Glentoran FC

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Co. Antrim Shield Final: Glentoran 1–2 Larne

Wed, 24/01/2024 - 01:09

Glentoran’s 14-year wait to win a trophy other than the Irish Cup will drag on for another season after this defeat tonight at Seaview in the Toals County Antrim Shield. In a surprisingly uneventful game it was in inability to defend corners allied to a lack of presence in the opposition penalty are that did for us.

 With Aaron Wightman still injured, Rhys Marshall was brought in at right back for his first start since the opening day of the league season. Starting with a strong midfield of Fuad Sule, Bobby Burns and the returning Seanan Clucas, Daire O’Connor and Nial McGinn started on the bench as did Charlie Lindsay for the first time since his loan signing last week. The Donnelly brothers remained unavailable.

Neither team showed any great attacking intent or threat until the 23rd minute when from a cross by Lee Bonis, Paddy McClean on the line first beat ex Glens player Paul O’Neill in the air and Aaron McCarey was forced into a great  save from Leroy Miller’s header from the rebound before Bobby Burns cleared the danger,

Burns was involved a few minutes later, Bobby won the ball well in midfield and found David Fisher just outside the Larne box. Fisher’s great low shot from 22 yards out was very unluck to hit the Larne far post.

Larne opened the scoring on the 37th minute and it was a soft one to concede. From a corner on the right Lee Bonis made a great run missed by his marker. Bonis’ header was well saved by McCarey but the ball fell to Larne  skipper Cian Bolger who had an easy task to tap home from within the 6-yard box.

Half Time: Glentoran 0-1 Larne

 Had the best possible start to the second half, with a very early equaliser. Seanan Clucas played the ball forward to Junior who passed in on to David Fisher. Fisher, despite the close attention of 3 Larne defender, pulled away from all 3 to hit a right footed shot that gave Rohan Ferguson no chance in the Larne goal. This one was no more than the English centre forward deserved as he worked tirelessly all night providing the Glens’ only meaningful goal threat.

But the optimism among the great Glens support didn’t last as 9 minutes later when Tomas Cosgrove scored what would prove to be the winner. Larne had a very cheaply and unnecessarily conceded corner hit deep into the Glens’ box, but in contrast to us, Larne had a player able to get in the right place to jump above the defenders and easily head home. The second goal from a corner of the evening and a very poor one to give away.

Glentoran still had opportunities to equalise, but on 69 minutes Aidan Wilson contrived to put his shot from 8 yards into the back of the stand behind the goal. Then late in injury time, Luke McCullough was unlucky to hit the crossbar from a goalmouth scramble following a Bobby Burns corner.

So a very disappointing night for the big travelling Glens’ support, which leaves the Clearer Water Irish Cup as our only chance of silverware this season. If that is to be won we’ll need to see a significant improvement on this performance.

Full Time: Glentoran 1-2 Larne

Photography by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall (O’Connor 68), Russell (Walsh 85), McCullough(c), McClean, Wilson, Sule, Burns, Clucas (McGinn 75), Junior & Fisher

Subs (Not used): Webber, Kane, McCartan, Lindsay