Glentoran FC

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Cliftonville 0-1 Glentoran

Wed, 04/11/2020 - 02:11

Dale Gorman rewrote the history of the past few days by firing home a last minute winner tonight to put Glentoran into our second senior cup final in four months and our first Shield final in nine years.

There were seven changes from the starting line-up from Coleraine on Saturday. Paddy McClean replaced the injured Bobby Burns at left back, Caolan Marron moved to centre back in place of Luke McCullough with stand-in skipper Seanan Clucas at right back. In midfield Cricky Gallagher and Dale Gorman returned with Joe Crowe making a start. All change up front as well with Jamie McDonagh and Jay Donnelly flanking Cameron Stewart. Marcus Kane remained unavailable through injury,

After a bright start by the Glens, Cliftonville were the stronger side for most of the first half, despite losing the injured Aaron Donnelly after 26 minutes. Former Glens player Conor McMenamin was often the Reds danger man The home team’s first real chance coming after seven minutes when McMenamin out Joe Gormley through but he brought a point blank save by Dayle Coleing. The big Gibraltarian was very confident and looked commanding of his area throughout the match.

The Glens’ best chance of the half came on forty minutes when Cameron Stewart rose well to get on the end of an excellent Paddy McClean cross, bringing a good save out of Richard Brush. The half ended with a number of bookings. Dale Gorman saw yellow for blocking Ronan O’Reilly while on the blow both Seanan Clucas and Liam Bagnall saw yellow for a continuation of the goalmouth scuffles started in last month’s league match.

Half Time: Cliftonville 0-0 Glentoran

If Cliftonville had the stronger first half, Glentoran clearly weren’t going to allow that after the break as Jamie McDonagh pulled a great save from Richard Brush after a penetrating run and pass from Cameron Stewart. However, the Glens suffered a major blow after 50 minutes when Paddy McClean limped off to be replaced by Gael Bigirimana. This caused a reshuffle with Joe Crowe moving to centre back and Caolan Marron to left back. In the next fifteen minutes we had efforts on goal from Clucas, Bigi, McDonagh and Donnelly while McMenamin remained a constant threat, having a couple of decent efforts well saved by Coleing.

So often in recent years we have seen so many games at Solitude where evenly matched games have been settled by a late Cliftonville goal. So, as we entered the final few minutes, Glenmen could hardly be blamed for fearing the worst. Indeed, Glenmen speculated that the late introductions of Robbie McDaid and Rory Donnelly were as much to do with preparing for a penalty shoot out as with grabbing a late winner.

However, the latter turned out to be the outcome. A header out of defence from a Jamie McDonagh cross found Gael Bigirimana in an advanced position. Bigi showed a lovely piece of skill to find Dale Gorman who immediately played a lovely one-two with Cricky Gallagher before driving an unstoppable low shot past Brush for the winner. No better way for the Letterkenny man to open his Glentoran account.

So, on we go to the final against Larne, with the match likely to be played on Tuesday 1 December, venue to be confirmed. Well done everyone for maintaining our recent happy semi-final run!

Full Time: Cliftonville 0-1 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Coleing, Marron, McClean (Bigirimana 50), Cowan, Gallagher, Gorman, Clucas, Crowe (J. Donnelly 70), McDonagh, J. Donnelly (R, Donnelly 85), Stewart (McDaid 77)