A 69th minute goal from Stephen Carson earned a point for Glentoran at Solitude this afternoon.
The Reds started brightly and Catney had a chance to open the scoring on 12 minutes but his drive, from a narrow angle, was well saved by Elliott Morris. The Glens cleared the ball down field and Andy Waterworth outpaced the defence before firing across goal. The ball was just too far ahead of the onrushing Stephen Carson. 2 minutes later Waterworth was sent clear again. As he approached the penalty area he was caught from behind by Barry Holland and the Glens were awarded a free kick with Holland given a red card by referee, Crangle. Carson took the set piece and was only inches away from opening the scoring, his drive going inches wide of the post. As Cliftonville reorganised the Glens created a couple of great chances. Good passing and movement involving Kane, Carson and McGuigan resulted in McGuigan finding Waterworth in the area but he pulled his shot wide. Eamonn Murray then had an effort on goal deflected into the arms of a relieved Conor Devlin. Against the run of play the Reds went in front on 20 minutes. A long ball from defence hit Joe Gormley on the back before falling perfectly for him to lift it over the advancing Elliott Morris and into the net. 5 minutes later the Glens almost equalised; Eamonn Murray’s drive being well saved by Devlin. Boyce squandered a decent chance for the home side on 32 minutes whilst John McGuigan’s long range effort (35) was easily gathered by the Cliftonville keeper. Murray set up Marcus Kane 10 minutes from the break but his superb shot just cleared the crossbar. On the stroke of half-time Waterworth got his head onto a Carson cross but couldn’t direct it on target.
The second half took a while to get going with both sides picking up a number of cautions as they struggled to gain supremacy. Whilst most of the cards were warranted, John McGuigan was unfortunate to pick up a booking on 66 minutes when Catney, taking a free-kick from the wrong place, struck the ball straight at him! Martin Murray replaced Eamonn Murray on 63 minutes and he played a significant part in the Glentoran equaliser 6 minutes later. Murray crossed from the left and when skipper Colin Nixon challenged the keeper the ball broke for Stephen Carson who found the bottom corner from 10 yards. On 76 minutes it should have been 2-1 to the Glens. A superb corner from Carson found the head of Nixon but he put it just over with the goal at his mercy. In stoppage time a long ball into the Cliftonville penalty area was chested down by substitute Richard Gibson to Jimmy Callacher on the edge of the area but the midfielder’s drive was inches too high. So a point for Glentoran in what is traditionally a difficult away fixture and the team remain unbeaten after 3 matches. Next up in the Danske Bank Premiership are Linfield at the Oval however Eddie Patterson’s side have an Irn-Bru League Cup fixture to concentrate on first. That game is at the Oval on Monday night against PSNI with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Glentoran: Morris, Ward, Kane, Magee, Nixon (capt), M. Clarke, Callacher, McGuigan, E. Murray, Carson & Waterworth.
Subs: M. Murray for E. Murray (63) & Gibson for Waterworth (87).
Goal highlights are on the BBC Sport NI site HERE