The Glens and Larne played out a scoreless draw at the Bet McLean Oval this evening in the Danske Bank Premiership. It was a largely uneventful contest with decent chances far and few between. There was one controversial moment though just before halftime when John Herron struck Bobby Burns. The incident happened close to the linesman and 4th official but bizarrely only a yellow card was produced.
It was the same starting XI tonight which kicked off the game last Friday at the National Stadium. The first chance fell to the visitors on 4 minutes when Lee Lynch went through one v one with Aaron McCarey. The Larne player slipped the ball between the Glentorran keeper's legs but it went wide of the far post. Glentoran almost went in front a couple of minutes later. Tomas Cosgrove gave away a free kick on the right which Hrvoje Plum swung into the penalty area. Michael O'Connor met it but his header flew just over the bar. Dillon Powers and Hrvoje Plum then linked well before the latter played the ball to Jay Donnelly on the right. Jay's cross-shot was well held by Rohan Ferguson though.
20 minutes in there was a decent chance for David McDaid when he went past a couple of Glentoran defenders on the edge of the area but his shot was well kept out by Aaron McCarey, the big keeper saving with his feet. Midway through the first half Paddy McClean, Bobby Burns and Conor McMenamin linked up well on the left. McMenamin fired a cross into the box which was met by Jay Donnelly but his header lacked power and it was a comfortable save for the Larne keeper. On 28 minutes a long throw from Michael O'Connor was partially cleared, the ball falling to Dillon Powers near the edge of the box. His shot took a deflection which made it an easy save for Ferguson.
As we approached halftime both sides had half chances, neither of which was converted. Aaron McCarey kept out an effort from Mark Randall whilst at the other end Conor McMenamin headed wide from Michael O'Connor's cross. On 43 minutes came the moment of controversy. Bobby Burns was knocked to the ground by John Herron. As Burns attempted to get up Herron shoved him back down, pushing him in the face. Players from both sides then got involved with the referee, Ross Dunlop, issuing yellow cards to both Herron and Seanan Clucas! Given the close proximity of the officials it's hard to fathom how Herron remained on the pitch. The fact that Larne substituted him a couple of minutes later perhaps tells a story!
Glentoran had an early chance in the second half when a sublime cross-field pass from Michael O'Connor picked out Jay Donnelly. The striker drove into the penalty area but fired wide of the target. Donnelly went close again on 58 minutes after Rhys Marshall had done really well to force a corner. Hrvoje Plum found Jay in the area but his header went wide. Just after the hour mark Fuad Sule wasn't closed down and was allowed to get a shot off from around 25 yards but McCarey was equal to it. Michael O'Connor, who had an excellent game, then saw his effort blocked before Seanan Clucas headed Plum's set piece straight at Rohan Ferguson. Ben Doherty then might have given Larne an undeserved lead when he went through with just McCarey to beat but the Glentoran keeper saved well.
A corner from Hrvoje Plum was cleared to Dillon Powers on 66 minutes. The american got his shot on target but it didn't really trouble Ferguson. With 11 minutes remaining an excellent cross from Conor McMenamin picked out Jay Donnelly but his header flew agonisingly wide. Substitute, Shay McCartan then was wayward with a 30-yard free kick with the final chance of the game then falling to Jay Donnelly in stoppage time but he couldn't keep his shot down.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Burns, Marron, McClean, Clucas (c) (McCartan 74), Powers (Kane 74), Plum, McMenamin, O'Connor (Cushnie 80) & McMenamin.