Glentoran and Coleraine’s league positions stayed unchanged as a result of this scoreless draw at the Showgrounds in front of one of the lowest travelling Glentoran supports for many years. Really the game lived up to its mid-table billing with only a couple of missed sitters as talking points.
With skipper Marcus Kane and vice-captain Luke McCullough still out injured, Warren Feeney’s only changes were the return of the returning Paddy McClean at centre back in place of the suspended Aidan Wilson and Rory Donnelly selected in preference to Niall McGinn at left midfield. James Singleton again captained the team and was asked again to prove his adaptability in centre defence beside McClean.
Its fair to say the Glens had the better of a generally nondescript first half, and all the better chances. But for all the chances we never looked like taking any of them. Jay Donnelly hit just wide early on when put through from a very penetrative cross from Johnny Russell. Jay had another effort with a low shot easily saved by Gareth Deane in the Coleraine goal.
Glentoran should have taken the lead on 23 minutes. Aaron Wightman – a strong presence at right back all evening – played a great cross to Rory Donnelly who headed back for Junior in the middle. With a gaping goal and only Deane to beat, Junior managed to head the ball well wide of the Coleraine net. A couple of minutes later came Coleraine’s only real chance of the half, a cross from ex-Glens Academy player Jake Wallace cleared by a telling intervention by Paddy McClean.
The Glens had the rest of the chances in the half through a header wide from Russell and a Junior effort straight at the keeper.
Half Time : Coleraine 0-0 Glentoran
The first fifteen minutes of the second half again was one of Glens dominance, particularly in defence and midfield, but with nothing to show for it. Palmer, Russell and Wightman in particularly doing well to consistently win the ball and get forward with it. We were in no trouble but equally neither were Coleraine.
Meaningful goalmouth activity was thin the ground apart from a good run and low cross from Jay Donnelly touched away by Deane as no Glens forward challenged for it, and a deep low cross from Daire O’Connor that was dangerous but again no Glens . The best chance of the half actually fell to Coleraine when Matthew Shevlin fluffed a chance to steal the three points only to shoot straight at Aaron McCarey.
Although league positions remain unchanged, we have now fallen six points behind the top four tonight with these dropped points and just two points from our last nine. With the run of games we have through to the new year there is no room for any further malaise.
Final Score : Coleraine 0-0 Glentoran
Photographs by PACEMAKER and Aaron McAlpine
Glentoran: McCarey, Wightman, Russell, Singleton (captain), McClean, Sule, Palmer (Murray 78), R Donnelly (McCartan 70), O’Connor, Junior (Fisher 85) & J Donnelly
Subs (Not used): Webber, Murphy, Kelly, McGinn