Glentoran FC

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Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Glentoran

Sat, 23/12/2023 - 21:52

A strong second half performance and a show of character gave the Glens an ultimately deserved win at Stangmore Park this afternoon.

There were a few surprises for Glens supporters when the starting line up was announced. With Aidan Wilson suspended and with James Singleton, Cammy Palmer and Rhys Marshall all still injured we had the welcome but unexpected sight of skipper Marcus Kane and Bobby Burns in the eleven. Both players were to play a major part in the visitors’ second half recovery.

Overall the first half hour was a sterile affair with neither side offering much in the way of threat. Paddy McClean was involved in the first two major incidents at either end. First he made a telling and vital last gasp interception when ex Glens U20’s player Matty Lusty was clear on goal. Then a few minutes later his goal bound header from a Niall McGinn corner was deflected out by a Swifts defender.

Swifts had the upper hand in the latter stages of the half. First Aaron McCarey was called on to make a great stretching save from an on-target effort from Ben Gallagher. Then an easier save from the same player. Three minutes before half time the Swifts pressure resulted in a goal. Matty Lusty was through on goal and the referee – who was some distance away  - judged that Jonny Russell’s challenge merited a penalty. There was a delay in taking it as Lusty was carried off with a shoulder injury. When Gallagher took the kick it was well saved by Aaron McCarey but deflected off the post, across the goal and in to give Dungannon a half time lead.

Half Time : Dungannon Swifts 1-0 Glentoran

Glentoran started the second half in a much more positive manner and it paid off on the hour mark with an equaliser. Jonny Russell took a long throw from the left into a crowded penalty area. Skipper Marcus did what he has done so often over the past 12 seasons by being first to it to direct a looping header into the Swifts goal.

The nature of the game and the balance of power switched  seven minutes after the equaliser when former Glens centre half Caolan Marron was red carded. Bobby Burns- whose influence was growing as the game went on – was chasing the ball on the left and was felled by a very high footed lunge by Marron. It was a stupid challenge rather than a malicious one on his ex-team mate but the ref had no hesitation showing a straight red for the offence.

The winner came with six minutes left. Niall McGinn found Burns just inside the Swifts box. Bobby then hit a low cross that was turned in by Junior – a second half sub for the injured David Fisher – for the winner and his own tenth goal of the season.

So a welcome win to extend the Glens’ unbeaten run to five games going into Tuesday’s Big Two Boxing Day derby. One worry will be the injury sustained by Marcus Kane with 15 minutes left. Best wishes to the skipper and to all our other injured players.

Final Score : Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Wightman, Russell, McClean, Kane (c) (Murray 75), Sule, Burns, McGinn, O’Connor, McCartan (R Donnelly 79) & Fisher (Junior 73)

Subs (Not used): Webber, Murphy, Boyd, Locke