Glentoran FC

The Official website of Glentoran Football Club / Pride of East Belfast 



Glentoran 1 - 0 Newry City

Sat, 16/12/2023 - 17:23

Glentoran secured all three points this afternoon with a dogged victory against bottom side Newry City. A lacklustre performance from the home side was perhaps explained by Aidan Wilson being sent off in the 28th minute, ensuring the Glens had to play over an hour with ten men. In a game of few chances and little quality, Glens supporters will note that the team showed a strong defensive resilience to grind out an important three points.

The game suffered from a slow start, but a moment of quality in the sixth minute showed Glentoran’s intent to take charge of the game. An excellent ball from Niall McGinn picked out Dáire O’Connor in the middle of the opposition half, who put Shay McCartan through on goal. However, his decision to attempt to round Steven Maguire in the Newry goal presented a lifeline in a vital moment, and the chance was spurned as the goalkeeper gratefully snatched the ball.

Both teams continued to find it difficult to exert any dominance upon the match, resulting in a lack of meaningful chances at both ends. However, Dáire O’Connor created a chance from deep in the nineteenth minute, setting Aaron Wightman through on goal. He was extremely unlucky after an excellent, bustling run into the box deserved better; a strong, powerful shot flashed just wide of Andy Coleman’s right-hand post.

However, Glentoran would not be denied a breakthrough despite the lack of real quality. An excellent passing move from O’Connor, Wightman and Wilson in the 28th minute had the Newry City backline scrambling, with a deflected cross from Wilson producing a corner for the home side. McGinn flashed an excellent ball into the box, with Aidan Wilson showing composure to head the ball into the path of Shay McCartan, who made no mistake in turning a first-time shot past Maguire.

Glentoran would have expected to knuckle down and press further on their advantage but a challenge straight after the restart involving Aidan Wilson ensured a straight red card that shocked the Glentoran players close to the incident and really halted further momentum. Referee Lee Tavinder decided Wilson's challenge was worthy of issuing the red card that ensured the Glens would have to play with ten men for over an hour. Niall McGinn was subbed off for Josh Kelly shortly after in a tactical change to ensure a more resilient midfield for the remainder of the game.

Half time: Glentoran 1 - 0 Newry City 

As perhaps to be expected with ten men, the second half played out as an opportunity for Glentoran to show their defensive qualities and hold their advantage.

However, the team still showed real intent on occasions to find a second. McCartan flashed an excellent ball into the box in the 47th minute which was nearly turned in by a Newry City defender. Dáire O’Connor was also lucky to see his follow-up shot turned away for a corner.

Warren Feeney attempted to inject some new impetus into the game as the home side struggled to create many real opportunities, with Junior and a much welcomed Sean Murray entering the field of play before the final whistle. Indeed the fresh legs contributed to the only real meaningful chance of the second half; an excellent move from Junior sent O’Connor free in the sixty-seventh minute, who was unlucky to see his excellent shot from the edge of the box flash over the crossbar.

In summary, a performance which lacked real quality from the home side will be remembered as a day when Glentoran showed strong resilience to grind out all three points with ten men. Supporters will note that these type of performances have often produced dropped points this season, so the team should be congratulated for showing spirit and aptitude to grind out the win.

Full time: Glentoran 1 - 0 Newry City

Glentoran: Aaron McCarey, Aaron Wightman, Aidan Wilson, Luke McCullough (C), Paddy McClean, Jonny Russell, Fuad Sule, Daire O'Connor, Niall McGinn (sub Josh Kelly 37 mins), Shay McCartan (sub Sean Murray 78 mins), David Fisher (sub Junior 62 mins)
Subs not used: Ollie Webber, Marcus Kane, Ruaidhri Donnelly, George Feeney