Glentoran remain unbeaten in this season's Danske Bank Premiership following a 2-nil home victory over Warrenpoint.
Although with a brisk breeze blowing across the Oval, a late summers afternoon showed off the superb condition of the pitch,which is real credit to our groundman and his helpers.
The Glens lined up with Curtis Allen and Robbie McDaid as the upfront striking partnership with John McGuigan unavailable on doctors orders following the head injury sustained at Loughall in midweek.
After 10 minutes of sparing the Glens first chance fell to Nathan Kerr, a good cross by Tiaran McNicholl saw the ball fall to the number 15 outside the box who seen his drive thunder off the post for a corner. Warrenpoint were however willing to push men forward and were particularly dangerous pushing up the left hand side. On the 19th minute, The Point’s number 3 Dale McCreery seen a speculative drive going just over the bar.
The Glens retaliated right away with McDaid mistiming when well placed, which resulted in some half hearted appeals for handball against Stephen Moan. Then just afterwards with 25 minutes gone Curtis Allen found himself unmarked and onside in the box, with an overhead attempt going to no avail.
At this stage opportunities were being presented, Corey Mc Mullan also had an opportunity on 35 minutes but also failed to make it count. A positive for the Glens were the number of quality corners and free kicks being provided by James Knowles.
It must also be said that Warrenpoint were not out of the contest as they were also guilty of squandering opportunities.
Following the half time cuppa the news was that Knowles would be replaced by Daniel Kelly. The Glens started the second half in fine style. In a sweeping attack Jordan Lyttle clipped Curtis Allen’s ankles just outside the corner of the box. The in-form striker picked himself up, dusted himself down and placed the resulting free kick wide of the keeper into the back of the Warrenpoint net; another great goal from the leader of the line.
The Glens were nearly two up when Moko surged forward, drove the ball into the box and then following some pinball, the Warrenpoint captain Stephen Moan nearly sliced the ball into his own net. The second Glentoran goal did come quickly after, Robbie McDaid was put in behind the Warrenpoint defence following an error. The young striker shrugged off the chasing defenders and toe poked the ball past Jonny Parr, who will be disappointed that he didn’t do better.
Tiaran McNicholl was then substituted for Eoghan McCawl who was making his club debut, and we all wish him well at The Oval.
Towards the end of the game Johnny Addis came on for Robbie McDaid. This produced a much more defensive formation which allowed Warrenpoint to try and push forward. However, at this stage of the game Warrenpoint, started to lose their discipline with several rash tackles going in and culminated in Darren Murray being sent off following two yellow cards for making his feelings being known to the referee.
Another 3 points which takes us to 3rd in the league, some would have argued that we have not encountered the top teams as yet, but this was the sort of game that we were dropping points in last season. Also, a win is a win and it must build up the confidence of a young team as we go into next week’s derby with the old rival.
Photographs by Pacemaker
Glentoran: Morris, Kerr, Kane (c), Birney, Ferrin, Delaney, McMullan, Knowles, McNicholl, Allen & McDaid.
Subs: Kelly for Knowles (46), McCawl for McNicholl (68) & Addis for McDaid (72)