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Match Reports and Highlights

Match Reports and Highlights

2021

 

Toals County Antrim Cup Final

Crusaders Strikers 2-2 Glentoran Women (Glentoran win 4-3 on penalties)

Saturday 9th October

It was a tale of two keepers tonight as the Glens collected their second trophy in four days to keep on track for a second clean sweep in succession. Glentoran’s Ashleigh McKinnon for two crucial saves in the penalty shootout, and Crusaders’’ Maddy Harvey-Clifford for a string of outstanding saves throughout a game in which the Glens were dominant that earned her a very deserved [Player of the Match award in a game with no shortage of candidates.

The Glens were dominant from the start with the first real effort on goal coming on eleven minutes when a great take and run from midfield anchor Chloe McCarron led to a great ball across the box that neither the lively Joely Andrews or top scorer Kerry Beattie were able to convert. This was followed a few minutes later by another great run and pass by McCarron that brought a decent long-range effort from Wednesday night’s four goal star Lauren Wade that brought the first of the evening’s heroics from Harvey-Clifford then a shot just wide from Crusaders’ Hollie Johnston, their first threat of the evening.

Glentoran took a deserved lead on nineteen minutes and no surprise to report the scorer. After a pass from Andrews Kerry Beattie beat the keeper well with a great shot from the left-hand side of the box. No more than was deserved at that stage.

The Glens continued to dominate the play without creating many clear-cut chances apart from another great run and pass by McCarron that brought a great shot just wide from Wade on forty minutes.

The half ended with a sucker punch equaliser from the Crues that sent the sides in level at the break. A disputed free kick from the left was met relatively unchallenged by Northern Ireland’s record cap holder Julie Nelson whose decisive header gave McKinnon no chance in the Glens goal. There was no time to restart play before the break.

Half Time: Crusaders Strikers 1-1 Glentoran Women

Glentoran certainly didn’t look affected by the equaliser as they started the second half in the same positive frame of mind. Virtually from the break a great solo run and shot from Andrews brought another great double save from Harvey -Clifford, as did similar runs from Lauren Wade and Caragh Hamilton. Skipper Jess Foy also crossed into the box after a great run, but Kerry Beattie was flagged as just offside.

The Glens made two substitutions to introduce fresh legs after the hour mark as Emma McMaster replaced Nadene Caldwell in midfield and Danielle Maxwell came on for Caragh Hamilton on the right side of attack. Almost immediately Maxwell pulled another great save from the Crues’ keeper after yet another telling run and cross from Andrews.

The biggest sucker punch of the night came with 14 minutes to go. In a move reminiscent of the Crues men’s team, a long ball through the middle split the Glens’ defence and with the Glens’ keeper slightly hesitant, substitute Meghan Ingram headed home to give the home side a shock 2-1 lead.

Straight away another great effort from Lauren Wade again showed Harvey-Clifford at her best before Glentoran made their final substitution, introducing attacker Casey Howe for her international team mate McCarron who had played superbly in her deeper central midfield role.

Despite continuing to dominate possession, it looked like it wasn’t going to be the Glens’ night until just inside injury time when Casey Howe received the ball just outside the box and hit an exceptional looping shot over a packed penalty area, giving the Crues’ keeper no chance and giving Glentoran the draw that was the very least their performance deserved.

After 90 minutes: Half Time: Crusaders Strikers 2-2 Glentoran Women

Both sides clearly tired for the twenty minutes extra time with the only clear-cut effort a great diving header from Wade that brought a save of an equally high standard. But for the lack of chances, the Glens back four of Kelly Bailie, Shannon Dunne, Annie Timoney and Jess Foy remained impenetrable as we reached the inevitable penalties.

This was when Ashleigh McKinnon’s heroics came to the fore. Glens converted penalties from Foy, Wade and Andrews while Crues converted two but had Julie Nelson’s saved by McKinnon. Things levelled out after the fourth series when Casey Howe’s effort went over the bar. Immediately Danielle McDowell-Tuffey stepped up but ger shot to McKinnon’s left was well saved by the diving Glens keeper. That left our opening scorer Kerry Beattie with the decisive kick, one she hit to the keeper’s right, low into the Crues net for a very deserved winner.

So another night of heroics from this exceptional group of players. With the Danske Bank Premiership and the Toals County Antrim Cup retained, its off to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Friday for the Electric Ireland Women’s Irish Cup Final with the same opposition. Tickets can be purchased HERE. Please turn up. These players and their coaches deserve your support.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell 11. Lauren Wade 14. Caragh Hamilton 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 27. Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron

Subs: 4. Emma McMaster (replaced Caldwell 62) 10. Alison McMaster 18. Danielle Maxwell (replaced Hamilton 68) 26. Jenna McKearney 28. Casey Howe (replaced Caldwell 56)

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Glentoran Women 9-1 Derry City

Wednesday 6th October

Glentoran’s title party began with a convincing victory – their ninth in a row in the top-flight – as they saw off Derry City Women.

Lauren Wade was top scorer on the night as she bagged four goals in total and remarkably she scored twice within the space of a minute twice, netting in the 22nd, 23rd, 45th and 46th minutes.

Caragh Hamilton had opened the scoring for the Glens in the 14th minute and she added another 20 minutes later, while Nadene Caldwell also netted in the first half.

Danielle Maxwell added an eighth ten minutes from time before Caroline Gallagher pulled a consolation goal back for the Candystripes, before Cora Morgan added another for the hosts.

Hamilton – who opened the scoring - became provider playing vital roles in each of Wade’s four first half goals.

Caldwell and Hamilton were both able to capitalise again, each scoring individual strikes.

Goal number eight came from Maxwell after interchanging playing involving Wade and Chloe McCarron before Derry got one back: a through ball past the Glentoran defence left Gallagher free inside the box and beating Glens goalkeeper Ashleigh McKinnon.

The final goal of the match and of the season came courtesy of a Morgan header.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 6. Nadene Caldwell 14.Caragh Hamilton 18. Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 26. Jenna McKearney 97. Chloe McCarron

Subs: 415. Rachel Dennison (replaced Foy 46) 16. Casey Duffy 25. Cora Morgan  (replaced Hamilton 46) 27. Shannon Dunne 28. Casey Howe Howe (replaced Caldwell 56)

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Glentoran Women 3-2 Cliftonville Ladies

Wednesday 28th September

Glentoran Women overcame a second half challenge at the Bet McLean Oval this evening to retain their Danske Bank Women's Premiership crown with this 3-2 home win over runners up Cliftonville.

Glens were outstanding in the first half and led 2-0 at half time through goals from last season’s NIFL Player of the Year Caragh Hamilton and the legendary Kelly Bailie. The Reds shocked their hosts with two second half goals, but the winner and league clincher came appropriately from this season’s leading scorer Kerry Beattie.

Glentoran strengthened their position as Northern Ireland's most successful club in Women's football as this was the Glens' record ninth championship win since the inception of the league.

The trophy will be presented next Wednesday at our final home match with Derry City at the Bet McLean Oval

The situation for Glentoran was clear - three points would secure the title with a game to spare. Even a draw would have more than likely done the job with a favourable final match against basement side Derry City.

Cliftonville knew three points would put the title race in their hands ahead of the final weekend, but it was the hosts who came flying out of the traps and Wade's free-kick was narrowly wide inside two minutes, and the Northern Ireland winger was involved again when her cross just evaded the onrushing Hamilton.

However, the Wade-Hamilton combination paid off on 13 minutes when the latter slid in to open the scoring from close range, her first goal since returning from a long-term knee injury, and ease any tension around east Belfast.

Chloe McCarron hit the bar two minutes later as the Glentoran attacks kept coming, and Wade almost turned from provider to goalscorer but her close-range shot spun wide of the far post.

Cliftonville's first chance came on 23 minutes when Caitlin McGuinness saw her shot well blocked by home captain Jess Foy.

Joely Andrews' effort was easily held, but Nadene Caldwell and Hamilton had quickfire chances denied by some last-ditch defending by the visitors.

Cliftonville almost got the lifeline they were after when Northern Ireland captain Callaghan raced onto Kirsty McGuinness' lobbed through ball but her effort over Ashleigh McKinnon came back off the crossbar.

However, daylight was put between the sides on 33 minutes when Kelly Bailie, in her 25th season with the Glens, tucked home at the back post from Andrews' corner.

Wade struck the post after showing tenacity in the area and Hamilton nearly added a third when her back-post header sailed over the bar, but the Glens were good value for their win at half-time.

Buoyed by their commanding first-half display, Stephen Murray's side continued where they left off, with Hamilton's low cross just evading Wade, and the former stung the gloves of Rachael Norney.

Shona Davis hooked the ball off the line when Norney dropped Wade's cross, but the Reds stopper redeemed herself with a brilliant low save from Andrews' powerful drive from the edge of the area.

Cliftonville changed their shape as McDaniel moved forward to support the isolated McGuinness, and just when it looked like Glentoran would ease to the title, the Reds were handed a lifeline on 54 minutes when McKinnon mis-kicked Shannon Dunne's backpass, which allowed McDaniel, fresh from her maiden international goal with Northern Ireland, to tuck the ball home.

Substitute Maxwell saw a goal-bound shot blocked by Yasmin White, but Cliftonville roared level when captain Moran powered home a header from Kirsty McGuinness' corner on 71 minutes.

However, Glentoran hit back four minutes later and retook the lead when Beattie converted from close range to net her 23rd goal of the season after Norney spilled Wade's powerful long-range effort.

There was a tense finish as both teams pushed for the goal which could decide the destiny of the title, and referee Louise Thompson waved away penalty appeals after Callaghan, Bailie and McKinnon collided in the area in the 89th minute.

However, Glentoran held on and there were wild celebrations at full-time as they clinched back-to-back championships.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain)  6. Nadene Caldwell 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 26. Caragh Hamilton 27. Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron

Subs: 4. Emma McMaster (for Bailie) 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 18. Danielle Maxwell (for Hamilton) 29. Emma Higgins

Match Report courtesy of Andy Gray, BBC Sport

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

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Linfield Ladies 0-9 Glentoran Women

Friday 10th September

A second emphatic victory over Linfield Ladies in a matter of weeks took a rampant Glentoran side back to the summit of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership table on goal difference with two games left to play in this season’s quest to retain the league trophy. With Cliftonville Ladies defeating cross city rivals Crusaders Strikers 2-1 forty-eight hours previously to move into pole position, the Glens went into the game at Midgley Park knowing that nothing but a win would suffice to maintain pace with the Solitude outfit looking towards the potential league decider against the Reds later in the month.

The Glens began the game on the front foot against a youthful looking Linfield side with the first chance falling to the away side in the sixth minute. Wade released Andrews who squared for Beattie to connect from close range only to see her attempt smothered by Blues stopper Lauren Currie and out for a corner. Minutes later a familiar 2 v 1 corner routine from the opposite side ended with Wade striking the bar with a curling shot and Foy’s rebound header cleared off the line. On eighteen minutes a well taken corner from Andrews was met by a sublime header from Kelly Bailie that powered into the net to put the Glens 1-0 up. As the game progressed Linfield found it hard to retain possession of the ball due to the high levels of fitness and desire among the Glens players to regain the ball and build through the thirds with clever movement and pinpoint passing. When Wade spread the ball to Maxwell on the right on twenty-seven minutes, the winger’s path to goal was halted by a clumsy tackle which gave referee Arlene Campbell no choice but to award a penalty which Beattie calmly converted for 3-0. Continuing to pour forward, only a last-ditch McFrederick tackle prevented Andrews from making it four on 37 and a fingertip save from Currie on 43 from an Andrews strike from distance reinforced the champions’ dominance. Indeed, the fourth game came just on half-time when a Wade shot was parried by Currie for Beattie to claim her hat-trick with an easy tap in.

Half-time Linfield Ladies 0-4 Glentoran Women

The second half began in the same vein with incessant Glentoran attacks. In the forty-ninth minute substitute Ali McMaster, a replacement for Nadene Caldwell at half-time, was the creator for Beattie’s fourth of the evening when her run inside was halted only for the ball to break to the Glens number nine to slot home, once again in the right place at the right time to add to her already impressive season’s goal haul. Bailie almost doubled her tally for the evening five minutes later when she glanced a header wide of the upright following an impeccably delivered corner from Wade. Minutes after Beattie slipped Wade for 6-0 on fifty-eight minutes, she was replaced by Rachel Rogan who didn’t take long to make her mark on the game with a well-placed header from an Annie Timoney cross in the sixty-ninth minute. With twenty minutes still to go and the Glens ahead by seven, the girls continued to demonstrate excellent discipline in their play creating chance after chance while remaining virtually untroubled at the back. A wonder strike from Caragh Hamilton on seventy-one minutes made it eight and the ninth and final goal of the game came in the last minute when strong defensive play from Shannon Dunne started another attack that ended with Wade shooting diagonally past Currie to make it 9-0 on the night and power the Glens back to the top of the table.

Full-time Linfield Ladies 0-9 Glentoran Women

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain)  6. Nadene Caldwell 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron

Subs: 4. Emma McMaster 9. Rachel Rogan  (for Beattie) 10. Alison McMaster (for Caldwell) 26. Caragh Hamilton (for Maxwell) 29. Emma Higgins

 

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Glentoran Women 6-0 St James Swifts Ladies

Friday 3rd September

Glentoran moved decisively into their second cup final in a fortnight with this decisive win at Ashfield tonight, in the semi final of the Toal's Women's Cup.

Goals from Danielle Maxwell (2), Cora Morgan (2), Joely Andrews and Ali McMaster saw the Glens home.

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 10. Alison McMaster 14. Jenna McKearney 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn 38, Rachel Dennison 44. Cora Morban

Subs: 119. Kerry Beattie 26. Caragh Hamilton 33. Chloe Walker 34. Casey Duffy 37. Anna Whibley

 

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Crusaders Strikers 0-2 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 1st September

Glentoran remain top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership after taking securing a two-goal victory at Crusaders Strikers on Wednesday evening.

The Glens made it six league wins in a row thanks to second half goals from Kerry Beattie and Joely Andrews, to keep them ahead of Cliftonville on goal difference with three rounds of matches remaining.

This match was a prequel to the Irish Cup and both teams cancelled each other out in the opening half, with Crues goalkeeper Maddy Harvey-Clifford combatting all Glentoran attacks.

Beattie broke the deadlock three minutes after the break by volleying home Lauren Wade’s cross from the left and the points were wrapped up when Beattie turned provider for Andrews to seal the win late on.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade  27.Shannon Dunne 97.Chloe McCarron 

Subs: 10. Alison McMaster (foe E McMaster) 14. Jenna McKearney 22. Cara Mervyn 26. Caragh Hamilton (for Maxwell) 29. Emma Higgins 44. Cora Morgan

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Cliftonville Ladies 1-2 Glentoran Women

Friday 27th August

Goals from Emma McMaster and Lauren Wade in last night's semi final continued a terrific run to put holders Glentoran into their third consecutive final of the Electric Ireland Women's Irish Cup at the Bangor Fuels Arena last night.

Our women went into Friday’s semi-final against Cliftonville Ladies determined to secure yet another place in the final of the Electric Ireland Challenge Cup, a competition we have dominated in recent seasons with consecutive showpiece victories over Linfield Ladies. Spurred on by great support, they did not disappoint. In a thrilling contest in which Kirsty McGuinness gave the Reds the lead early in the first half, the Glens roared back with a headed equaliser from Emma McMaster and a Lauren Wade special to book their place in the final scheduled for 15 October at the National Stadium against Crusaders Strikers who prevailed 2-1 over Sion Swifts in the other semi-final tie at Mill Meadow, Castledawson.

The early stages of a tense game were generally incident free with both sides aiming to settle into their respective rhythms. The first chance of note came in the fifteenth minute when a Lauren Wade free kick from twenty yards just right of centre was easily claimed by Rachel Norney in the Reds goal. At the other end a Fi Morgan header from a McGuinness corner was on target but didn’t trouble McKinnon. With almost one third of the game gone and both sides still aiming to break the lines the Glens lost possession of the ball centrally and when McGuinness received the ball from Callaghan at her feet wide on the right she took one touch and fired over McKinnon to open the scoring. The Reds looked energised and the normal free-flowing Glens found it hard to maintain possession of the ball as the Reds worked hard to close down their opponents and break up play. However, chances did present with Beattie stabbing wide from close range after good approach play from Foy and Andrews firing wide over the bar following a clever corner routine that saw her evade White’s attention along the by-line. An unfortunate injury to Casey Howe meant that Danielle Maxwell entered the fray for the closing minutes of the first period. And as the half drew to a close a Glentoran corner routine led to the equaliser. Wade touched the ball to Andrews who quickly fed Foy at the apex of the penalty area. Foy’s curling cross was met expertly by Emma McMaster, deputising for Nadene Caldwell, to head the Glens level; such a well-worked goal and a perfect way to end a keenly contested first half.

Half-time Cliftonville Ladies 1-1 Glentoran Women

An eventful start to the second half saw both sides open up a little in terms of their attacking play. Caragh Hamilton, returning after a long injury lay-off, replaced Emma McMaster and it seemed likely that the Glens would use Hamilton’s pace on the right side of midfield to ease the pressure on Andrews and McCarron in the middle allowing them to attack with more intent. When McGuinness was upended by the chasing Shannon Dunne in the fiftieth minute, referee Louise Thompson was left with no choice but to award the penalty. The usually reliable McGuinness was denied by a smart save from McKinnon to keep the score level at a crucial point in the game. When Foy was unceremoniously stopped in her tracks following a penetrating run that took her deep into the Reds half in the fifty-third minute, Reds captain Megan Moran was fortunate to avoid a red card. Mounting Glens pressure led to a McCarron snapshot flying wide of the target with an hour gone in the game. Some defensive reorganisation was required with a quarter of an hour to go as McMaster replaced Dunne while Timoney moved into the centre of defence to partner Bailie. With the Glens looking more likely to score again as a result of the control taken in the centre of the park by McCarron and Andrews, our reliable defensive unit still had to remain alert to thwart the advances of McDaniel, Callaghan and McGuinness. And then the defining action of the game. McCarron’s quick thinking enabled her to find Wade on the left flank in the seventy-second minute from where she cut inside to unleash an unstoppable drive into the Reds net to give the holders a 2-1 lead with less than twenty minutes remaining. Cue wild celebrations, but still some way to go in this game. A great chance to make it 3-1 was spurned by Maxwell three minutes later when a lack of composure in front of goal saw her fire high over the bar. Fine hold-up play from the tireless Beattie opened up a gap for the impressive McCarron to shoot narrowly over again. And remarkably another chance went begging in the eighty-second minute when a Beattie through ball found the normally reliable Lauren Wade, who shot wide. A tense end to a pulsating second half contest produced no further goals and the final whistle was greeted by scenes of celebration on the pitch and in the stand as our women booked their place in yet another cup final. Congratulations to all players and staff and best wishes for the final.

Our next game, a dress rehearsal for the showpiece final in October, is a crucial league encounter against Crusaders at Seaview on Wednesday 1 September, kick-off at 20.00. As usual, all support is welcome.

Match Report by Mark Andrews

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade  27.Shannon Dunne 97.Chloe McCarron Subs: 10. Alison McMaster 14. Jenna McKearney 18. Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn 26. Caragh Hamilton

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Glentoran Women 3-1 Sion Swifts

Wednesday 25th August

A strong overall peformance at Ashfield gave the Glens a 3-1 win and moved us to the top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership this evening. Goals from Shannon Dunne, Lauren Wade and Casey Howe made the game safe for the Champions. The Glens went top on goal difference over Cliftonville Ladies with four games to play, after the Reds had a scoreless draw at home to Linfield Ladies.

Following impressive performances against two full time outfits in Finland in the qualifying round of the Women’s Champions League, Glentoran Women returned in buoyant mood to domestic action on Wednesday with a home league fixture against a rapidly improving Sion Swifts side. As usual, the Glens started on the front foot taking the game to their opponents with crisp passing and fluid transitions in the opening minutes. Early confidence on the ball saw the home side force a corner from which Bailie headed narrowly over in the sixth minute. A minute later came a golden opportunity to break the deadlock as Andrews found Caldwell in space just inside the box from where the latter unleashed a drive that shaved the top of the bar. A second Andrews corner on twelve minutes was met by central defender Shannon Dunne whose firm header from eight yards put her side 1-0 up.

The visitors reacted well and should really have drawn level on sixteen minutes when the ball broke to the unmarked Crompton who failed to hit the target. As the Glens continued to press forward in search of a second goal, right-back Annie Timoney’s diagonal long balls sought to find Lauren Wade in behind the Sion defensive line. To their credit, Sion worked hard to stifle the attacking threat. An effort from Andrews on twenty-six minutes produced a fine stop from McElhinney and a Maxwell cross from the right just evaded McMaster’s well-timed run from deep. Maxwell was involved again just minutes later when she headed over the bar after a strong run and cross from the marauding Foy whose penetrating runs from left-back were beginning to take effect in the final third. On the stroke of half-time the champions did eventually double their lead following a combination of good play from Caldwell and a dose of confusion in the Sion ranks leaving McElhinney stranded as Lauren Wade strode past to convert into an empty net.

Half-time Glentoran Women 2-0 Sion Swifts

A fast start to the second half signalled the Glens’ intention to further extend their lead. A great shot from Ali McMaster in the fifty-fourth minute produced a smart save from the alert McElhinney. When captain Jess Foy played in Maxwell eight minutes later, the latter really should have sealed the points but failed to take advantage of a lapse in concentration in the Sion ranks. With the introduction of Howe for Caldwell on the hour mark, the Glens continued to move the ball wide in an effort to exploit space. Andrews’ creativity in central areas was significant having her own shot saved on sixty-five minutes before drawing a foul on the edge of the area four minutes later from where Wade struck the bar from a direct free kick. Sion equalised in the seventy-first minute against the run of play when Cora Chambers, wide on the right, spotted McKinnon off her line and aimed a long-range strike that found the net to give the away side hope late in the game. Ali McMaster was replaced midway through the second half by sister Emma as the Glens sought to thwart any further advances from the rejuvenated Sion side. On the attacking front, Howe was finding space with her tricky runs and was unfortunate not to hit the target following clever play to create space for a shot. Her endeavour was finally rewarded when international team-mate Wade turned provider to set her up for a tap-in to secure the points.

A scoreless draw at Solitude between Cliftonville Ladies and Linfield Ladies meant that the Glens returned to the summit of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership on goal difference ahead of the Reds with four games left to play.

Full-time Glentoran Women 3-1 Sion Swifts

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell 10. Alison McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade  27.Shannon Dunne 97.Chloe McCarron Subs: 4. Emma McMaster 14. Jenna McKearney 22. Cara Mervyn 20. Casey Howe 44. Cora Morgan

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Glentoran Women 2-0 Olimpia Cluj

Saturday 21st August

Second half screamers from Joely Andrews and Chloe McCarron gave an unchanged team an outstanding win over Romanian champions Olimpia Cluj in their Champions League group third and fourth place playoff in Finland this afternoon.

Glentoran dominated the first half but couldn't find a breakthrough. Kerry Beattie and Casey Howe linked up well inside 10 minutes, with the latter spinning away from her marker on the edge of the area before firing over the crossbar.

Howe was involved again when her cross was inches away from meeting the onrushing Nadene Caldwell in the area, and Lauren Wade's shot was narrowly wide as Glentoran continued to press.

A well-worked corner saw Howe threaten again, with Cluj goalkeeper Erin Louise Seppi diving across goal to keep her effort out, and Wade burst into the area but her cut back drifted in behind Beattie and Howe.

Joely Andrews smashed an effort off the crossbar after stealing the ball off the Cluj defence and when Caldwell won a free-kick from the rebound, Wade's strike narrowly dipped over the top.

Glentoran almost made the perfect start to the second half when Andrews slipped in Beattie but her poked effort was well kept out by Seppi, who was again called into action when captain Jess Foy tested the stopper.

However the Glens got the goal they had been craving when a curling cross from Northern Ireland international Andrews evaded everyone in the box and looped into the far corner.

Cluj, who have won the last 10 league titles in Romania, rarely threatened and Mara Batea's strike was comfortable for Ashleigh McKinnon, and Wade almost capitalised on a poor clearance by Seppi but the Romanian goalkeeper recovered well to save.

Wade, Caldwell and Andrews all fired off target as the Glens aimed for a killer goal, which arrived on 85 minutes when NI midfielder McCarron curled home a superb first-time effort into the far corner from the edge of the area.

Rogan's acrobatic effort almost added some gloss but Billy Clarke's side saw the game out to take their first win in the Champions League since 2016.

Match report courtesy of BBCSportNI

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6, Nadene Caldwell 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 20. Casey Howe 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade  27.Shannon Dunne 97.Chloe McCarron Subs: 4. Emma McMaster  7. Makayla Mulholland 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 14. Jenna McKearney 18. Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn

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Servette 1-0 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 18th August

Despite losing an early goal to a strong Swiss outfit, Glentoran Women put in an excellent performance in Finland today, losing by that solitary goal in the group semi final of the UEFA Women's Champions League this afternoon.

Jade Boho put Servette ahead in the first minute but Glentoran repelled more pressure before Joely Andrews went close to levelling before the break.

As the Irish Premiership champions pressed higher up the pitch, they unsettled Servette in the second half.

But despite several promising moments, the Glens could not get on terms.

Servette's victory means they will face either group hosts Aland United or Romania's Universitatea Olimpia Cluj in Finland on Saturday with the winners going on to the Champions League second round.

Glentoran got off to the worst possible start as some slick Servette passing opened up their defence in the first minute with Boho beating keeper Ashley McKinnon from close range.

Lauren Wade tested Servette keeper Ines Pereira in the seventh minute but the Swiss side - who reached the last 16 of last season's Champions League - dominated the first period for the most part as Boho had a backheeled effort cleared off the line and Polish international Natalia Padilla also hit the woodwork.

However with keeper McKinnon commanding her six-yard box as she cut out danger with a number of impressive catches, the Glens began to grow in confidence.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Andrews thought she had levelled as she reached to superbly volley a Wade cross Johan Cruyff-style but Servette keeper Pereira produced a brilliant diving save at the foot of her right-hand post.

Glentoran's pressing approach caused Servette to lose their passing fluency in the second period as the Irish Women's Premiership leaders' own enterprise also saw them forcing a number of set-piece opportunities.

However, the gilt-edged chance to equaliser never really came as Servette were happy to run down in the clock in the closing stages.

The third and fourth plavce play off game will be played later this week against the winners of the other semi final between Olimpia Cluj (Romania) and FC Aland (Finland).

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6, Nadene Caldwell 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 20. Casey Howe 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade  27.Shannon Dunne 97.Chloe McCarron 

Subs: 4. Emma McMaster  7. Makayla Mulholland 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 14. Jenna McKearney 18. Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn

Match report courtesy of BBCSportNI

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Derry City 0-7 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 11th August

Glentoran Women reinforced their position at the top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership with a seven goal win over Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium this evening.

Tonight's scoring was led by an Alison McMaster hat trick with others from Shannon Dunne against her former club, Nadene Caldwell, Rachel Rogan and Kerry Beattie,

This brings the Glens' aggregate to 48 goals without reply in their last seven league and cup games.

Beattie opened the scoring in the third minute before Rogan doubled the lead 12 minutes later and Dunne added a third after the break.

McMaster the netted an 11-minute hat-trick for the Glens in a spell where Caldwell also found the net to seal the points.

Billy Clarke’s side remain four points clear of Cliftonville at the top, although the Reds have two games in hand.

Hat trick hero

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6, Nadene Caldwell9, Rachel Rogan  10. Alison McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 22. Cara Mervyn 27, Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron subs  4. Emma McMaster (for Mervyn) 14. Jenna McKearney (for Foy) 18. Danielle Maxwell (for Beattie) 24. Lauren Wade

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Glentoran Women 12-0 Larne Ladies

Friday 6th August

Four goals from Casey Howe annd a hat trick from top scorer Kerry Beattie led the holders to their most comprehensive win of the season this evening in the opening tie iin the County Antrim Cup. Another two from Lauren Wade and goals from Cora Morgan (on her debut after signing from Linfield), Chloe McCarron (her first since signing from Birmingham City) and Joely Andrews completed the rout.

This brings the Glens' aggregate to 41 goals without reply in their last six league and cup games. An incredible run from an incredible team.

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 12. Rachel Dennison 14. Jenna McKearney 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 25. Cora Morgan  28. Casey Howe 97. Chloe McCarron subs  4. Chloe Walker 8. Casey Duffy 10. Alison McMaster

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Cliftonville Ladies 0-4 Glentoran Women

Thursday 5th August

Glentoran Women stretched their lead at the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership to four points over nearest rivals Cliftonville with a resounding 4-0 victory against the Reds at Solitude on Wednesday evening. Confidence was high following an impressive run of form and plenty of goals scored in recent weeks, although a strong looking Reds line-up was certainly not to be underestimated particularly with key players returning from injury and the recent arrival of talented centre back Kelsie Burrows from Linfield. For the Glens, experienced goalkeeper Emma Higgins stepped in to replace Jaqueline Burns who returned to America last week to continue her studies.

Within five minutes of the referee’s whistle to indicate the start of the game, the Glens took the lead courtesy of a Lauren Wade direct free kick following a good run inside from Casey Howe that drew a foul just outside the box. It was a perfect position just right of the goal for the talented winger to strike the ball sweetly into the roof of the net with her trusted left foot. Howe’s trickery and determined running continued to cause the Cliftonville defence problems in the early stages. On the quarter hour mark the Reds began to settle into the game with McDaniel and McGuinness finding good space out wide. However, the Glens proved to be dangerous on the counter with a sweeping move on 23 minutes involving Foy, McCarron and Wade whose cross just missed Andrews’ incisive run to the near post. The away side continued to pass the ball well and get into good positions in the final third, although not clinical enough in front of goal to extend the lead. At the other end the determination to not concede was epitomised by box-to-box midfield dynamo Nadene Caldwell whose last-ditch goal-saving tackle prevented Reds captain Callaghan from stabbing the ball home from five yards following a good run and cross from Kirsty McGuinness. With the home side aiming to draw level before half-time and buoyed by a vocal home support behind the goal, the Glens remained focused in defence to thwart the advances of the Cliftonville forward line, McDaniel in particular looking the most likely to convert. The last action of a fast-paced first half with quality evident on both sides saw Foy’s cross find Howe with her back to goal twelve yards out. The young striker did well to turn sharply to create a space to shoot but saw her shot deflected for a corner.

Knowing that a slender 1-0 lead might not be enough to secure the three points on the night, the Glens began the second half in immediate search of the second goal. A wade cross from the left on 46 minutes was just too long for the untracked McCarron to connect cleanly at the back post. A penalty shout three minutes later was ignored by referee Gareth Stewart when it seemed Callaghan caught Caldwell in the box. With Howe’s standard penetrating runs deep into the right channel, it was no surprise when a yellow card was shown to Weatherall for continuous fouling in the fiftieth minute. Indeed, Nornie in the Reds goal had to be alert to push a Howe shot out for a corner a minute later. McCarron’s quality in midfield was clear for all to see as she confidently took charge of the ball, side-stepped opponents and opened up the play to create attacks down both flanks. Wade, having also benefitted from playing at a higher level in recent years, demonstrated her quality confidently taking on White at right-back on numerous occasions to fire low crosses into the danger area. On 62 minutes good work from Wade found McCarron on the edge of the box only for the former Birmingham City player to shoot over the bar. A corner on 64 minutes saw Andrews’ delivery find Caldwell rise high to head wide. As the pressure mounted the away side seemed to look fitter and stronger in every department. A long-range effort from Bailey on 68 was well held by Nornie and the corner count increased as the away side attacked at will. The intense pressure finally paid off in the seventy-first minute. A Wade corner was punched clear and as the ball broke to Kelly Bailie in an advanced position, the Glentoran legend took one touch to her left before blasting the ball past Nornie at her near post to deservedly double the champions’ lead at a crucial time in the game. Howe and Beattie were replaced by McMaster and Rogan respectively on 80 minutes. There was further joy for Billy Clarke’s side on 84 when a McCarron free kick was spilled by Nornie and poked home by Caldwell under pressure from debutant Burrows close to goal to effectively seal the game. Two late penalty awards confirmed Glentoran’s dominance in a one-sided second half. With designated taker Beattie off the pitch responsibility for the first fell to Caldwell, who blazed over the bar. The second, a retake following encroachment, was dispatched by Foy to cap a wonderful evening for the league leaders.

Glentoran Women: Glentoran Women: 29. Emma Higgins 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell  17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 28. Casey Howe 97. Chloe McCarron subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 9. Rachel Rogan (for Beattie)10. Alison McMaster (for Howe) 18, Danielle Maxwell 22. Cara Mervyn

Photography by Johnny Caldwell and Pacemaker Press

Match Report by Mark Andrews

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Glentoran Women 9-0 Linfield Ladies

Wednesday 28th July

In form champions Glentoran took their goal tally for their last four games to 26 without reply with tonight's rout of Linfield at Ashfield tonight.

A rampant Glentoran side romped to victory against cross city rivals Linfield with another eye-catching display on Wednesday evening at Ashfield. The home side opened the scoring in the fifteenth minute with a confident finish from Danske Bank Player of the Month for July, Kerry Beattie. Good play from Casey Howe released Nadene Caldwell down the right and the experienced midfielder’s whipped cross was met expertly at the near post by the in-form striker. Two minutes later a Joely Andrews strike from distance doubled the champions’ lead with Linfield keeper Nicole Adams being forced off through injury shortly afterwards and replaced by Lauren Currie in goal for the visitors. The substitute keeper didn’t have much time to settle into the game as the Glens made it three in the twenty-second minute with a sublime volley from captain Jess Foy following an excellent right-wing cross from the impressive Howe. The dominant Glens continued to pour forward exerting constant pressure on the Linfield back-line. Foy, often finding herself in an advanced position on the left, then doubled her own tally for the night with a speculative cross that dropped over Currie’s head and into the net to make it 4-0 after only twenty-five minutes played. The Blues’ misfortune continued as they were forced into another substitution not long after with centre back Vicki Carleton having to leave the action after a collision with Kelly Bailie in the penalty area. Although it seemed only a matter of time before the free-scoring Glens would further increase their goal count for the evening, the remainder of the half saw the youthful Linfield side remain focused, resilient and committed to halting the wave of attacks from an alert, creative and energetic Glentoran front six keen to play bright and attractive football.

With only one minute on the clock at the start of the second half, Casey Howe cut in from the left to fire an unstoppable shot past Currie to extend the lead to five. The sixth also came courtesy of Howe whose sheer determination to force a high press in the box was pivotal, the ball breaking kindly for her to coolly slot home. Linfield tried to keep pace with the home side as they endeavoured to mount a few attacks themselves, but with a mean Glentoran defence keen to not concede, there was simply no way through. Goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns, in her last game before returning to America to continue her studies, looked in full control when called upon and her distribution, as usual, was of a very high standard. Howe completed her second half hat-trick in the sixty-third minute with the magnificent seventh side-footing home in the six-yard area after a strong run and cross from Foy. An own goal five minutes later following another teasing Foy cross into the box made it eight for the evening. Beattie and Howe made way for substitutes Rogan and McMaster on 75 minutes. When Andrews played in McCarron six minutes from time the latter’s strike thundered against the bar, the home side continuing to press right to the end and the visitors simply longing for the final whistle. Rachel Rogan netted the ninth and final goal in injury time from yet another Foy assist from the left.

Glentoran Women: Glentoran Women: 1. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell  17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 28. Casey Howe 97. Chloe McCarron subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 7. Makayla Mulholland 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 22. Cara Mervyn

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

Match Report by Mark Andrews

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Carnmoney Ladies 0-7 Glentoran Women

Sunday 25th July 2021

Goals from Alison McMaster (2), Casey Howe (2), Chloe McCarron. Rachel Rogan and  Kerry Beattie (of course) gave holders Glentoran a convincing 7-0 win over Carnmoney Ladies at Valley Leisure Centre to ensure their progress into the next round of the Electric Ireland Women's Irish Cup. This ended an incredible six days for the Glens that saw three wins in three different trophies with sixteen goals scored and none conceded. Good form indeed on a night that saw seven changes to the starting line up that beat Crusaders Strikers 48 hours earlier. Most significant was the return of Makayla Mulholland after nearly two years out injured.

Glentoran Women: Glentoran Women: 31. Ashleigh McKinnon 3. Rachel Dennison 6. Nadene Caldwell (captain) 7. Makayla Mulholland 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 14  Jenna McKearney 19. Kerry Beattie 22. Cara Mervyn 28. Casey Howe 97. Chloe McCarron subs  2. Annie Timoney  5. Chloe Walker 11. Aimee Johnston 37. Anna Whibley

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Glentoran Women 3-0 Crusaders Strikers

Wednesday 21st July 2021

A strong second half performance at the Oval on Wednesday night saw the reigning Premiership champions claim an encouraging win to remain at the top of the Dankse Bank Women’s Premiership one point ahead of nearest challengers Cliftonville, who have played two games fewer.

Stephen Murray’s unchanged line-up started well against an organised and competitive Crusaders outfit seeking to avenge a 2-1 defeat the last time the two teams faced each other at Seaview in a pulsating game that ended with a late Casey Howe winner. The first chance of the evening fell to Kerry Beattie following an effective short corner routine that provided the chance for the in-form striker to swivel and jab a close range shot against the upright. On 20 minutes a long ball forward from Bailie found Lauren Wade down the left. The pacy winger cut inside and and chose to go herself firing a shot wide across the goal just as midfield support was arriving in the area. Minutes later the ex-Glasgow City star’s free-kick struck the bar as pressure from the home side began to build. A beautifully fluid move on 28 involving McCarron, McMaster and Timoney ended with the right back shooting low and wide. Harvey-Clifford in the Crues goal was called into further action on 35 reacting smartly to a well struck McMaster drive to toe the ball out for a corner. Then, a superb reverse pass from Beattie inside the box minutes before the half-time whistle played in Andrews whose fine touch enabled her to get a shot across goal from a very narrow angle just evading the far upright. 0-0 at the break with the home side enjoying the lion’s share of possession and chances.

The Glens took the lead within three minutes of the restart following a brilliant move and goal. Timoney at right back found McCarron in midfield who in turn moved the ball to Andrews in the centre circle. Andrews managed to get away from Otter rolling the ball into Wade’s path on the left flank. The winger carried the ball at pace past a defender, looked up and delivered a measure pass to Beattie whose predatory instinct once again resulted in a cool finish to give the home side the lead to the delight of the home fans looking on. The Glens looked fit, focused and fully intent on extending the lead. With a stinging strike from midfield maestro Caldwell on 52 producing a fine fingertip save from Harvey-Clifford and Andrews beginning to use the space in the middle of the park to drive at the centre of the away side’s defence, it seemed only a matter of time before the home side would increase the advantage. Howe replaced the hard-working McMaster on 57 delivering an immediate impact. With Wade on the left and Howe on the right options were plentiful in attack, particularly with Beattie’s excellent hold-up play in the final third allowing her midfield colleagues to exploit the large wide spaces to full advantage. Howe’s understanding with Caldwell developed well in the latter stages of the game. With Crusaders still looking to hurt the Glens on the break with Wilson’s pace down the left, it was up to the solid and trusted defensive partnership of Timoney, Bailie, Dunne and Foy to close the door, which they had in fact done impeccably throughout the game. The second goal came on 76 minutes courtesy of an Andrews header from a Jess Foy cross following some lovely cross field transitional play. Now enjoying the comfort of a late two goal advantage the Glens really did turn on the style with Howe finding the target on three separate occasions and Lauren Wade’s tireless performance eventually rewarded with a goal to put the game beyond doubt and bag the points. Her fine run inside saw her evade the attention of two defenders before rifling a low right-foot drive into the net at the Sydenham end to cap an impressive all-round performance.

Next up for Glentoran Women is an Irish Cup tie away to Carnmoney on Friday 24 followed by a return to league action at home v Linfield Ladies on Wednesday 28 July.

Glentoran Women: Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell 10. Alison McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 9. Rachel Rogan 114. Jenna McKearney  22. Cara Mervyn 28. Casey Howe (for McMaster)

Photography by Pacemaker

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Glentoran Women 6-0 Cliftonville Ladies

Saturday 17th July 2021

Holders Glentoran Women sent out the strongest possible message of intent tonight at Ashfield with an incredible 6-0 win over Cliftonville Ladies in the County Antrim Cup.

This was a significant result in the face of the current leaders of the Danske Bank Women's premiership. With marquee signing Chloe McCarron making her Glentoran debut tonight just three days after joining from Birmingham City. The goals came from Alison McMaster, returning skipper Jessica Foy, Nadene Caldwell, Danielle  Maxwell and a double from leading scorer Kerry Beattie.

Glentoran Women: Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 6. Nadene Caldwell 10. Alison McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 97. Chloe McCarron subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon (not used), 9. Rachel Rogan 18, Danielle Maxwell  22. Cara Mervyn

 

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Sion Swifts 2-1 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 7th July 2021

Glentoran Women missed the chance to return to the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership following a surprise 2-1 defeat at Sion Swifts Ladies.

Teegan Lynch opened the scoring just before the break for the hosts and Aimee Neal added a second just after the hour mark.

Kerry Beattie gave champions Glentoran hope with five minutes remaining - remarkably her eighth goal against Sion in three appearances this season - but it was not enough for the Glens.

Sion took the lead when Neal’s header from a corner crashed against the bar but Lynch was there to score on the rebound.

Neal’s glancing header made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute and Beattie’s late consolation goal was not enough.

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 6. Nadene Caldwell (captain) 9. Rachel Rogan 10. Alison McMaster 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 28. Casey Howe subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon (not used), 3. Rachel Dennison (not used), 14. McKearney (replaced Rogan 46) 31. Jessica Foy (not used) 37. Anna Whibley (not used)

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Crusaders Strikers 1-2 Glentoran Women

Sunday 27th June 2021

Winning scorer Casey Howe

Casey Howe struck a dramatic late winner for league leaders Glentoran Women to secure a hard-fought win at Crusaders Strikers.

Kerry Beattie’s opener was cancelled out by an Amy McGivern equaliser for the hosts but Howe - a close-season addition from rivals Linfield - won the game late on.

The home side’s striker Emily Wilson and Beattie of the Glens had the best chances in a first half which was contested by two evenly-matched sides.

Beattie gave the Glens the lead with a calm finish shortly after the break but McGivern headed home Kirsty Cameron’s cross to level the score.

Howe then netted a fine individual goal late on, picking up the ball on the flank and cutting inside to fire home from just outside the box.

Champions Glentoran are now four points clear of Cliftonville at the top of the standings, but the Reds have two games in hand.

Glentoran Women:30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 6. Nadene Caldwell (captain) 10. Alison McMaster  17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 3. Rachel Dennison 9. Rachel Rogan  14. Jenna McKearney 28. Casey Howe (for McMaster, 63).

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Glentoran Women 4-1 Cliftonville Ladies

Wednesday 23rd June 2021

A commanding performance and a convincing victory on Wednesday evening back at the Ashfield Arena took Glentoran Women to the top of the Dankse Bank Women’s Premiership table for the first time this season. Two goals apiece for strikers Kerry Beattie and Lauren Wade ensured that Stephen Murray’s side claimed all three points to leapfrog the Solitude outfit and lead the title race by a single point.

Both sides came into the game on the back of fine respective form in recent weeks. With influential captain Jess Foy still recovering from a ligament tear, Cara Mervyn retained her place at left back following an impressive contribution in last week’s win against Linfield Ladies.  Shannon Dunne also claimed a starting place once again alongside club stalwart Kelly Bailie in central defence. A strong Cliftonville line-up included international captain Marissa Callaghan and ex-Glentoran full-back Yasmine White as well as recent close season acquisitions Louise McDaniel and the prolific McGuinness sisters, Kirsty and Caitlin. Both sides began with eager intent with chances at either end, an Andrews drive from distance that didn’t trouble Rachel Nornie in the Reds’ goal and a Fi Morgan header at the opposite end that just evaded the Glentoran crossbar. On 8 minutes a good cross from Beattie after clean approach play in the final third from the home side just failed to find Lauren Wade arriving late at the back post. The physical dimension to the contest became apparent on twelve minutes when a strong tackle from Fi Morgan on Sam Kelly in midfield was adjudged too aggressive; just a word and no caution at this early stage of the game from referee Louise Thompson. Glentoran began to take control in central areas with good movement on and off the ball and clear patterns of play emerging. A sustained period of intense pressure produced panic in the Reds’ defence as Lauren Wade’s well struck shot cannoned off Finnegan, the home side putting the Cliftonville rear-guard to the sternest of tests. Glentoran’s high intensity play was epitomised by midfield star Nadene Caldwell whose constant chasing, tackling and well-timed interceptions prevented Callaghan and McDaniel from gaining a foothold in the game. The breakthrough finally came on 22 minutes when the tigerish Sam Kelly chased what seemed like a lost cause deep into the opponents’ half to dispossess the hesitant Morgan and cut back for Beattie whose attempt on goal was blocked before breaking to Wade who finished with a low drive into the net. Five minutes later, a handball offence inside the area gave referee Louise Thompson no choice but to award a spot kick. Beattie coolly dispatched to double her side’s lead.

With the home side clearly on top now, Beattie wasted no time from the Reds’ kick-off with a smart steal from Callaghan to feed Maxwell on the edge of the centre circle. As Maxwell continued her run down the right channel evading tackle after tackle, she showed great awareness to once again pick out the advancing Beattie who really should have extended the Glens’ lead only to see her shot strike the bar. With the Glens very well aware of the slender advantage of the 2-0 score-line and the potential psychological impact of a swift Reds riposte similar to that which led to the Solitude defeat earlier in the season, it was no surprise that home side sought to further extend the lead before the half-time whistle. Despite a blatant tug on Maxwell’s shirt, preventing her advance on goal on 41 minutes, and which remarkably went unpunished by the officials, the Glens chose to keep piling on the pressure. Sure enough, the third goal came on 42 minutes with Lauren Wade finding the net following a Beattie cross from the left flank. As the eventful half drew to a close Reds captain Callaghan led by example trying to rally her teammates into a quick response with a penetrating run deep into the Glens’ half that was dealt with well by the impressive Annie Timoney at full-back. 

Half-time Glentoran Women 3-0 Cliftonville Ladies

As the second half got underway it was clear to everyone watching that the Glentoran approach was to avoid conceding. With attack often considered the best form of defence, Nadene Caldwell drove her troops on releasing Kelly and Andrews in quick succession, the latter forcing a fine save. Three consecutive corners signalled the home side’s intent. Then, a steal from Caldwell was followed by a quick pass to Andrews whose diagonal through-ball led to a Wade attempt on goal. A swift Reds attack on 53 called defender Shannon Dunne into action, alert as ever making a great covering tackle to avert the danger. Credit to the away side for trying to force the Glens into making defensive errors in an attempt to increase the pressure on Burns’ goal. Quite simply, the back four did not want to concede anything. Special mention again this week goes to the emerging Cara Mervyn whose fearless attitude and composure on the ball won her many plaudits in the post-match punditry. Erin Montgomery replaced Louise McDaniel for the away side on 60 minutes, fresh legs for the last half hour. The Glens followed suit with Ali McMaster replacing Sam Kelly soon afterwards. The impact was immediate with McMaster forcing a corner just seconds into the action, crossing into the box soon after and then back defending deep in her own penalty box, all within minutes of her introduction to the action. Glentoran struck the bar for the second time in the game on 75 minutes, a glorious chance for Maxwell to open her account for the evening with a clean strike that rebounded firmly off the crossbar. Maxwell eventually made way for striker Rachel Rogan on 78 minutes as Beattie dropped back into midfield and McMaster occupied the right flank for the remainder of the contest. Cliftonville gave themselves a lifeline on 79 after fine play from McGuinness allowed Callaghan to convert to reduce the deficit. A disputed disallowed goal from Wade after a clever ball from Andrews was quickly forgotten, however, as Rogan’s perfect cut-back allowed Beattie to take the ball in her stride just minutes after, jink past a defender and rifle the ball into the net to complete the rout for the rampant Glens.

What a performance! Focused throughout and disciplined in their respective roles, the players in green, red and black finished the game very worthy winners. A quick turnaround means a trip to Seaview on Sunday to take on a well organised Crusaders outfit in what is traditionally a very close contest between two sides with distinctly different styles. Let’s go again, Glens!

Glentoran Women:30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 6. Nadene Caldwell (captain) 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 9. Rachel Rogan (for Maxwell) 10. Ali McMaster (for Kelly) 14. Jenna McKearney 28. Casey Howe

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Glentoran Women 4-1 Sion Swifts

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

The resumption of the Women’s Premiership programme following the international break saw Glentoran Women continue their fine recent form by cruising to a 3-0 victory over cross city rivals Linfield at the Ashfield Arena on Wednesday evening. With Jess Foy side-lined through injury, seventeen year-old Cara Mervyn stepped up from the U19 squad to deputise at left-back with an excellent performance full of assurance despite inexperience at the top level. Danielle Maxwell also returned to the starting XI and international midfield star Nadene Caldwell took the captain’s armband for the evening.

A quiet start to the game saw both sides aim to settle in to their respective rhythms of play. The first action of note came on eight minutes when a speculative effort from Sam Kelly narrowly missed the target. Not long after, Linfield broke down the left and McKenna’s low drive was comfortably held by Jacqueline Burns in the Glentoran goal. Burns seemed intent on quick distribution in the early stages attempting to find Wade and Maxwell both of whom looked lively and keen to test the Linfield full-backs. The Glens were beginning to enjoy the lion’s share of possession with a further goal-bound effort from Kelly on 15 that didn’t test Adams in the Linfield goal. A Shannon Dunne foul on Alyson Smyth led to a well struck Linfield free kick on twenty minutes that was well claimed by Burns. Wade and Andrews began to link well in the final third forcing consecutive corners that were easily dealt with by Adams once again. Kerry Beattie’s much improved hold-up play was a dominant feature of the half bringing others into the game and allowing the Glens midfield to break the lines on occasions. Indeed, it was Beattie herself who carved a good opening for herself in the thirty-sixth minute only to see her shot blaze over the bar. A few minutes later Beattie played in Lauren Wade who shot disappointingly into the side netting from a decent angle from which to convert. A late Andrews run from deep just prior to the final whistle drew a foul just outside the area leading to a Bailie direct free-kick well saved by Adams.

Half-time Glentoran Women 0- 0 Linfield Ladies

Glentoran began the second period in determined mood in the knowledge that only a win would suffice in order to move closer to leaders Cliftonville whose game against Crusaders had been rescheduled for later in the season. As Linfield tried to play out from the back a coordinated Glens press forced a McKenna back pass error which Beattie exploited to coolly slot past Adams to give the home side an early second half lead in the forty-eighth minute. Ten minutes later Wade got away down the left, squared the ball to Maxwell on the edge of the area from where a perfectly cushioned pass back inside found Kelly whose well placed strike evaded Adams in the Linfield goal to double the Glens’ lead. Manager Stephen Murray introduced Ali McMaster on the hour to provide fresh legs as the hardworking Kelly made way after another battling performance. Rather than sit back and protect the two-goal the Glens continued to build attacks late in the second half as full-backs Cara Mervyn and Annie Timoney continued work the flanks. Wade, still keen to be involved in everything in the final third, worked to create a shooting opportunity on seventy-two minutes that produced a fine Adams stop. Linfield also worked hard to create goalscoring opportunities as they attempted to reduce the deficit. Indeed, a clear opportunity fell to Ebony Leckey on seventy-three minutes. Good work by Dickson on the left ended with a great cross that the substitute striker headed over the bar. The Glens responded with a firmly struck Andrews through ball to lively McMaster whose shot was well cut out by covering defender Kathryn McConnell. Strong hold-up play and a penetrating run to the by-line on eighty-one produced a fine cross met by a McMaster header easily claimed by Adams. As the Glens continued to look for the third goal Lauren Wade shot over from a free kick after her jinking run inside was ended by McKenna working back once again to help her defence. A minute later Beattie spurned a chance to further increase her tally for the season as the impressive Adams made yet another important save. A second Glentoran substitute saw the impressive Cara Mervyn make way for Jenna McKearney in the full-back berth with five minutes remaining. Wade, whose performance deserved a goal, finally netted with three minutes to go with a beautifully struck left-foot shot from distance that flew into the net to secure a fully deserved win for the home side.

Full-time Glentoran Women 3-0 Linfield Ladies

Next game is a top of the table clash with Cliftonville back at Ashfield on Wednesday 23 June.

Glentoran Women:30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 6. Nadene Caldwell (captain) 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 3, Rachel Dennison 9. Rachel Rogan  10. Ali McMaster (for Kelly) 14. Jenna McKearney (for Mervyn)

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Glentoran Women 4-1 Sion Swifts

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

A Kerry Beattie quadruple ensured that Glentoran Women maintained their challenge at the top end of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership with a deserved 4-1 victory over Sion Swifts in a fast-paced and at times feisty encounter at the Ashfield Arena on Wednesday evening.

The first chance of the game fell to international winger Lauren Wade whose return from injury to the starting XI was a welcome boost for the club. Crisp approach play from Timoney, Beattie and Andrews created the chance for Wade to make a clean connection and force a save from Sion keeper Denise McElhinney. With the teams matching each other in the early stages it wasn’t long before Glentoran began to take control with Wade and Howe causing problems with their well-timed and penetrating runs beyond the opponent’s back line. On 20 minutes a dangerous Casey Howe cross was deflected for a corner as the Glens increased pressure in search of the opening goal. Shortly afterwards a clever run by Wade produced a fine stop by the alert McElhinney once again in the well-guarded Sion goal. Sustained pressure from the home side produced another good move on 25 minutes that ended with an accurate cross from Howe to the back post where Nadene Caldwell was unfortunate to volley into the side netting from a tight angle. Another excellent stop from McElhinney from a Beattie shot on 26 minutes suggested the breakthrough was getting closer. As Beattie burst down the left flank on 27 the Sion stopper raced out of her goal and brought the Glentoran striker down just outside the area resulting in a free kick for the home side. The resulting set-piece produced a pinpoint Howe cross to the back post that narrowly evaded defender Shannon Dunne’s late run into the six-yard area. Intense pressure from the home side continued as Andrews fired over from 12 yards on 32 minutes before the Glens finally broke the deadlock on 35 minutes. Impressive wing-play down the right from Wade found Howe whose quick feet on the edge of the penalty area set Beattie who composed herself to calmly convert. Beattie soon had her second after clever interplay between Andrews and Howe created the opportunity for Beattie to double her tally with another well taken finish from close range. However, with the home side confident of reaching the break with a comfortable lead, a firm strike from outside the box by Leontia McVarnock escaped Burns’ dive in the Glens goal to reduce the deficit for the away side.

Half-time Glentoran Women 2-1 Sion Swifts

As expected, Sion came out buoyed by the late revival at the end of the first half and demonstrated clear early intent in pursuit of an equaliser. Good approach play from the visitors in the early stages of the second period was, however, unable to breach a well marshalled defence led by the experienced Kelly Bailie whose coolness under pressure was evident throughout the game. A Howe strike on 52 following a Wade corner indicated that the Glens had regained their appetite for swift attacking play. Indeed, Beattie completed her hat-trick on 57 after Caldwell was brought down in the area following a strong run into the box. As the impressive Howe made way for Danielle Maxwell on 60, the home side continued exert pressure on the Sion defence. On 65 minutes an Andrews corner led to a goalmouth scramble and a hooked Caldwell attempt deflected on to the top of the bar. From the second corner the lively Caldwell was once again brought down amid a mêlée of players scrambling for possession of the ball. Despite the protests from Sion, referee Lauren Trainor pointed to the spot and Beattie confidently took her tally to four for the game on 75 minutes. Two further substitutions saw Rachel Rogan replace the injured Sam Kelly and Ali McMaster replace Lauren Wade as the Glens shuffled the pack a little to maintain the 4-1-2-3 shape to maintain the tree-goal cushion. With the game now all but won, a late marauding run from right-back Annie Timoney ended with a sweetly struck drive that crashed against the bar just prior to the final whistle.

A disciplined performance with plenty of positives to take into the remainder of the second round of fixtures following the international break next week. Next up is Linfield at home on Wednesday 16 June.

Full time Glentoran Women 4-1 Sion Swifts

Glentoran Women:30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain)  6. Nadene Caldwell  15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 24. Lauren Wade 27. Shannon Dunne 28. Casey Howe  Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 10. Ali McMaster (for Kelly) 9. Rachel Rogan  (for Wade) 18. Danielle Maxwell  (for Howe) 22. Cara Mervyn

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Derry City 2-8 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 26th May 2021

Glentoran Women secured their first league victory in three attempts with an emphatic 8-2 triumph at Derry City Women as Rachel Rogan grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick. 

Rogan netted a treble for the Glens while Joely Andrews, Kerry Beattie, Kelly Bailie, Alison McMaster and Lauren Wade were all on target for Billy Clarke’s side. 

Alison McGonagle and Paul McGrory both scored consolation goals for the Candystripes in an action-packed match full of attacking football and high-quality goals.

Derry struggled to contain the Glens midfield and the impressive Andrews opened the scoring on seven minutes and the away side’s dominance was strengthened on 10 minutes, when Rogan nipped in at the front post to double the visitors lead.

Beattie added a third before Rogan got her second and Glentoran’s fourth after the break and whilst McGonagle pulled a goal back with goal from outside the area, the Glens restored their four-goal advantage a minute later through veteran forward Baillie, heading in from a corner.

McCrory sidestepped Shannon Dunne outside the Glentoran penalty area and unleashed a great shot for the home side’s second, but there were a further three goals for the visitors with McMaster on the scoresheet and Rogan completing her hat-trick with substitute Wade scoring a fantastic strike

Glentoran Women: McKinnon, Foy, Rogan, McKearney, Kelly, Andrews, Maxwell, Beattie, Bailie, Dunne, Howe subs Burns (not used), A. McMaster (replaced Maxwell 57), Mervyn (replaced McKearney 69), Wade (replaced Howe 57)

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Cliftonville Ladies 4-2 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 19th May 2021

Glentoran Women suffered their first defeat of the season when Cliftonville Ladies overturned a 2-1 half time deficit to run out 4-2 winners at the finish and extend their lead at the top of the table to five points after four games.

Striker Kerry Beattie continued her fine goalscoring form with a sixth minute opener for the Glens before Casey Howe doubled the visitors lead four minutes later. 

However, the league leaders hit back in emphatic style as their trio of Northern Ireland international summer signings all found the net. 

 Winger Louise McDaniel - an arrival from Hearts - netted her first goal for the Reds in the 36th minute, the first of four goals for the home side in a devastating 33-minute spell. 

 Caitlin McGuinness levelled the score a minute after the break and it was her sister Kirsty who then ensured the hosts pulled the game away from Glentoran, netting in the 52nd and 69th minutes. 

 Beattie’s opener beat Reds goalkeeper Rachel Norney from close range after a long ball forward and Howe - a summer arrival from Linfield - poked home the second after a teasing cross.

 Norney made a string of fine saves to prevent the Glens adding to their lead - Jess Foy and Kelly Bailie were both denied, before McDaniel halved the deficit.

 Caitlin McGuinness then turned home at the near post unmarked to tie the score after the break, before Norney thwarted Beattie twice more as well as Howe.

It was Norney’s long ball that found Kirsty McGuinness to calmly score to give the Reds the lead, and despite Glentoran’s pressing for an equaliser - McGuinness curled home her second and the side’s fourth from a free-kick.

 The defeat was the first of the campaign for Billy Clarke’s Glens and ensures that the North Belfast side have continued their 100 percent winning start to the campaign.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 6. Nadene Caldwell  15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 28. Casey Howe   Subs 9. Rachel Rogan (for Maxwell) 10. Ali McMaster (for Howe) 14. Jenna McKearney  22. Cara Mervyn  27. Shannon Dunne (for McMaster)

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Linfield Ladies 1-1 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 12th May 2021

A second half equaliser from Northern Ireland international Sam Kelly maintained the Glens' unbeaten start to their title defence at Midgeley Park this evening.

The Big Two went toe-to-toe in a superb end-to-end encounter with both sides creating plenty of chances to win, but ultimately the spoils were shared.

Skipper Jessica Foy fired over for the Glens in the 25th minute but it was the Blues who took the lead when Rebecca Bassett finished in style after Rebecca McKenna created the opening.

Bassett had another chance early in the second half but her effort flew over the par before both Kerry Beattie and Kelly rattled the post for the visit.

Kelly equalised with seven minutes remaining with a left-footed effort and she could have won the game late on but was denied by a brilliant save from the home side’s goalkeeper Nicole Adams.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 6. Nadene Caldwell 10. Ali McMaster 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 28. Casey Howe   Subs 9. Rachel Rogan14. Jenna McKearney  22. Cara Mervyn 25. Olivia Marshall 27. Shannon Dunne (for A McMaster)

 

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Sion Swifts 0-3 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 5th May 2021

Champions Glentoran  Women eased to a three-goal win at Sion Swifts thanks to a 15-minute hat-trick from striker Kerry Beattie.

The Northern Ireland international hit a quickfire treble between the 63rd and 78th minute to secure Billy Clarke’s side the points - the equivalent fixture last season saw the only match in which the Glens dropped points in a shortened campaign, when they went down to a 4-3 loss.

The first half was a cagey affair with few clear-cut openings for either side, before the game was decided by Beattie’s goals.

After opening the scoring just after the hour, the 18-year-old struck again just a couple of minutes later to tap home her second before claiming the match ball when she connected with a cross into the box after the Glens had made the most of the space that had opened up at the back following a period of Sion pressure.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster 6. Nadene Caldwell 9. Rachel Rogan 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 28. Casey Howe   Subs 10. Ali McMaster  (for Rogan) 14. Jenna McKearney (For Caldwell) 22. Cara Mervyn 24. Lauren Wade 26. Caragh Hamilton

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Glentoran Women 1 - 0 Crusaders Strikers

Wednesday 28th April 2021

In a lively opening encounter at the Oval Glentoran Women edged past Crusaders Strikers thanks to a second half goal by Danielle Maxwell to secure the three points. A scrappy start saw the Glens dominate early possession with the ball moving through the midfield corridors and then into the wide channels to utilise the pace of Maxwell and new signing Casey Howe. Good early work between Maxwell and Foy down the left forced a corner well cleared by Crusaders full-back Armour. Kelly and Rogan linked well to create a shooting opportunity from distance that didn’t trouble Harvey-Clifford in the Crusaders goal. Kelly remained busy and tenacious in the central midfield area with some penetrating runs that were unable to breach a strong Strikers defence marshalled by the composed and assured Julie Nelson at its centre. Great close control and a sharp turn from Beattie on 40 minutes worked an opportunity to fire a cross from the left flank across the six-yard area that was easily claimed by Harvey-Clifford. Towards the end of the first half the Glentoran defence was called into action following mounting Strikers pressure and a succession of well-taken Holly Otter corners. Just prior to the whistle a Glentoran break saw Andrews and Foy combine well to force a corner for the home side that was once again easily dealt with by the commanding Harvey-Clifford. Half-time 0-0.

Early second half Glentoran pressure signalled a desire to convert possession and territory into goals for the home side. A clean strike from Andrews from just outside the area was well held by Harvey-Clifford. A quicker paced contest now developed with the Glens injecting more pace into their forward play. Maxwell’s clever turn followed by a jinking run inside found Andrews whose clean touch set up the unmarked Howe inside the box. Howe’s shot narrowly shaved the upright.  The introduction of Nadene Caldwell into the central midfield area for the hardworking Rogan was pivotal in increasing the home side’s energy levels and attacking intent. Midway through the half the deadlock was indeed broken after an accurately delivered Andrews ball into the box was converted from close range by Maxwell to give the Oval women a deserved lead. With the Glens still aiming to increase their advantage and put the game beyond their opponents, there was a clear opportunity to further extend the home side’s lead when Beattie broke away and looked likely to score as she advanced on goal only for the alert Harvey-Clifford to smother a tame shot. A more open game now saw Crusaders look livelier in the latter stages with some dangerous Wilson runs in the final third as the Strikers aimed to pull level. McMaster and Bailie were instrumental in quelling the Crusaders threat with some excellent interceptions and confident play out of defence. Crusaders’ best chance came on 77 minutes when a teasing Wilson cross was met by substitute Boyle’s goal-bound header which was cleared by Caldwell for a corner. Late subs saw Dunne and McMaster replace Kelly and Master for the Glens and McClaren and Rae replace Archibald and McDowell for the Strikers. In the final stages Crusaders captain Julie Nelson took up a more advanced role in an attempt to breach the solid Glentoran defence, but to no avail as Glens keeper McKinnon punched clear a long distance free-kick from the veteran stalwart. All in all, an entertaining game and a deserved victory for the reigning champions.

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 4. Emma McMaster  9. Rachel Rogan 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Bailie 28. Casey Howe   Subs 6. Nadene Caldwell (for Rogan)10. Ali McMaster (for Emma McMaster)14. Jenna McKearney  27. Shannon Dunne (for Kelly)

Photography by Johnny Caldwell

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2020

Glentoran Women 4 - 0 Cliftonville Ladies

Wednesday 14th October 2020

Glentoran Women blasted their way back to the top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiersip with a first half demolition of Cliftonville at Seaview tonight

A commanding first half display saw a buoyant and focused Glentoran Women side sail into a 4-0 half-time lead against Cliftonville at Seaview on Wednesday evening with little chance of the Reds gaining a foothold to mount any significant threat in the second period. Following a frantic opening during which neither side was able to impose any real quality, the Glens took the lead on 9 minutes with an unstoppable right foot strike from left winger Danielle Maxwell who skilfully edged inside past two Reds defenders before firing high into the Cliftonville net to give her side a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later a well worked corner routine involving Joely Andrews and Sam Kelly created space on the edge of the area for Andrews to fire in the Glens’ second with a carefully angled strike beating Cliftonville keeper Lauren Currie at her near post. From this point on confidence grew with the Glens tidier in possession and safe at the back under the leadership of captain Jess Foy whose partnership with Aimee-Lee Peachey worked well to thwart any advance through the central areas towards goal. The Glens further extended the lead on 28 minutes with simple but effective build-up play through the middle of the park. Andrews picked the ball up just beyond the half-way line, found Caragh Hamilton on the right whose darting run to the by-line produced a pinpoint cross that was well finished by Kerry Beattie from close range. On 33 minutes the first really incisive attack from Cliftonville saw Glens goalkeeper Jackie Burns race of her line to smother a goal-bound effort. As the first half drew to a close and with the Reds, to their credit, continuing to try to play out from the back, a clever steal from Hamilton found the industrious Beattie whose quick return pass gave Hamilton an easy tap-in to put the game almost beyond doubt at 4-0.

 

Half time : Glentoran 4-0 Cliftonville

As the second half got underway it seemed that the Glens looked intent on turning early pressure into more goals, but this was not to be as the girls were unable to further extend their lead despite good periods of possession and frequent attacks. Advances down the flanks and through the middle did not have the fluidity and potency that to match the first half performance and although chances were created, quality was lacking in front of goal. On 57 minutes an Andrews snapshot from the edge of the area sailed just wide of the upright and on 67 a great reverse through ball from Beattie to Kelly was ruled marginally offside. Maxwell was replaced by Rogan on 72 with Beattie moving out left to allow Rogan to occupy the central striking role in the familiar 4-3-3 formation. Hannah Docherty’s solid defensive performance in the first half was complemented in the second by a greater desire to get forward and contribute to the attacking play as the Glens sought to break lines. Indeed, on 77 minutes a well-directed pass over the top from Docherty in her left-back berth found Hamilton whose run on goal was halted by the alert Currie in the Cliftonville goal. On 86 minutes a cross field pass from Foy found Sarah Connolly whose carefully driven cross into the box narrowly evaded Rogan in front of goal.
A strong performance from a dominant Glentoran side extended the lead at the top of the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership by three points with four games to play. Well done to all!

   

Final score: Glentoran 4-0 Cliftonville

The Glens are now three points ahead of Sion Swifts at the top of the table. Swifts have a game in hand with the big one scheduled to place next Wednesday when the top two meet at the Oval, Covid-19 and Executive regulations permitting.

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 11. Hannah Doherty 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely ) Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  26. Caragh Hamilton   Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 9. Rachel Rogan (for Maxwell) 10. Ali McMaster 12. Sarah Connolly (for Hamilton)  27. Shannon Dunne (for Beattie)

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Dominant Glens secure league double over rivals Linfield

Linfield Ladies 1-4 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 30th September 2020

Two goal Sam Kelly

Glentoran Women produced an impressive performance on Wednesday evening easing to a comfortable 4-1 victory over Linfield at Midgley Park. A fast-paced start to the contest saw both sides demonstrating attacking intent in the early stages. Just five minutes were on the clock when Glentoran goalkeeper Ashley McKinnon reacted well to tip a powerful Rebecca McKenna strike over the bar. The Glens looked to build patterns of play with wide players Hamilton and Maxwell enjoying some good early possession on the flanks. The Glens looked sharp on the counter and the high press worked well forcing Linfield into early errors. On 22 minutes a Sam Kelly corner was well met by Aimee Lee Peachey whose well-directed downward header just shaved the upright. Linfield stopper Adams was called into action on numerous occasions as the first half progressed with accurate strikes from Maxwell and Hamilton forcing fine saves. A cleverly cushioned Kerry Beattie knock down on 32 minutes following a perfectly taken free-kick from captain Jess Foy produced a rasping strike from Caldwell that just evaded the crossbar. The intense Glens’ possession and assault on the Linfield goal finally led to Caragh Hamilton breaking the deadlock on 35 minutes when she calmly slotted past Adams after a deflected through ball landed in her path 12 yards from goal. The midfield trio of Caldwell, Kelly and Andrews continued to carve openings in the final third and at the half-time whistle the Glens went into the break fully deserving to be ahead.

Some early promise from Linfield at the start of the second period was quickly quelled by Glentoran who continued to press from the front forcing the Blues’ back-line to regularly concede possession. Indeed, a good steal from Beattie enabled her to create space on the edge of the area only to fire wide. A further steal from the lively striker set up a Maxwell drive that also went wide as the Glens’ pressure increased in search of the second goal. The impressive Sam Kelly showed great tenacity to win yet another midfield tussle to find Hamilton whose clever turn produced another low drive that just evaded the post. However, quite against the run of play a rare Linfield attack resulted in an equaliser from striker Ebony Leckey after Abbie Magee rode Kelly Bailie’s challenge to square for the Linfield striker to convert from close range. Far from dampening the Glentoran spirit, the Linfield leveller served only to toughen the girls’ reserve to regain the lead led by the bullish and single-minded approach play from tenacious midfield dynamo Sam Kelly. A smart snapshot on 66 minutes that grazed the woodwork was followed soon after on 68 minutes by a crisp low drive from the edge of the area to put the Glens back into the lead. The more attack-minded Joely Andrews was replaced by the steady presence of Hannah Docherty on 70 minutes to help stem any further potential Linfield threat in the middle of the park.  Minutes later Kelly doubled her tally for the evening and extended the lead to 3-1 with a viciously whipped corner that sailed past Adams and directly into the top left corner. With the Glens firmly on top a powerful Peachey volley at the back post sailed marginally over the bar. The fourth goal came on 76 minutes after a measured pass from the ever consistent and reliable Nadine Caldwell found Danielle Maxwell in the inside left channel. Quick feet and a sharp turn inside created enough space for the tricky winger to curl a beautiful shot beyond the despairing dive of the Linfield keeper. Maxwell left the fray on 83 minutes after a good night’s work to be replaced by Sarah Connolly as the Glens eased to victory. In the closing stages a clear and obvious foul on Beattie as she advanced on goal inside the area was remarkably ignored by the officials. Nevertheless, this was a resounding victory for a rampant Glens side who drew level at the top with Sion Swifts with both teams equal on points at the half-way stage.

Danielle Maxwell completed the scoring

Glentoran Women: 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Baillie 26. Caragh Hamilton   Subs  9. Rachel Rogan 10. Ali McMaster 11. Hannah Doherty 12. Sarah Connolly  (replaced Andrews) 14. Jenna McKearney  27. Shannon Dunne (replaced Maxwell)

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Glentoran Women 1 - 0 Crusaders Strikers

Wednesday 23rd September 2020

Glentoran edged out Crusaders Strikers 1-0 at The Oval last night as Northern Ireland international Kerry Beattie scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute. 

The first half was a cagey affair of few chances, with Glentoran enjoying the lion’s share of possession but struggling to break down a resolute Crues defence.

Beattie finally broke the deadlock for the Glens almost midway through the second half as she got behind the visitor’s back line before calmly slotting home into the corner.

That led to a more open final quarter of the game but it was the Glens who held on for the all important points.

With four games played, the Glens are three points behind leaders Sion Swifts, but with a game in hand, over bottom club Derry City.

Goalscorer Kerry Beattie

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns 2. Annie Timoney 3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 9. Rachel Rogan 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie  21. Kelly Baillie 26. Caragh Hamilton   Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 12. Sarah Connolly  14. Jenna McKearney (not used) 16. Shona Davis 18. Danielle Maxwell (replaced Rogan 57) 27. Shannon Dunne (replaced Kelly 75)

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Sion Swifts 4-3 Glentoran Women

10th September 2020

A lively game at the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane on Wednesday evening saw Glentoran Women drop their first league points of the season following a 4-3 defeat to Sion Swifts. Sion looked strong in the early stages of the game with good possession and took the lead on ten minutes with a neat finish from Erin Fildara following a well measured pass from Caoimhe Walsh. On 19 minutes the Glens got themselves back into the game with a Jess Foy penalty after Caragh Hamilton was brought down in the area. The Glens gained confidence from the equaliser and began to take control of the game with sharper passing and more constructive build-up play. Numerous neat interchanges of play down the left between Beattie and Andrews led to goal-bound efforts Kelly and Caldwell and a Beattie snapshot on 40 minutes produced a reaction save from the Sion goalkeeper. All square at half-time with the Glens finishing the stronger side.

 


The second half saw the Glens start well again with clear intent and good movement through the thirds. They were rewarded on 56 minutes when Kelly’s corner was met majestically by Aimee-Lee Peachey to power a header into the net to give the Glens a deserved 2-1 lead. On 67 minutes the Glens confirmed their dominance of the game with a powerful diagonal drive into the roof of the net from Caragh Hamilton after good work from Kelly down the right. Sion reduced the deficit ten minutes later with a low strike from Caitlin McGuinness and were soon after awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area which was expertly dispatched by older sister Kirsty to draw the Strabane girls level. Momentum now lay with the Sion girls and the Glens conceded their fourth when an 84th minute penalty from Kirsty McGuinness sneaked past the outstretched hand of Glens keeper Burns to seal the victory. A thoroughly entertaining game that the Glens will be disappointed to lose after losing grip on what looked like another three points before Sion mounted their spirited comeback.

Caragh Hamilton

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns  3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 9. Rachel Rogan 11. Hannah Doherty 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie  26. Caragh Hamilton 27. Shannon Dunne   Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 2. Annie Timoney 12. Sarah Connolly 18. Danielle Maxwell 21. Kelly Baillie

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Glentoran Women 2-0 Linfield Ladies

Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Glentoran registered a two-goal win over fierce rivals Linfield at The Oval in a game between two sides with eyes on this year’s title.

The Glens were in the ascendancy throughout with summer signing Caragh Hamilton opening the scoring in the fourth minute.

Striker Rachel Rogan had the ball in the net against for the East Belfast side, but this was disallowed for offside, although Kerry Beattie’s second goal on the hour mark did stand. 

 

Goalscorers Caragh Hamilton and Kerry Beattie

Hamilton turned the Blues defence to slot home her first of the season with Linfield’s best opportunity coming through a Casey Howe shot from range just before the break but Beattie’s strike made the points safe.

The Glens - who finished third in last season’s standings - are eyed by many as title favourites this year and this result will go a long way to justifying such claims.

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns  3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 9. Rachel Rogan 11. Hannah Doherty 15, Samantha Kelly 17. Joely Andrews 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Baillie 26. Caragh Hamilton  Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 12. Sarah Connolly14. Jenna McKearney 16. Shona Davis 18. Danielle Maxwell 27. Shannon Dunne (for Baillie 45)

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Cliftonville Ladies 0-3 Glentoran Women

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Glentoran Women finally started their 2020 season and began this one in the same style they finished last season with a convincing 0-3 away league win over Cliftonville at Solitude.

The Glens had new signings Jacqueline Burns and Hannah Doherty in the starting line up with another new signing Shona Davis joined on the bench by returnees Sarah Connolly and Caragh Hamilton. But it was two of last season's young stars, Joely Andrews and Kerry Beattie, who gave the Glens a two goal half time lead. This was topped up by a third from skipper Jessica Foy after the break.

Joely Andrews

Joely Andrews and Kerry Beattie put the Glens in control prior to the break before Jess Foy added a third with 20 minutes remaining to seal a convincing victory.

The Reds made a bright start with Rachel McConnell’s early header straight at visiting goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns, before the visitors began to take control.

Andrews opened the scoring in the 41st minute after Beattie’s ball into the box was not cleared and three minutes later Beattie turned from provided to scorer as she converted from Kelly Bailie’s free kick.

Niamh Connolly blasted over for Cliftonville after the restart and the game was keenly fought, but Foy’s third sealed the point with the Glens with 20 minutes left on the clock; her cross-come-shot spectacularly sailed into the net to wrap up the points.

Glentoran Women: 30. Jacqueline Burns  3. Jessica Foy (captain) 5. Aimee-Lee Peachey  6. Nadene Caldwell 9. Rachel Rogan 11. Hannah Doherty 17. Joely Andrews 18. Danielle Maxwell 19. Kerry Beattie 21. Kelly Baillie Subs 1. Ashleigh McKinnon 12. Sarah Connolly (for Rogan) 14. Jenna McKearney 16. Shona Davis (for Peachey) 26. Caragh Hamilton  (for Maxwell)

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