ball to Morgan but his cross was headed away for a corner by Jay Magee. On 55 minutes Scullion and O’Neill linked up well on the right. O’Neill’s cross was met by Addis but his shot was just wide of the target. A minute later Scullion fashioned another opportunity but this time Liverpool’s skipper, Stephen Sama cleared. On the hour mark man of the match, Joao Carlos Teixeira, put Adam Morgan in again. His effort was narrowly wide although the assistant referee had flagged for offside against the Reds number 7. David Scullion went close (63 mins) after another good move involving Ryan O’Neill; Scullion’s shot hitting the side netting. Both sides made a number of substitutions and one of those, Liverpool’s Jack Dunn, might have doubled his side’s lead (64 mins) but he failed to make proper contact with Teixeira’s pass. Jordan Lussey tried his luck from long range but was well wide of the mark. Glentoran substitute, John McGuigan ended a neat passage of play from the home side with a 20 yard effort which went about a yard wide of the far post. The final chance of the game came on 82 minutes and once again Joao Carlos Teixeira was the creator. He set up Adam Morgan but this time substitute keeper, Aaron Hogg was sharply off his line to clear.
Glentoran: Morris (capt), O'Neill, Kane, Magee, M. Clarke, Henderson, McAlorum, R. Clarke, Cain, Addis & Scullion.
Subs used: McCullough, Howland, McGuigan, Hughes, Smith, McComb, Gordon & Hogg.
Liverpool: Fulton, McLaughlin, Roddan, Sama (capt), Sokolik, Lussey, Morgan, Teixira, Bijev, Nacho & Petersen.
Subs used: Dunn, Rossiter, Jones & Trickett-Smith.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell