The Glens, who had won their previous 3 matches since the 1-1 draw at Linfield, were sluggish to start with the Bannsiders fastest out of the blocks. Just a minute in and free-kick specialist Neil McCafferty forced a smart save from Elliott Morris after his 25-yard set-piece looked destined to nestle into the bottom corner. From the resultant corner kick Coleraine took the lead. McCafferty swung the ball in and Rodney Brown arrived to power home a header and give Oran Kearney's men a deserved lead.
Glentoran were looking very shaky at the back and several unforced errors invited pressure onto the Sydenham End goal that they were defending, with the only respite coming in the shape of Willie Garrett's 30 yard free kick that was easily gathered by Michael Doherty in the Coleraine goal. With 12 minutes on the clock the home side equalised against the run of play with Conor McMenamin tripped inside the box after good work by Johnny Smith on the wing. Curtis Allen stepped up to bury the spot-kick into the bottom corner.
McMenamin was unfortunately injured soon after and had to be replaced by Jim O'Hanlon, and shortly after David Scullion fell victim to injury and was withdrawn for Ciaran Caldwell - who was returning after a lengthy suspension. Just before half time Allen almost edged the Glens into the lead but his outstretched foot failed to direct the ball into the net. Coleraine, who had dominated the majority of the opening forty five minutes without really doing much, would've been disappointed not to be ahead at the interval.
The second half was a different affair with the Glens dominating most of the play. With 58 minutes played Caldwell danced into the Bannsiders' box but his cross was inches away from a Smith tap in, then moments later Marcus Kane - playing his 125th game for Glentoran - had a header cleared off the line.
With ten minutes left Caldwell had a golden chance to grab the winner, but failed to connect with the ball when free inside the box and the opportunity went begging. As the match neared it's conclusion Brown went through on goal again however Morris saved the one-on-one and Barry Holland did enough to ensure the rebound went wide.
All in all a decent point against tough opposition. Next up is a trip to Ballymena on Saturday 7th with a 3pm kick-off time.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell.
Glentoran: Morris, Gibson, Kane, Holland, Garrett, Addis, McAlorum, Scullion, Smith, Allen & McMenamin.
Subs: O'Hanlon for Scullion, Caldwell for McMenamin and McCullough for Smith.
Unused subs: Hogg & Henderson