It took Glentoran 67 minutes to finally make the breakthrough at the Bet McLean Oval this afternoon; Bobby Burns netting his first goal for the club. Alistair Roy also scored his first for the Glens just a couple of minutes later and then a late header from Paddy McClean found the bottom corner to make it 3-nil to the home side.
The starting XI for matchday 5 in the Danske Bank Premiership saw no changes to the team which recorded a comfortable win at Shamrock Park 8 days ago. Glentoran's first chance came in the second minute when Paddy McClean got on the end of a corner but saw his header blocked by the visiting defence. A long ball forward on 4 minutes almost caught out the Glentoran defence but Aaron McCarey was quickly out to head and then volley the ball clear.
Paddy McClean's pass picked out Conor McMenamin on the left. The Northern Ireland international did really well, controlling the ball before finding his strike partner, Jay Donnelly. Donnelly cut into the box and his curling effort brought a fine save out of Steven Maguire in the visitors' goal. There have been several instances this season so far of very poor challenges being dealt with leniently by the match officials and midway through the first half we witnessed another close to the halfway line when Newry City's Lorcan Forde hit Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane really late. Such was the force of the 'tackle' that Kane, despite lengthy treatment, was unable to continue. Forde received a yellow card! Bobby Burns came on to replace Marcus Kane with Paddy McClean taking the captain's armband.
On 27 minutes a cross from Rhys Marshall on the right was met by Conor McMenamin. His header was blocked but the ball fell to Jay Donnelly who saw his shot deflected behind for a corner. 7 minutes from the break Lorcan Forde followed through on Aaron McCarey after the Glentoran keeper had cleared the ball. Everyone in the ground expected a second yellow card but it never came! On 44 minutes Shay McCartan, who had a superb game, almost opened the scoring but after a powerful, driving run, his shot went just wide of the post.
In first half stoppage time Lorcan Forde had a chance to put Newry City in front but Aaron McCarey did well to make the initial save before gathering the ball in. The final action of the half saw James Singleton head wide from a Jay Donnelly cross.
Halftime: Glentoran 0-0 Newry City
Glentoran upped their game after the interval and almost went in front on 47 minutes. A cross into the area saw Jay Donnelly's header deflect into the path of Sean Murray but his goal bound shot was blocked. The home side kept pressing. Conor McMenamin's cross just eluded Jay Donnelly as it fizzed across the 6-yard box. Shay McCartan kept the ball in play though and powered into the area before seeming to be taken down. No penalty given! A long range effore from Sean Murray was off target and then McCartan found Bobby Burns on the left and he was unlucky to see his low cross cut out by the Newry keeper.
Newry City then had a couple of opportunities themselves. An innocuous ball into the box was headed back towards his own keeper by Rhys Marshall however it almost crept in at the far post; Aaron McCarey having to turn it behind for a corner. On 57 minutes Thomas Lockhart tried his luck from all of 25 yards, forcing McCarey to tip it over the crossbar. Glentoran then made a couple of substitutions before Newry City went close again when Forde's cross was headed just wide by Philip Donnelly. Glentoran finally broke the deadlock on 67 minutes. James Singleton carried the ball from halfway before passing to Shay McCartan. He then played a great ball through to Jay Donnelly and the Glentoran number 9 fired a cross in which Alistair Roy just failed to connect with. Conor McMenamin picked the ball up though and cut it back to Shay McCartan. McCartan found the inrushing Bobby Burns who directed the ball past Maguire and into the Sydenham End net. It wasn't the cleanest strike but the majority inside the Bet McLean Oval didn't care. The Glens were finally in front!
Just 3 minutes later and it was 2-nil. Conor McMenamin collected the ball out on the right and cut inside Noel Healey before clipping a delightful cross into the danger area. Alistair Roy met it 8 yards from goal and although Steven Maguire did really well to keep out his initial header, Roy followed up to poke the ball home. the Glens were in control now and Shay McCartan brought a decent save out of Maguire before Hrvoje Plum curled a 25-yard free kick just inches over the bar. With 11 minutes remaining Alistair Roy had a 1 v 1 with the Newry City keeper with Maguire managing to keep the ball out.
On 87 minutes the Glens finally got a deserved third goal. Bobby Burns' cross was deflected behind for a corner. Shay McCartan took it and found an unmarked Paddy McClean who powered a header into the bottom corner from 8 yards out. In the second minute of stoppage time we saw another great run forward from Shay McCartan who then found Hrvoje Plum on the edge of the area. Plum fired at goal but unfortunately straight at the keeper.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Wilson, McClean, Kane (c) (Burns 28), Murray (Plum 59), Singleton, McCartan, R. Donnelly (Roy 59), J. Donnelly & McMenamin (Purkis 81)