Match Report by Andrew Morrison
The first game back since the halt in the season saw goals from Jay Donnelly and Robbie McDaid secure the three points against a Carrick side filled with former Glens players.
With the opening minutes seeing Glentoran dictate possession, the first reasonable attack came courtesy of the home side on five minutes. A corner from Hrvoje Plum saw Patrick McClean meet the ball at the penalty spot, however his header went just wide of the post.
Just moments later the Glens once again were on the attack with Rory Donnelly going down in the box. After a lack of any serious appeals from the Glentoran players referee Jamie Robinson pointed for a goal kick.
The visitors saw their first serious attack come after 13 minutes when Lloyd Anderson picked the ball up from 25 yards. After running past two Glentoran players the ball fell to new signing Jordan Jenkins who put the ball past Coleing. Fortunately for Mick McDermott’s side the linesman’s flag was up for offside.
After a period of prolonged possession, a series of dangerous deliveries courtesy of Jay Donnelly and Hrvoje Plum were not capitalised upon as it remained 0-0.
Plum continued to be a threat and in the 31st minute received the ball from Jay Donnelly on the edge of the Carrick box. After going round one of the away side's defenders he successfully got a shot off from 18 yards only for it to be comfortably gathered by Aaron Hogg.
Two minutes later Jay Donnelly was once again involved as he played a nicely weighted ball over the Carrick defence to the onrushing Rhys Marshall. The 25-year-old played a first time ball across the goal to Jay Donnelly but the number 10 shot just wide. Fortunately, he was deemed offside by the linesman.
Jay Donnelly heads the opening goal
The Glens pressure finally paid off after 40 minutes when a ball into the box from Marcus Kane deflected off Kyle Cherry. Jay Donnelly then beat goalkeeper Aaron Hogg to the ball to head home his seventh of the season and make it 1-0 at the break.
Half Time Glentoran 1-0 Carrick Rangers
The opening stages of the second half followed the trend of the first. Jay Donnelly picked the ball up on the left wing deep in the Carrick half. After noticing the run of Luke McCullough he laid the ball off for the midfielder to have a shot on goal from 25 yards which went just wide of the post.
Throughout the game Carrick proved to be a threating side and after 55 minutes Lloyd Anderson went on a run past numerous Glentoran defenders. After attacking the by-line, the Carrick man put in a low ball across the goal but a resolute home defence cleared the ball.
On the subsequent counter attack a long ball down the right channel saw Jay Donnelly chase down the ball with Rangers' Mark Surgenor. With Surgenor winning the race the Glenman lunged for the ball but caught the man resulting in a straight red card.
Red card for Jay Donnelly
The away side seemed to gain confidence from the dismissal and after a number of crosses into the box the best of their chances fell to Jordan Gibson.
Firstly, a cross found Gibson at the penalty spot but he put his effort wide. Then from a Coleing clearance he picked up the ball and attempted to chip the Gibraltar international from 30 yards but the ball sailed over the crossbar.
With Glentoran struggling after going down to ten men Carrick were awarded a free kick from about 35 yards. Caolan Loughran had a speculative effort from the set piece only to be denied from a tremendous save by Dayle Coleing.
Rhys Marshall after moving into midfield
Despite the pressure from the away side the Glens managed to double their lead on 78 minutes. Robbie McDaid picked the ball up down the right channel. After carrying the ball, he was left one on one with the defender before cutting on to his right foot and finding the near top corner. The goal was his ninth of the season and his fourth against this opposition.
The final stages of the game saw both sides continue to attack. Despite being down to ten men Glentoran were able to comfortably hold on to their lead before the referee called the game to an end.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Full Time: Glentoran 2-0 Carrick Rangers
Glentoran: Dayle Coleing, Caolan Marron, Luke McCullough, Patrick McClean, Marcus Kane (captain), Rhys Marshall, Ciaran O’Connor, Hrvoje Plum, Rory Donnelly, Robbie McDaid, Jay Donnelly subs Jamie McDonagh (for O’Connor 62), Paul O’Neill (for Rory Donnelly 75), Cricky Gallagher (for Plum 82)