Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 1-0 Coleraine

Sat, 17/09/2022 - 18:55

Glentoran remain top of the Danske Bank Premiership after a 1-nil victory over Coleraine this afternoon at the Bet McLean Oval.

Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s silence held to mark the passing of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II; a minute impeccably observed by everyone in the stadium.

Glentoran’s starting line up showed a few changes from our last league fixture.  The midfield was initially to be James Singleton, Bobby Burns, Terry Devlin and Shay McCartan however Singleton suffered an injury in the pre-game warm up and was replaced by Hrvoje Plum. The back four, which has conceded just one goal so far this season remained the same whilst Jay Donnelly partnered Conor McMenamin in attack.

In the first quarter of the game both sides struggled to create anything of note. Coleraine did have a few set piece opportunities but the Glentoran defence dealt with them reasonably comfortably. Midway through the half a long pass forward was well controlled by Conor McMenamin. He side-stepped the nearest Coleraine defender but then saw his effort on goal well kept out by Martin Gallagher before it was hacked behind for a corner.

Terry Devlin initiated the Glens next chance, winning the ball in midfield before finding Shay McCartan. McCartan drove forward before unleashing a 25-yard effort which was narrowly wide of the City End goal. As halftime approached there was another half chance for the home side. Skipper Marcus Kane put in a great cross from the left and Conor McMenamin just failed to control the ball in the penalty area.

First half stoppage time was extended following a clumsy challenge on Marcus Kane; the Glentoran captain playing his 350th game for the club. Surprisingly no free kick was awarded with Kane having to leave the field after lengthy treatment.

Halftime: Glentoran 0-0 Coleraine

Marcus Kane was unable to continue and was replaced at the start of the second half by Rory Donnelly; Donnelly taking up a position wide on the left with Bobby Burns dropping into the left back slot. The Glentoran captain did return pitch-side with his arm in a sling but will need an x-ray to determine the extent of his injury.

On 48 minutes Conor McMenamin drove into the Coleraine penalty area but his right foot shot was deflected behind for a corner. A few minutes later, following another Glentoran set piece, the ball was cleared only as far as Terry Devlin. He played it back into the box to Conor McMenamin who, in turn, found Aidan Wilson. Wilson went for goal but was denied by a defender blocking his shot.

Just after the hour mark Glentoran finally made the breakthrough. Coleraine were having a rare attack but Lee Lynch’s ball to Jamie Glackin was superbly intercepted by Paddy McClean. Rory Donnelly collected the ball on his own 18-yard line and fired a brilliant pass forward, picking out Conor McMenamin on the halfway line. McMenamin then played a through ball, which Stephen O’Donnell was unable to cut out, to Jay Donnelly. The Glentoran striker was in on goal but Martin Gallagher denied him. The ball broke straight to Conor McMenamin though and the Northern Ireland international made no mistake from 8 yards out.

With 15 minutes remaining yet another foul on Conor McMenamin brought the home side a free kick out on the right. Shay McCartan, who put in a fantastic shift today, curled the ball into the danger area but Jay Donnelly couldn’t find the target with his header. A couple of minutes later Coleraine might have grabbed an equaliser when Dean Jarvis found Lyndon Kane on the left. His cross wasn’t properly cleared and the ball fell to the feet of substitute Michael McCrudden. The Coleraine number 10 though blasted his shot well over the bar from just 4 yards out!  

On 83 minutes we witnessed, not for the first time this season, another shockingly late tackle. This time Paddy McClean was on the receiving end of Lyndon Kane’s lunge. Kane was probably fortunate not to receive more than a yellow card. In stoppage time and with Coleraine throwing everyone forward in search of an equaliser, Glentoran should have made the game safe. Substitute Danny Purkis broke clear with Conor McMenamin in support. Inside the area, Purkis got the better of the defender and tried to pass the ball into the bottom corner of the net but dragged his effort just wide of the post. Perhaps a pass to Conor McMenamin might have been the better option but it didn’t matter in the end as the Glens stood firm and claimed all 3 points.

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Kane (R. Donnelly 46), Wilson, McClean, Burns, Devlin, Plum (Murray 78), McCartan (Crowe 85), J. Donnelly (Purkis 78) & McMenamin.