Glentoran FC

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



Glentoran 2–0 Ballyclare Comrades

Sat, 02/03/2024 - 20:37

A routine victory at the Bet McClean Oval this afternoon ensures Glentoran’s place in the semi-final of this year’s Clearer Water Irish Cup. A goal in each half from David Fisher and Charlie Lindsay – the latter in his first start since returning to the club - ensured a comfortable outing in which Aaron McCarey was rarely threatened in the Glens goal.

Glentoran set the tone from the off, producing a series of early chances. Lindsay flashed a dangerous cross across the six-yard box within the first 5 minutes, just evading Junior and Fisher. Dáire O’Connor produced an almost identical chance moments later, with no takers from the front line. In the pick of the initial exchanges, O’Connor again produced a moment of magic in the eleventh minute, only for James Singleton to turn the ball  just over the bar.

However, the pressure told in the twenty-sixth minute. A quick piece of interplay between Dáire O’Connor and Seanan Clucas from a throw in produced an excellent cross from the Clucas into the box. An onrushing David Fisher made no mistake from his header, guiding the ball into the left-hand corner of the net for his fourteenth goal of the season. The deadlock broken in slick fashion, much to the delight of the Oval faithful.

Glentoran kept the pressure up for the remainder of the first half and were unlucky not to be further in front by the interval. Clucas took ownership and initiative in the thirty-sixth minute to singlehandedly drive into the box from midfield, but an excellent save from his low drive kept the score line down. David Fisher was also unlucky to see a header flash wide shortly after, a long Johnny Russell throw in the thirty-ninth minute causing chaos in the Ballyclare Comrades box, with the striker unfortunate not to grab his second before the players headed up the tunnel.

Half Time: Glentoran 1-0 Ballyclare Comrades

Warren Feeney can be rightfully pleased that the home side started the second half with such intent, with the Glens claiming a second within a minute of the restart. After a trademark Johnny Russell throw in was cleared, Dáire O’Connor showed some great skill to lob the ball into the box. Charlie Lindsay showed composure to bring the ball down, and rifle past the goalkeeper. Glentoran had worked quickly to put the tie to bed, which will delight the manager and coaching staff.

Glentoran would maintain the pressure for the rest of the match. Great build-up play from Bobby Burns in the forty-ninth minute found David Fisher free in the box, but his skilful chip flew just wide of the mark. O’Connor was also unfortunate not to do better on the hour mark; a mistake from the Ballyclare Comrades goalkeeper gifted Junior possession, but after a quick pass the Wicklow man could only shoot wide.

Warren Feeney took the opportunity to freshen up the team with twenty-five minutes to go, with Josh Kelly and Niall McGinn replacing Seanan Clucas and Charlie Lindsay, respectively. Indeed, McGinn played his part in almost making an instant impact; a slick passing move between Junior, Fisher, and the Tyrone man set the former free in the box. Junior made no mistake in slotting home but was rightly judged to be offside. A chance to put some extra gloss on the score line was snatched away.

Junior was replaced by Shay McCartan in the seventy-seventh minute, and once again, a major chance fell to a substitute shortly afterwards. This time a long ball into the box was skilfully trapped by our number seven, who was unlucky to see a fizzing drive flash just wide of the post. Aaran Wightman and Harry Murphy were introduced in the final minutes for Dáire O’Connor and David Fisher to see out the contest.

Glentoran can be rightly proud of negotiating a potential banana-skin tie in such professional fashion. Fans can now look forward to a semi-final v either Linfield or Institute, in a Clearer Water Irish Cup that is now very important in the context of the club’s season.

Full Time: Glentoran 2-0 Ballyclare Comrades

Glentoran: McCarey, Singleton, Russell, McCullough (c), McClean, Burns, Clucas (Kelly 66), Lindsay (McGinn 66), O’Connor (Wightman 87), Junior (McCartan 75) & Fisher (Murphy 87) 

Subs (Not used): Webber, Sule.