Glentoran FC

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Crusaders 2-0 Glentoran

Sat, 05/12/2020 - 17:53

It was a disappointing finish to a game that Glentoran could have got something from had they taken their chances. The Glens had the better of the first half with Jay Donnelly and Gael Bigirimana both going close in the early stages. In between those efforts though the Crues almost snatched the lead when a flick on from Owens fell to Ross Clarke. He turned the ball goalwards but it came off the outside of the post. Heatley then shot well wide from 16 yards but chances were few and far between. At times the Glens played some excellent football, particularly in midfield but failed to test Doherty in the home goal.

On 24 minutes a long throw into the Crusaders area by Caolan Marron was headed clear but fell invitingly to Marcus Kane around 20 yards from goal. The Glentoran skipper struck it well but unfortunately it was wide of the target. Rory Brown, retaining his place in the starting line up, did well to cut out a cross-shot from the dangerous Clarke. Crusaders did have the ball in the net later in the half but it was rightly ruled out for a foul on Rory Brown by Aidan Wilson. The best chance of the game came 8 minutes from the break. Caolan Marron drove forward and fired towards goal from about 25 yards however a deflection took it wide for a corner. The resulting set piece was cleared but superbly controlled by Gael Bigirimana who then found Marcus Kane on the left. Kane's cross looked to be perfect for Robbie McDaid but his header went wide.

Half-time: Crusaders 0-0 Glentoran

Both sides had early second half chances. Jordan Owens headed wide for the home side whilst after an excellent break, Jay Donnelly and Gael Bigirimana linked well before setting up a chance for Dale Gorman however Gorman's delayed shot allowed the Crusaders defence to block and the chance was gone.Gorman had another great chance inside the Crusaders box just before the hour mark but having been set up by Paddy McClean, Gorman mis-kicked at the vital moment and Doherty was untroubled. On 62 minutes Glentoran had a really good chance to break the deadlock. A Dale Gorman free kick out on the right was fired into the penalty area where Jay Donnelly got on the end of it but he headed just over the bar. A goal at that stage might have set the Glens up for a win but it was the last real chance they created.

Having struck the post in the 72nd minute and then seen Rory Brown save the second effort, the Crues should have gone ahead through Chris Hegarty but he sliced his shot wide when well placed. With 10 minutes remaining and the home side now on top, a drive into the penalty area struck the arm of Luke McCullough and the referee awarded a penalty. It was harsh on McCullough who had another excellent game at the heart of the defence. Jordan Forsythe took the spot kick, sending Brown the wrong way. A couple of minutes later it was game over as Rory Donnelly gave the ball away to Ross Clarke. Clarke drove towards goal, evading some half hearted attempts to tackle him, before finding the bottom corner of the net.

Full-time: Crusaders 2-0 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Brown, Marron, Kane (c), McCullough, McClean, Gallagher, Bigirimana (McDonagh 83), Gorman, O'Neill (R. Donnelly 77), J. Donnelly & McDaid.