Glentoran FC

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Carrick Rangers 0-4 Glentoran

Wed, 29/11/2023 - 01:14

Glentoran moved into the final of the Toal’s County Antrim Shield tonight with this ultimately comfortable win over Carrick Rangers at the Loughview Leisure Arena. The Glens never looked in serious trouble but a late goal rush  after taking an early lead made the scoreline comprehensive.

There were four changes from Friday’s defeat at Larne.  Aidan Wilson hadn’t recovered from an injury sustained at Inver Park but the travelling support were surprised and delighted to see Luke McCullough return to lead the team out after missing the last four games. Shay McCartan, Niall McGinn and Aaron Wightman returned to the starting line up with Daire O’Connor, Junior and Josh Kelly on the bench. The return of McCullough and Wightman allowed Warren Feeney to revert to his 3-5-2 formation with McCartan partnering David Fisher in attack.

Ben Tinley of Carrick had the two best chances in the early exchanges, shooting wide of each post, before the Glens took the lead in the 21st minute. Cammy Palmer’s free kick from the right was headed on my James Singleton and Shay McCartan was on the spot to head home from a couple of yards. There was some debate about whether or not Singo’s header was net bound but there’s no point taking any chances and McCartan made sure it was in the back of the net. Johnny Russell and Aaron Wightman were doing very well on the flanks and created good opportunities for McCartan and Palmer but neither were able to convert.

Before the break Aaron McCarey was called on to save well from Kurtis Forsyth and Ben Tinley but the Glens held onto their lead as the teams went off.

Half Time : Carrick Rangers 0-1 Glentoran

David Fisher had a couple of efforts just after the break but the first was well saved by former Glens keeper Ross Glendinning and the second went over the bar. Also a great ball across the goal from Luke McCullough wasn’t met by a Glentoran forward.

On 73 minutes much to the relief of the Glens support,  Glentoran did what they failed to do in our previous two meetings with Carrick by getting the second goal to make the game safe. Junior, not long on as sub for David Fisher, capitalised on a defensive blunder to burst through and comfortably slip the ball past Glendinning.

Two minutes later Carrick were weakened when full back Forsythe, who had been performing well., was shown a red card for a totally unnecessary lunge at Cammy Palmer

Three minutes before time Daire O’Connor, not long on as sub for Aaron Wightman, hit the bar before Rory Donnelly , also an 82nd minute sub, made it three. O’Connor played a nice pass to Junior in the Carrick area. The big Londoner passed to Donnelly on the edge of the six-yard box and Rory scored with a sublime and cheeky backheel that surprised the Carrick defenders on the spot.

O’Connor was also heavily involved in the Glens final goal in injury time. He beat two Carrick defenders in the box before crossing to Paddy McClean who drove home for his third of the season.

So on we go to our first final in three years. It will be played on Tuesday 23rd January (venue to be confirmed) against either Larne, Ballymacash Rangers or Knockbreda depending on the outcome of Knockbreda’s appeal of their expulsion after their quarter final win over Ballymacash. Something for the Glens support to look forward to,

Photographs by PACEMAKER


Final Score : Carrick Rangers 0-4 Glentoran

Glentoran: McCarey, Wightman (O’Connor 82), Russell, McCullough, (captain) Singleton, McClean, Sule, Palmer (Murray 82), McGinn (Feeney 89), McCartan (R Donnelly 82) & Fisher (Junior 62)

Subs (Not used): Webber, Kelly

County Antrim FA Man of the Match Johnny Russell. Congratulations Johnny!