Glentoran FC

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Coleraine 2-1 Glentoran

Sat, 13/04/2024 - 22:07

Two pieces of catastrophic defending and some profligacy in front of goal cost the Glens all 3 points at the Showgrounds this afternoon as we failed to capitalise on Crusaders’ home defeat last night. So we remain in fifth place with three games to go before the playoffs.

Declan Devine made two changes to last week’s starting line up with Bobby Burns replacing the suspended Seanan Clucas in midfield and Niall McGinn preferred to Jay Donnelly in attack. Daire O’Connor returned to the bench after an injury as did Harry Murphy, replacing Aidan Wilson.

The Glens were the better team for the first 20 minutes and had a strong penalty claim denied on 16 when David Fisher appeared to be brought down by ex-Glentoran keeper Rory Brown. But referee Stephen Gregg wasn’t interested in the claim.

Glentoran had the majority of the small number of chances created in a nondescript first half with 2 decent efforts from James Singleton and a dangerous McGinn cross touched over by Brown. In return Jamie Glackin shot wide and Josh Carson headed just wide. Neither effort needed a save from Aaron McCarey.

We suffered a blow 2 minutes before the break when David Fisher picked up an injury that finished the game for him. He was replaced by Jay Donnelly.

Half Time: Coleraine 0-0 Glentoran

The turning point in the match came 10 minutes after the restart and a minute after Donnelly had a good effort well saved. It came from a totally unexpected source when Fuad Sule, comfortable in possession on the right flank of the Glens’ defence, inexplicably turned and passed straight to the onrushing feet of Coleraine’s top scorer Matthew Shevlin. Shevlin had a start on Johnny Russell and gave McCarey no chance from  15 yards.

Bobby Burns had a decent chance to equalise almost immediately but headed wide. Then lightning struck for the second time in exactly the same place. This time it was Luke McCullough again under little pressure in the same position as Sule for the opener. Luke played a backpass intended for the keeper but again this went to an unmarked Shevlin who was perfectly placed to slip the ball home for Coleraine’s second.

Immediately prior to the second Charlie Lindsay was introduced as a sub for McGinn. The 20-year-old loanee’s lively and skilful performance was one of the few highlights today for Glentoran’s travelling support.

We pulled one back with 14 minutes to go courtesy of 2 of the very few outfield players to escape criticism today – Rhys Marshall and Paddy McClean. Marshall brought the ball out of defence and hit the ball deep into the Coleraine box. Luke McCullough nodded the ball on to McClean who rammed home.. But hopes of salvaging a point ended when Jay Donnelly headed a free one over the bar in the final minute.

Individual mistakes happen to the best of players and 2 happened today. But the bigger issue is that the manner of this performance was far too similar to what we’ve watched all season from Glentoran. We have a maximum 5 games left to qualify for Europe. The manager and supporters are entitled to expect and demand a lot more than this to allow us to end the season with at least some dignity and the anticipation of European football.

Full Time: Coleraine 2-1 Glentoran

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Russell, McCullough (c), McClean, Sule, Singleton, Burns, McGinn (Lindsay 68), Junior (O’Connor 85), Fisher (J Donnelly 43)

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

Photography by PACEMAKER