Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 2-1 Warrenpoint Town

Sat, 21/09/2019 - 17:57

A late, late winner from Paddy McClean gave the Glens victory at the Oval this afternoon in the Danske Bank Premiership.

To use an old Jimmy Greaves quote, "It's a funny old game!" Glentoran dominated the opening 45 minutes, at times putting together some breath taking moves and had they been five up at the break the visitors couldn't have complained. Instead the teams came out for the second half with just a goal separating them and the fluent football from the Glens was non-existent. When Warrenpoint Town grabbed an equaliser midway through the half we feared the worst. However as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes a Paddy McClean header was spilled by Evan Moran in the 'Point goal and McClean wheeled away in joyous celebration, the three points secured.

Steven Gordon for the injured Gavin Peers was the only change to the starting XI from last Saturday. Glentoran were out of the blocks really quickly, forcing four corners in the opening few minutes. The final one of these was cleared but picked up about 25 yards from goal by Hrvoje Plum. The Croatian midfielder was fouled though and Glentoran awarded a free-kick. Having already netted two from similar range earlier in the season (against Coleraine and Institute) it was no surprise to see him take responsibility again. The result, another peach from Plum. A superb strike which gave Evan Moran no chance.

On eight minutes it might have been 2-nil, Plum finding Elvio Van Overbeek in the area but the Dutchman's shot across goal was inches wide of the far post. Van Overbeek went close again a couple of minutes later, forcing a good save out of the Warrenpoint keeper. Glentoran were in total control but the second goal was proving elusive. Midway through the half both McDaid and O'Neill had efforts that were just off target. On 29 minutes a superb break by Robbie McDaid saw the striker outpace the defence and put a perfect ball into the middle for Paul O'Neill but his shot was blocked by the keeper when he really should have scored.

On 33 minutes another excellent Glentoran move saw Plum find Van Overbeek who in turn cut the ball back for Connor Pepper. The full back's shot came back off the inside of the far post though and was cleared. John Herron then set up Paul O'Neill for another chance. O'Neill lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper but just got a little too much on it and the ball landed on the roof of the net. Moments later Plum was the provider for O'Neill. This time the young forward brought another decent save out of Moran. Right on the 45 minute mark another burst forward from Van Overbeek saw him finish with a drive across goal which McDaid just failed to get a touch to.

Half-time: Glentoran 1-0 Warrenpoint Town.

As mentioned previously, the second half saw the Glens take their foot of the gas somewhat, allowing Warrenpoint to believe they might get something from the game. On 62 minutes a corner for the visitors saw James Prendergast get a free header at the back post. Fortunately for Glentoran the substitute's effort flew wide. The warning wasn't heeded though and six minutes later Point levelled things up. A poor pass from Steven Gordon was intercepted and the ball swept out to the left. A superb cross into the danger area was turned in by Alan O'Sullivan. The visitors had another half chance a minute later but Emmet Bennett's weak shot was easily dealt with by Marijan Antolovic.

With eleven minutes remaining Connor Pepper produced a lung bursting run to get to the bye-line and cut the ball back for substitute Darren Murray, but his initial touch was poor and the ball was cleared. With four minutes remaining Cameron Stewart came on to replace John Herron and the change paid off massively as Stewart's flick on of Marcus Kane's long throw in found Paddy McClean and his header ended up in the back of the net. Perhaps the Warrenpoint keeper should have done better but McClean didn't care as he wheeled away towards the Glentoran fans, delighted with his first Glentoran goal. Three points, job done.

Photographs by PACEMAKER.

Glentoran: Antolovic, Pepper, Kane (c), Gordon, McClean, Herron (Stewart 86), Plum, Crowe (Murray 54), Van Overbeek, O'Neill (Gallagher 65) and McDaid.