A wonder goal from Conor McMenamin wasn't enough to take the points at Coleraine in today's Danske Bank Premiership fixture. The Glens had come from a goal down to take the lead with just 8 minutes remaining but a late Matthew Shevlin strike rescued a point for the Bannsiders.
Rhys Marshall was back in the starting line up today in place of Aaron Wightman and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe also got his first start for the Glens. And Junior was almost played in with just under a minute of the game gone following a great run by Shay McCartan and a through ball from Terry Devlin but the big striker just couldn't get control. There was a decent chance for Matthew Shevlin on 8 minutes but his effort was turned past the post by Aaron McCarey. The Glens were then awarded a free kick for a late tackle on Bobby Burns. The ball was played into the area where Aidan Wilson's header fell for Niall McGinn but his shot was well over the bar.
On 20 minutes the home side had the opportunity to take the lead when Luke McCullough was adjudged to have fouled Andrew Scott in the area. Matthew Shevlin stepped up to take the resultant penalty but blazed his spot kick well over the crossbar! The Glens' good fortune didn't last long though. Jamie Glackin fed Josh Carson on the right and his cross found Dean Jarvis who had got away from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Jarvis made no mistake from 6 yards out.
Ten minutes from the interval a foul on Marcus Kane gave the Glens another free kick. Niall McGinn took it and found Junior in the area but he couldn't get a clean header in and the ball drifted wide. Another foul from Aaron Jarvis on 42 minutes did lead to Glentoran drawing level. Bobby Burns fired the ball into the middle and Jarvis, under pressure from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, flicked the ball past his own keeper. In first half stoppage time Jamie Glackin was fortunate to escape punishment when he threw Bobby Burns to the ground out on the left touchline. The lenient Mr Morrison took no action though!
Halftime: Coleraine 1-1 Glentoran
Both sides had half chances in the early stages of the second half. Josh Carson went for goal from distance but failed to trouble Aaron McCarey. Bobby Burns then tried his luck at the other end but his 25-yard effort was just wide of the post. Just after the hour mark a long ball looked to have played Matthew Shevlin in but he was denied by a superb tackle from Aidan Wilson. With 11 minutes remaining Glackin set up another opportunity for Shevlin but Aaron McCarey was well positioned to beat Shevlin's effort away.
On 82 minutes a foul by Jamie Glackin on Hrvoje Plum in the centre circle earned the Coleraine player a long overdue yellow card. Luke McCullough's free kick was flicked on by Conor McMenamin to Jay Donnelly. Jay returned the ball to McMenamin who easily went past Jarvis before curling an unstoppable shot from the right corner of the 18-yard box into the top left corner of the Coleraine net! A week ago Niall McGinn looked a certainty to win the February 'Goal of the Month' competition. Now we're not so sure!
The Glens were to be denied the 3 points though. With just over a minute of the 90 remaining Coleraine got a corner. The ball was met by substitute Eamon Fyfe who headed it towards goal. Matthew Shevlin then scrambled it home from close range, looking suspiciously offside but, despite the protests of Marshall and McCarey, the goal stood.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Kane (c) (Singleton 70), Wilson, McCullough, McCartan (R. Donnelly 77), Burns (Plum 77), Devlin, Ogedi-Uzokwe (McMenamin 57), J. Donnelly & McGinn