Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 0-3 Coleraine

Thu, 02/05/2024 - 01:28

If ever a performance epitomised a season it was this one at the Bet McLean Oval as Glentoran meekly bowed out of the UEFA qualifiers at the first stage tonight.

Declan Devine made a number of changes from Saturday’s experimental line you with  Saturday’s debutant Callan Farley and young centre half Harry Murphy deservedly holding their places as was Cammy Palmer in midfield after a long injury. Jay Donnelly was the other one to stay on, playing beside the returning David Fisher in a 3-5-2 formation.

The first 15 minutes were dominated by 2 yellow card incidents. In the first minute Glens fand had their hearts in their mouths after a late challenge by Fuad Sule on Coleraine skipper Stephen O’Donnell. Then 10 minutes later O’Donnell could easily have been red carded for a very rough tackle that led to James Singleton being carried off with an ankle injury. Referee Shane Andrews opted for a yellow card in both cases. From the resultant free kick Cammy Palmer played it in very dangerously but Harry Murphy just failed to make contact at the far post. The Glens then had a penalty claim denied when the ball played O’Donnell’s resting arm but the appeals were fairly half hearted.

Coleraine took the lead on 290 minutes and it was a goal we’ve seen before. The Glens defence failed to clear from a Coleraine attack so the ball found its wat to fullback Jack Scott on the right flank. Scott crossed well into the Glens’ 6-yard box where Jamie McGonigle had the easiest of tasks to find space and nod home.

In a busy closing stage of the half, Aaron McCarey made a great acrobatic save from another McGonigle header. He in injury time then made an even better one handed save from Jamie Glackin before inexplicably jumping at Luke McCullough for the rebound in a manner that let the ball break to Lyndon Kane  who easily slotted home for the killer second goal. A shambolic way to concede at the worst possible time.

Half time: Glentoran 0-2 Coleraine

Declan Devine changed the formation to more of a 4-4-2 after the break with Niall McGinn and Shay McCartan introduced for Palmer and Murphy. McGinn made an early impression with 2 dangerous crosses – the first headed on target by Paddy McClean but with not enough power to beat Rory Brown, the second from David Fisher whose header  was cleared off the goal line.

Just after the hour Junior – just  introduced for Fisher who had put in a good shift but was visibly tiring after his injury absence – had a penalty claim denied. Junior had a couple of decent efforts while Callan Farley was forced into an excellent saving tackle from a Coleraine break.

Any hope the Glens support still had was eliminated with 20 minutes left as Coleraine got their third. It was McGonigle again. This time the striker, from his own corner kick, worked a 1-2 with Jack Scott before slipping the ball past McCarey. It was a very well worked move and finish, but a player of McGonigle’s quality was given far too much room and time to execute it.

The only other incident of note was an 85th minute second yellow card for Fuad Sule for a challenge on Dean Jarvis.

So that’s 2023-2024 over for Glentoran with no European football to look forward to. The new manger has confirmed this will be a summer of upheaval and rebuilding in all areas of the squad. He will be backed in that assessment by the vast majority of supporters and he will need the full backing of everyone at the Bet McLean Oval as he sets out on what will be the biggest job of a Glens manager for some time.

Full time: Glentoran 0-3 Coleraine

Glentoran: McCarey, Farley, Russell, McCullough (c), McClean, Murphy (McCartan 46), Singleton (Clucas 15), Sule, Palmer (McGinn 46), J Donnelly, Fisher  (Junior 62)

Subs (Not used): Webber, Kane, Burns