Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 1-0 Cliftonville

Sat, 08/05/2021 - 20:06

A second half goal from Rory Donnelly was enough to see the Glens progress to the quarter-final of the Irish Cup. 

With Marcus Kane out injured, Paddy McClean retained the captain's armband for this game with Mick McDermott sticking to the same back four that played against Coleraine. Dale Gorman and Jamie McDonagh started in place of Andrew Mitchell and the injured Robbie McDaid.

Before kick-off, a minutes silece was observed as a mark of respect to former Glentoran Chairman, John Parkinson, who sadly passed away earlier this week.

The Reds had the first opportunity in the game when a long ball forward from Kris Lowe on 5 minutes looked to have given Ryan Curran a chance but Glens' keeper, Rory Brown was quickly out to intercept. Glentoran thought they'd gone in front just before the quarter hour mark. A corner at the City End was turned goalwards by Luke McCullough. Rory Donnelly hooked it into the net but it was disallowed, supposedly for a high foot from the Glentoran number 10. Midway through the half a clearance from Caolan Marron fell to Ronan Doherty but his shot was turned behind by Luke McCullough. Jay and Rory Donnelly then linked to force a corner before a great right wing cross from Jamie McDonagh was met by Seanan Clucas but his header didn't trouble Aaron McCarey in the visitors' goal.

A cross from Dale Gorman looked to pick out Jay Donnelly but the Cliftonville keeper punched it clear. The ball dropped to Paddy McClean 30 yards out but his speculative effort was well wide. Just before the interval a long range effort from Dale Gorman was deflected behind but the Glens weren't able to take advantage of the resulting corner.

Halftime: Glentoran 0-0 Cliftonville

Glentoran were the dominant team in the early stages of the second half. Jamie McDonagh's header from Rory Donnelly's cross was cleared and then a move involving Marshall, Gorman and Jay Donnelly resulted in another Glentoran corner. On 54 minutes a strike from the edge of the box from Rory Donnelly produced a good save from Aaron Carey. From the corner, Jay Donnelly met the ball well with his head but his effort was deflected over the bar. 10 minutes into the second half, the cup holders broke the deadlock. A great effort from Dale Gorman looked destined for the top corner before McCarey tipped it over. Gorman himself took the corner kick, finding rory Donnelly at the near post and his headed flashed past the keeper and into the Sydenham End net.

A couple of minutes later McCarey denied the Glens a second. Again Rory Donnelly was at the centre of things, going on a mazy run before trying to cut the ball back for Jay only to see the keeper intercept. Seanan Clucas then set up a chance for Jamie McDonagh but his header lacked power and the keeper gathered it comfortably. Rory Hale then drove a long range effort over the bar before Dale Gorman struck a 30-yard free kick at the other end; again too high. As the minutes ticked away and Cliftonville pressed for an equaliser, Glentoran had a couple of chances on the break. Jamie McDonagh's cut back on 87 minutes was mishit by Ciaran O'Connor.

After Liam Bagnall's shot had found the City End terracing an excellent link up between the Donnelly brothers created a brilliant opportunity for Ciaran O'Connor. He looked to have killed the game off but somehow McCarey managed to scramble the ball over the bar. In stoppage time a chance for substitute, Paul O'Neill was blocked and partially cleared. The ball was fired back into the Glentoran box but Rory Brown did well to claim it. The on 93 minutes another chance for a Cliftonville leveller. Michael McCrudden managed to lift the ball over Rory Brown but it also cleared the crossbar too. Glentoran stood firm and saw out over 5 minutes of added time and will now face Crusaders at the Oval in Tuesday night's quarter final.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Brown, Marshall, McClean (c), McCullough, Marron, Bigirimana, Clucas (O'Connor 75), Gorman, McDonagh, J. Donnelly & R. Donnelly.