Glentoran's Danske Bank Premiership campaign got off to a poor start with a 1-nil defeat at Coleraine. It might have been different had referee Hetherington awarded the Glens a penalty in the opening minute when Curtis Allen went down in the area under a challenge from David Ogilby but the official waved away the appeals. On 7 minutes Elliott Morris made a fine save, tipping Garth Falconer's 25 yard effort over the bar. Glentoran were restricted to half chances by both a resolute Coleraine back line and by some very poor passing. On 19 minutes Danny McKee blocked an attepmted clearance and the ball fell to Curtis allen but the striker failed to get his shot away under Adam Mullan's challenge. A minute later a cross from the left by Marcus Kane was flicked on by McKee with Allen just failing to get on the end of it. Just before the half hour mark Ruairi Harkin swung in a corner from the left. The ball eluded everyone and the Glentoran defence was relieved to see it go behind at the far post. Jordan Stewart provided a dangerous cross from the right on 41 minutes but the Coleraine keeper did well to gather the ball on the 6-yard line. In first half stoppage time Calum Birney got on the end of a corner but his header went straight at Michael Doherty.
The second half brought no improvement from a lethargic Glentoran side and they were grateful to Elliott Morris on 58 minutes when he pulled off a superb save to deny Sammy Morrow. Coleraine striker Rodney Brown then saw his effort on goal deflected for a corner before Ruairi Harkin's 25-yard strike forced Morris into another fine save. From the resulting corner David Ogilby dragged his shot just wide of the post. 10 minutes from time the Glens broke well out of defence with substitute, David Scullion crossing from the right. Fellow substitute, Conor McMenamin headed the ball back across goal and as the home defence attempted to clear the ball it struck referee Hetherington and fell to Steven Gordon. It was a great chance but Gordon was unable to hit the target. A minute later and Coleraine went in front. A cross from the left was dropped by Elliott Morris and substitute, James McLaughlin poked the ball home from close range. It was cruel on Morris who had kept his team in the game up until that point. 4 minutes from time Steven Gordon had another opportunity for Glentoran but failed to keep his effort down. Despite 4 minutes of added time Glentoran never looked like getting back into the game and the home side claimed a deserved victory.
It was an extremely disappointing showing from Glentoran with virtually every player, with the possible exception of Calum Birney, putting in a below par performance. Champions, Crusaders visit the Oval on Wednesday evening and a massive improvement is required.
Highlights on BBC Sport NI HERE
Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Birney, Magee, McCullough, McAlorum (capt), Gordon, Stewart, Kane, McKee & Allen.
Subs: Scullion for McKee (60) and McMenamin for McCullough (68). Unused Subs: Hogg, Addis & Holland.