Four shambolic minutes late in the second half cost Glentoran three points and their place at the top of the Sports Direct Premiership at the Bet McLean Oval this evening. But to be fair there can be few complaints after a generally lifeless and insipid ninety minutes from the Glens.
Warren Feeney was yet again forced into selection changes from last week’s home draw with Dungannon Swifts. This time, with Marcus Kane and Daire O’Connor added to the injured list Bobby Burns had to be moved to left back, though on the positive side Fuad Sule and David Fisher were available for selection so returned to the starting line-up.
The opening twenty minutes were largely uneventful, apart from a Shay McCartan booking, Coleraine leading on possession but no clear cut chances by either team. That chance on 20 minutes when the always dangerous Matthew Shevlin put Andrew Scott clear in the Glens box. Fortunately Aaron McCarey (Glentoran’s best player on the night) was able to touch it onto the far post with the danger then cleared.
The Glens took a surprise but welcome lead on 25 minutes. Shay McCartan took a long free kick from the left flank, which cleared the Coleraine defence. Skipper for the night James Singleton made a great late far post run and headed cleanly and confidently beyond Martin Gallagher for the opener.
The Glens didn’t capitalise on this lead and it took three saves from McCarey to ensure the lead was held until the break.
Half Time : Glentoran 1-0 Coleraine
The Glens had their best spell of the game in the first five minutes of the second half, having the ball in the Coleraine box on four occasions. But not once did the home forwards even look like creating a chance from them. As Coleraine dominated the play without threatening much, Warren Feeney made three substitutions over the next period.
The first sign of a real Coleraine threat came on 71 minutes with a decent effort just over the bar from young substitute Lee McLaughlin. This was shortly followed by another good save from McCarey.
The equaliser came after Junior inexplicably gave away possession with sloppy play on the Glens left flank. Josh Carson found McLaughlin wide left and from his pinpoint pass Shevlin rose unchallenged to head past McCarey to put the Bannsiders level.
Four minutes later it was all over for the Glens. Conor McKendry got the ball on the right flank, weaved pretty effortlessly past two defenders into the Glens box from where he was unchallenged as he drove hard and low past McCarey and into the Glentoran net.
So for the second week in a row Glentoran disappointed at home to now sit second, a point behind Larne who have a game in hand. With the fixtures as they are tomorrow there is every chance we’ll be fourth by close of play. Certainly a positive response at Carrick next week is essential.
Final Score : Glentoran 1-2 Coleraine
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Singleton (c), Burns Wilson, McClean, Kelly (Murray 71), Sule, McCartan, Fisher (Junior 53), McGinn, J. Donnelly (Feeney 75)
Subs (Not used): Webber, Russell, Walsh, Palmer