Glentoran FC

The Official website of Glentoran Football Club / Pride of East Belfast 



Glenavon 1-2 Glentoran

Sat, 02/10/2021 - 19:37

Glentoran took all 3 points following a 2-1 victory at Mourneview Park this afternoon in the Danske Bank Premiership. It was a very welcome win following three successive defeats to Larne, Crusaders & Linfield and sees the Glens move up to 5th place in the early season table.

Stand-in skipper, Paddy McClean was back in central defence for this game; Caolan Marron moving to right back with Bobby Burns occupying the left back spot. Hrvoje Plum, Gael Bigirimana and Rhys Marshall were in midfield with the regular front three of McMenamin, McDaid and Jay Donnelly in attack. The first chance of the game fell to Hrvoje Plum on 5 minutes, the Croatian midfielder finding space and driving towards goal before unleashing a 25-yard effort which was blocked by a Glenavon defender. Andrew Waterworth had Glenavon's first opportunity on 13 minutes, collecting the ball in the area and turning to get a shot on goal which was well kept out by Aaron McCarey.

Glentoran went in front just after the quarter hour mark. A foul by Robbie Garrett on Conor McMenamin brought a free kick to the visitors out on the left, midway into the Glenavon half. Hrvoje Plum fired a great ball into the danger area. Paddy McClean just missed it but keeper, Declan Brown punched the ball straight to Luke McCullough and was then helpless as McCullough powered a header past him and into the bottom corner of the net for his first Glentoran goal. 

Waterworth headed wide from journeyman Sean Ward's cross and then midway through the half a long ball from Luke McCullough sent Conor McMenamin away. McMenamin drove into the area and looked to be taken down but referee Dunlop waved away Glentoran's penalty appeals. Another Hrvoje Plum free kick almost brought a second goal but Conor McMenamin's touch too the ball over the bar. Glenavon almost levelled on 27 minutes when a corner to the back post was headed goalwards by Matthew Fitzpatrick but Bobby Burns cleared brilliantly off the line. Another foul by Garrett brought a yellow card for the midfielder. Plum again took the free kick - it was cleared to the edge of the area where Gael Bigirimana met it. His shot looked like doubling Glentoran's lead but it was hacked off the goal line. 

A clever near post corner from Hrvoje Plum was flicked goalwards by Robbie McDaid but was deflected behind via the arm of a Glenavon defender. McDaid was adamant it should have been a penalty but again referee Dunlop turned it down, pointing for a corner instead. Rhys Marshall then set up another chance for Robbie McDaid but Declan Brown denied him, saving with his feet. As halftime approached Glentoran looked like extending their advantage but the home defence held firm.

Halftime: Glenavon 0-1 Glentoran

Glenavon started the second half brightly and on 50 minutes Calum Birney headed wide following a corner. The East Belfast Glens responded with Conor McMenamin cutting in from the left before driving the ball toward goal only to see Brown make another fine save. Moments later Jay Donnelly did well to control a long ball and went past Calum Birney with ease before shooting into the side netting. The home side were pressing for an equaliser and another free header from a corner had to be cleared off the line by Marron. On 59 minutes a slack pass by Caolan Marron gave away possession in midfield and the ball was played forward releasing Andrew Waterworth. The former Linfield man was denied a shot though by a superb tackle from Paddy McClean.

Calum Birney headed over the bar following another corner but then on 70 minutes Glenavon got their goal. McMenamin and Plum seemed to have cleared the danger but Garrett regained possession and fed to ball out to Matthew Snoddy on the right. His initial cross was blocked but the second effort found Matthew Fitzpatrick and he headed home powerfully from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Glentoran responded immediately though and were back in front within a minute. Paddy McClean's long ball was flicked on by Jay Donnelly. Hrvoje Plum drove forward, collecting the ball and powering past Mark Haughey with the Glenavon skipper taking him down and this time the referee had a straightforward decision. Jay Donnelly took the spot kick and although Declan Brown got a hand to the ball, such was the power of Donnelly's shot that it still found the back of the net.

The home side tried to fight back and following a cross from the left, Fitzpatrick's overhead kick was just too high. Glentoran keeper McCarey collected the ball but was then hit really late by Peter Campbell. The linesman flagged for the offence but amazingly there was no card shown by referee Dunlop! The decision was then compounded when Caolan Marron was yellow carded following a 50/50 challenge when the ball was there to be won! We had 5 minutes of added time which Glentoran managed to see out quite comfortably and indeed might have added to their lead when Conor McMenamin set up Jay Donnelly only for the Glens leading scorer to shoot into the side netting.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marron, McCullough, McClean (c), Burns, Bigirimana (Crowe74), Plum (Clucas 78), Marshall, J. Donnelly, McDaid (R. Donnelly 78) & McMenamin.