Glentoran FC

The Official website of Glentoran Football Club / Pride of East Belfast 



Ards 0-2 Glentoran

Tue, 10/10/2023 - 23:12

Glentoran progress to the semi-final of the Co Antrim Shield after defeating Ards 2-nil this evening. Carrick Rangers will be our opponents after they saw off Dundela.

There were four changes to tonight's starting XI following the disappointing defeat to Linfield last Friday evening. Skipper Marcus Kane returned along with Niall McGinn and Jay Donnelly. There was also a start for Bailey Locke. Kane played at centre back alongside Paddy McClean with Aidan Wilson on the right and James Singleton occupying his normal position at left back.

Daire O'Connor and Josh Kelly were on the bench with Fuad Sule and Shay McCartan not included in the squad. There were few opportunities in the early stages but on 8 minutes a cross from Niall McGinn on the left was headed goalwards by Jay Donnelly. His effort was blocked but the ball broke favourably for Junior but he blazed over the bar. Shortly afterwards Eamon Scannell tried his luck from around 25 yards but he failed to test Aaron McCarey. Niall McGinn's attempt on 20 minutes was comfortably dealt with by Neil Shields in the Ards goal and then, following a great run from Aidan Wilson, Junior got possession on the edge of the area. He side-stepped his marker but shot wide of the post. 

Just after the half hour mark a long ball forward from Paddy McClean found Junior. He drove into the area before going to ground with referee Tony Clarke waving away Glentoran's penalty appeals. A couple of minutes later a long range effort from Aidan Steele was turned behind by Aaron McCarey. The resulting corner wasn't dealt with and Ards won another. This time they shoud have broken the deaadlock, Ross Hunter having a free header at the back post but putting it wide. The final action of the half saw Niall McGinn send Aidan Wilson away on the right. The defender got to the edge of the area before unleashing a powerful drive which crashed off the crossbar with Shields beaten.

Halftime: Ards 0-0 Glentoran

Ards had the first chance of the second period when the ball broke to Ross Hunter following a corner but the number 18 shot went well wide. On 54 minutes the deadlock was finally broken. Aaron McCarey sent a free kick deep into the Ards half and Jay Donnelly did well to flick the ball on for Junior. Despite having two defenders for company, Junior was able to lob the ball over the Ards keeper and into the unguarded net. A minute later it might have been two when Jay Donnelly got on the end of a McGinn cross but headed wide of the goal.

Midway through the half the home side had a couple of decent chances to level things up. Connor Maxwell's 25-yard free kick was narrowly wide and then James McLaughlin also put his chance past the post. Substitute Daire O'Connor then outpaced the Ards defence before crossing into the danger area. Jay Donnelly hooked the ball goalwards but it drifted beyond the far post. On 73 minutes Niall McGinn and Junior linked superbly on the edge of the Ards box. Junior's pass seemed to have put McGinn in on goal but he appeared to be tripped in the area. No penalty said referee Clarke.

A foul on Daire O'Connor 25 yards from goal gave the Glens an opportunity to kill the game off. Niall McGinn took the free kick and was inches away from doubling the lead. Cammy Palmer then sent an excellent ball out to O'Connor on the right. His cross was met on the volley by McGinn but the ball flashed wide of the post. The semi-final place was eventually confirmed in the final minute of added time. Another right wing cross from Daire O'Connor picked out substitute Rory Donnelly in the area. He controlled the ball before finding the bottom corner of the net. Game over.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Wilson, Singleton, Kane (c), McClean (O'Connor 46), Burns, Palmer, Locke (Kelly 59), McGinn (Murphy 88), J. Donnelly & Junior (R. Donnelly 80).