Glentoran remain without a win in the Premiership after being held to a 1-1 draw by Carrick Rangers at Taylor’s Avenue this afternoon. After his red card in Wednesday night’s game against Crusaders Elliott Morris was serving an automatic suspension so Aaron Hogg took the goalkeeper’s jersey and manager Eddie Patterson brought Jonny Addis in to centre back with Jay Magee dropping to the bench.
There was little between the sides in the first ten minutes but then the game sprang into life as the Glens came close to scoring twice inside a minute. Marcus Kane swung in a cross from the left and David Scullion sent a flicked header towards goal which seemed to be dropping into the net until Carrick ‘keeper Brian Neeson produced a top class save to tip the ball over the bar. Soon afterwards Scullion was involved again as his pinpoint pass sent Conor McMenamin clear. The young striker outpaced Daniel Kelly and bore down on goal but Neeson was out quickly to block. The rebound fell nicely for Curtis Allen but his goalbound effort was inadvertently blocked by McMenamin who was lying in the six yard box after his collision with the ‘keeper.
Midway through the half there was a virtual action replay of Scullion’s earlier header, the Glens number 7 this time supplying the cross for McMenamin to try his luck but once again Neeson was equal to it and pulled off another great save. It seemed that Scullion was involved in everything that the Glens were creating but with half time approaching he really should have put the visitors into the lead. A long ball over the top was misjudged by a defender who only succeeded in flicking it into the path of the winger who ran clear but his shot from inside the box was blazed over the bar. Carrick had created little during the half but right on the stroke of half time there was a warning for the Glens. A lack of concentration in the defence allowed Ben Roy to find space in the area and his low drive across Hogg cannoned back off the far post.
After the break the Glens were still enjoying the lion’s share of the possession but few clear cut chances were being created and on 65 minutes came the moment that the travelling fans had feared. A long throw into the Glentoran area was only partially cleared and fell to Roy 20 yards out. His low shot may well have been covered by Hogg but it took a wicked deflection off Barry Holland and looped over the ‘keeper ending up in the back of the net. The goal spurred the Glens into action and soon afterwards Neeson had to get down smartly to turn away a low drive from Marcus Kane. Then Scullion beat his marker in the box and elected to cross when a shot may have been the better option and the chance was gone. However Carrick had very clearly been given a boost by the goal and remained a threat. On 71 minutes a long throw was met by a Gary Browne header from six yards which clipped the top of Hogg’s cross bar.
With 12 minutes remaining the Glens finally got themselves back on level terms with a sublime strike from Marcus Kane. The left back picked up the ball in midfield, flicked it over a defender and, when it sat up nicely for him, sent a brilliant, dipping right foot volley from 25 yards into the back of the net giving Neeson no chance. For the remainder of the game neither side was content to settle for the draw but for all the effort few chances were created. The Glens came closest three minutes from time when McMenamin sent a header towards goal from a Holland free kick but a defender got back to clear over his own cross bar.
In the end a draw was probably a fair result and a disappointing one for the Glens after Wednesday night’s heroics. They will now be under pressure to take their first three points of the season next Saturday at the Oval against Warrenpoint Town who are still pointless and joint bottom of the table.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell
Aaron Hogg, Barry Holland, Jonny Addis, Calum Birney, Marcus Kane, David Scullion (sub Jim O’Hanlon 70 mins), Kym Nelson (sub Fra McCaffrey 70 mins), Stephen McAlorum (sub Kristian Gibson 82 mins), Jordan Stewart, Curtis Allen, Conor McMenamin