Two goals from Niall McGinn set the Glens on their way to victory in this afternoon's Danske Bank Premiership fixture against Carrick Rangers at the Loughview Leisure Arena.
There were two changes from Tuesday evening's narrow victory over Ballymena United. Aaron McCarey returned after illness to replace Ollie Webber and Shay McCartan came in for the injured Aidan Wilson. That meant a bit of a reshuffle at the back with skipper Marcus Kane partnering Luke McCullough in the centre of defence with James Singleton filling the left back slot.
In the early stages the best opportunity for the Glens to go in front came on 6 minutes when James Singleton played the ball down the line for Niall McGinn. McGinn's cross from the left picked out Shay McCartan in the area but his shot was wide of the target. On the quarter hour mark there was a great chance for the home side when Kyle Cherry's through ball sent Nedas Maciulaitis away. Under pressure from Rhys Marshall and Luke McCullough though the Rangers forward failed to test Aaron McCarey in the Glentoran goal. The Glens keeper was called into action a couple of minutes later though, doing well to keep out a long range effort from Ben Tilney.
On 31 minutes the lively Danny Purkis drove to the by-line but there was nobody to cut the ball back to. The Carrick defence didn't clear the danger very well though and Terry Devlin was unlucky to see his powerful drive blocked. Devlin was on hand at the other end on 39 minutes, doing really well to get in the way of a long range Kyle Cherry shot.
Halftime: Carrick Rangers 0-0 Glentoran
Glentoran went in front just 4 minutes after the interval. Terry Devlin played the ball forward from just inside his own half. Ben Tilney tried to clear but could only head the ball straight up into the air. Conor McMenamin collected it on the 18-yard line and his quick pass between Tilney and Ervin set Niall McGinn clear. He then smashed the ball past Ross Glendinning from around 10 yards out. 1-nil Glentoran. A couple of minutes later there was a half chance for Nedas Maciulaitis but his tame shot was easily gathered by Aaron McCarey. McCarey made a much better save on 56 minutes, turning away Kyle Cherry's long range drive.
The Glens extended their lead on 65 minutes. Rhys Marshall's throw-in found Danny Purkis. He lifted the ball over a couple of Carrick players to send substitute Jay Donnelly clear down the right. His low cross was missed by both Conor McMenamin and Kurtis Forsythe but found an unmarked Niall McGinn on the edge of the penalty area. McGinn took the ball forward a couple of yards before driving it low, through the legs of Glendinning and into the back of the net. On 69 minutes Conor McMenamin was replaced by Joe Crowe, the Glentoran number 21 making his 100th appearance for the club.
On 72 minutes the home side were denied a goal when Ben Tilney's effort was cleared off the goal line. Shortly afterwards a free kick from Andy Mitchell was played into the Glentoran penalty area but Emmett McGuickan couldn't direct the ball on target. 11 minutes from time Bobby Burns was hauled back by a tackle more suited to the Rugby 6 Nations Championship! Joe Crowe may yet to have netted a goal in his 100 games but he did provide an assist today! His free kick reached Luke McCullough in the area and the big central defender turned the ball home from around 8 yards out.
With 2 minutes remaining Glentoran grabbed a 4th. Marcus Kane picked the ball up on halfway and carried if forward before finding substitute, Junior. He cut inside before clipping a delightful ball into the area where it was collected by Terry Devlin. Devlin swivelled and struck a powerful right footed drive past Ross Glendinning. An excellent finish from the young midfielder who has made an impressive start to his Glentoran career. Jay Donnelly had the ball in the net in stoppage time but was denied by the linesman flagging for offside.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall (Wightman 77), Singleton, McCullough, Kane (c), Burns, Devlin, McCartan (J. Donnelly 46), McGinn (R. Donnelly 77), Purkis & McMenamin (Crowe 65)