A disappointing night at Mourneview Park has seen Glentoran exit the Irn-Bru Cup at the hands of Glenavon at Mourneview Park. The Glens named an unchanged side from that which performed well on Saturday and things seemingly got off to a decent start tonight as well with a quick tempo about our play. The first real opportunity of the game fell to Andy Waterworth as he used his pace to break clear of the Glenavon defence only for his powerful shot to be straight at Glenavon goalkeeper Andrew Coleman.
Just as The Glens were settling into the game, Glenavon struck the opener on the 11th minute. The Glentoran defence failed to clear a Mark Brown cross which Kris Lindsay nodded down for Andy McGrory to finish. The goal came as a blow to some early good play and the Glens tried to bounce back quickly. Richard clarke had an excellent shot from the edge of the box saved well by Coleman on the 17th minute as the side upped the pressure on the Glenavon defence.
Stephen Carson had Glentoran's next opportunity when he jinxed in from the left wing onto his right foot but his effort deflected in front of goal only for Glenavon to clear off the line before Waterworth could tap in. Despite going in 1-0 down at half time, Glentoran must have felt they were the better side and chances would continue to come in the second half.
However, the task was made much more difficult just after the break on 47mins when a free-kick was awarded to Glenavon on the halfway line. Glentoran were caught napping as the free kick was passed right through the middle of our defence to Guy Bates who ran clear before squaring to McGrory to tap in his second goal of the game.
The Glens seemed deflated and Glenavon controlled much of the next 15 minutes with Eliott Morris making a number of good saves, most notably from a Mark Brown free-kick. Eddie Patterson responded by sending on Richard Gibson to partner Waterworth up front but Glenavon's defensive problems from the weekend seemed long forgotten as they held firm.
David Howland then missed an excellent opportunity from the edge of the 6 yard box after Andy Waterworth's header was initially parried by Coleman. Howland was put under pressure and snatched at the rebound, sending it aimlessly over the bar. Entering the final 10mins The Glens started to push more as Coleman pulled off another good save from a goalmouth scramble.
Eventually Glentoran got a goal back in the game coming from Jimmy Callacher to head in his second in as many games from a Stephen Carson corner. The goal however proved too little too late despite the constant pressure of the last few minutes and sees Glentoran exit the Irn-Bru Cup whilst Glenavon are into their first semi-final for 11 years.
Glentoran: Morris, Ward (captain), Callacher, Garrett, Hill, M Clarke, R Clarke, Howland, E Murray, Carson, Waterworth
Subs: Gibson for E Murray, McGuigan for R Clarke, O'Hanlon for Hill