Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 3-0 Dungannon Swifts

Fri, 26/11/2021 - 23:21

Goals from Jay Donnelly, Paddy McClean and Robbie McDaid gave the Glens a win at the Bet McLean Oval this evening. A win which sees us move into second place in the Danske Bank Premiership, at least temporarily.

The starting line up saw just one change from the victory last weekend at Seaview; Rory Donnelly replacing Robbie McDaid. The first half saw the Swifts attack the Sydenham End with a strong wind at their backs. The Co Tyrone side had an early opportunity with a free kick in the opening minute but former Glentoran midfielder, James Knowles, struck the Glentoran defensive wall with his effort. The visitors had another chance on 12 minutes when Caolan Marron got in a great block to deny Darragh McBrien. Glentoran went close moments later when a cross from Conor McMenamin was headed wide by Jay Donnelly.

Just after the quarter hour mark Swifts number 11, Rhyss Campbell had two opportunities in quick succession. His first strike went narrowly over the bar and then he robbed Paddy McClean but Aaron McCarey bailed out his skipper with a fine save. On 19 minutes Hrvoje Plum delivered an excellent cross from the right looking to pick out Jay Donnelly but Glentoran's Irish Cup winner, now centre back for the Swifts, Keith Cowan intercepted conceding a corner in the process. Midway through the first half an excellent run from Rhys Marshall set up an opportunity for Conor McMenamin. McMenamin's curling effort was tipped over the bar by Michael Quinn.

Darragh McBrien then tried his luck from range but Aaron McCarey collected the ball comfortably. Just before the half hour mark Rory Donnelly almost broke the deadlock, his shot being spilled by the keeper however Keith Cowan prevented Jay Donnelly getting to the ball and Michael Quinn was able to recover. Dungannon Swifts then broke down the left with Caolan Marron's tackle eventually stopping the attack but earning the Glentoran central defender a yellow card.  The Glens went in front on 42 minutes from the penalty spot. Paddy McClean and Conor McMenamin linked with McMenamin then finding Jay Donnelly.  He tried to cut inside Ethan McGee but the Swifts' defender blocked the ball. It fell to Bobby Burns and as he crossed into the area, McGee was late with his challenge, catching the Glentoran number 6 just inside the area. Jay Donnelly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give the home side a slender lead at the break.

Halftime: Glentoran 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

Glentoran had the wind advantage in the second half but it was the visitors who had the first scoring opportunity with a free kick 30 yards from goal. Darragh McBrien took it but Hrvoje Plum blocked his effort. On 54 minutes the Glens doubled their lead. Paddy McClean picked up the ball in the centre circle and drove forward before firing for goal from almost 30 yards. The ball found the bottom corner of the net although the Swifts' keeper will be disappointed he didn't do better. McClean almost turned provider 3 minutes later, picking out Jay Donnelly in the box but keeper Quinn got down well to save at Donnelly's feet. 

On the hour mark a confident Paddy McClean tried to grab another goal. Again he struck the ball well but his former defensive colleague, Keith Cowan denied the Glens stand-in captain. Glentoran were dominant at this stage and Conor McMenamin almost made it 3-nil but his curling effort from the edge of the area struck the crossbar. On 74 minutes substitute Shay McCartan had a shot blocked but the ball ran kindly for Hrvoje Plum. The Croatian midfielder struck a great shot but it was just too high. Glentoran finally got their third goal in the final minute of normal time. Rhys Marshall found substitute Ben Cushnie on the right. He crossed towards the penalty spot where Robbie McDaid controlled the ball brilliantly before firing past a helpless Michael Quinn. 

Whilst McClean's goal was spectacular, McDaid's finish was technically superb and probably the goal of the night from the crowd favourite. Next up is a tricky away game at Coleraine on Tuesday evening. Another 3 points there would be very welcome.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Burns, Marron, McClean (c), Plum, Crowe (McCartan 68), Clucas, McMenamin (Cushnie 81). J. Donnelly (Bigirimana 81) & R. Donnelly (McDaid 54).