Glentoran FC

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Crusaders 0 - 0 Glentoran (2 - 4 pens)

Tue, 05/09/2023 - 22:13

Ollie Webber was the Glentoran hero as an experimental Glens knocked a much more experienced Crusaders side out of the Toals County Antrim Shield.

Warren Feeney made eleven changes to the starting line up from Saturday's victory over Cliftonville, including three debutants - Bailey Locke, Casey Smyth and new signing David Fisher.  Despite the greater experience of the home side it was an even if rather low key first half.  Young winger Casey Smyth looked lively for the Glens while Jonny Russell, in at centre back alongside captain Marcus Kane, looked assured throughout.  Neither 'keeper was seriously troubled with Jordan Owens and David Fisher sending decent chances over the respective cross bars and as the half time whistle approached Crusaders winger James Teelan should have done better with a free header.

Half time 0-0

After the break the Glens seemed to realise that they were capable of making the next round and began to get a stranglehold on the game.  Fisher fired over twice in the early stages, the first after a run from the halfway line and then after a brilliant turn to outfox Jordan Forsythe.  But the new boy should really have given us the lead soon afterwards.  Russell found Ruaidhri Donnelly down the left whose deft touch sent Niall McGinn away.  The international winger picked out Fisher in acres of space twelve yards from goal but his low shot was cleared off the line.  Then it was McGinn's chance to test Tuffey in the home goal, sent clear by another pinpoint long pass from Russell he went for the near post which allowed the 'keeper to save with his legs for a corner.

Crusaders had their threatening moments, Jordan Owens sending a header over the bar from a corner and substitute Paul Heatley pulling a low shot just wide of the post, but Webber was not forced into serious action and the back four of Aaron Wightman, Kane, Russell and Bobby Burns looked comfortable with anything that the Crues could throw at them.  As the game went into stoppage time the Glens looked the more likely to grab a late winner, forcing a couple of corners and substitute Junior sending a shot whistling just wide of the post.  Goalless at the final whistle, with no extra time in the Shield the tie went straight to penalty kicks.

Full time 0 - 0

With Crusaders stepping up first Daniel Larmour, late Glens substitute Sean Murray, who was making his return from long term injury, Mikhail Kennedy and Cameron Palmer were all successful before Webber pushed away Jarlath O'Rourke's effort.  Bobby Burns then put us into the lead and Webber put us on the brink of victory with another fine stop from Philip Lowry.  It was then left to Junior to take our fourth kick and blast high into the net to send us into the second round.

Ollie Webber, Aaron Wightman, Marcus Kane (Captain), Jonny Russell, Bobby Burns, Josh Kelly, Bailey Locke (sub Cameron Palmer 58 mins), Ruaidhri Donnelly (sub Sean Murray 90 mins), Casey Smyth (sub George Feeney 75 mins) , David Fisher (sub Junior 58 mins), Niall McGinn
Subs not used: Lorcan Donnelly, Callan Farley, Jude Johnston