There was late drama once again for the Glens this afternoon, this time a late equaliser from Curtis Allen, back in the starting line up after being dropped to the bench last week, rescuing a point at Drumahoe against Institute.
The visitors made a bright start to the game as they won a couple of early corners which forced Institute captain Paddy McLaughlin to clear off the line and saw Jordan Stewart send a shot whistling over the bar. To their credit this season’s Premiership newcomers attempted to play some nice football throughout the afternoon and tested Aaron Hogg after seven minutes when Stephen O’Flynn sent in a low drive from the edge of the box. Midway through the half the Glens came within a whisker of taking the lead as some great work from Marcus Kane on the left produced a low cross which was met at the near post by Jordan Stewart, but his close range effort came back off the woodwork. Shortly afterwards Institute ‘keeper Eugene Ferry was almost caught out by a David Howland free kick from deep but just got his fingertips to the ball to concede a corner.
On the half hour Curtis Allen should perhaps have done better as he ran clear of the Institute defence but was forced wide by Ferry and the chance was gone. He was soon to regret the miss even more as a minute later the home side took the lead against the run of play. Institute winger Stephen Curry went on a great run down the right and sent in a low cross which was met by a diving header from Thomas McBride. He did not get a great deal of power into his effort but it was enough to send the ball squirming under Aaron Hogg’s body and over the line. The goal gave the Drumahoe men the fillip they needed to start playing with greater confidence. Indeed they perhaps should have doubled their lead two minutes from the break when Robbie Hume was left unmarked following a corner but sent his close range header looping onto the roof of the net.
The complexion of the game changed nine minutes after the break when the home side found themselves down to ten men. Jordan Stewart, who had started to cause the Institute defence problems down the right, was upended by a crude challenge just outside the box as he sent in a cross. As the players jostled for position awaiting the free kick Mark Scoltock’s head made contact with Calum Birney and referee Ross Dunlop deemed the offence sufficiently serious to warrant a straight red card. Inevitably the Glens started to enjoy the bulk of the possession and Stewart continued to be a threat, but the home defence limited them to a few half chances with Ferry saving comfortably from a Niall Henderson shot, Jonny Addis slicing over the bar and Stephen McAlorum finding the same spot in the stand after great build up play between substitute Danny McKee and Jordan Stewart. Institute still looked dangerous on the break and O’Flynn was denied by a tremendous last ditch tackle from Henderson after a powerful run with twenty minutes left.
The Glens looked to be running out of ideas but with five minutes to go there was relief for the travelling fans. Jonny Addis sent a long throw into the box from the left, the ball came off the head of a defender and fell nicely at the far post for Allen to send a left foot half volley low into the net. The Glens tails were up as they went in search of a winner and they perhaps should have had it with ninety minutes on the clock. Substitute Jim O’Hanlon swung a right wing corner to the far post where fellow substitute Willie Garrett headed against the underside of the bar and the Institute defence eventually scrambled clear. With the game entering the fourth minute of stoppage time Glentoran hearts were in mouths as another great run and cross from Curry gave McBride the chance to snatch a last gasp winner but he fired over the bar, sparing the visitors injury time agony for the second week running.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell
Highlights from BBC Sport NI HERE
Aaron Hogg, Niall Henderson (sub Danny McKee 73 mins), Calum Birney, Jonathan Addis, Marcus Kane, Jordan Stewart, Stephen McAlorum, David Howland, David Scullion (sub Jim O’Hanlon 73 mins), Fra McCaffrey (sub Willie Garrett 62 mins), Curtis Allen