Glentoran FC

The Official website of Glentoran Football Club / Pride of East Belfast 



Glentoran 3-1 Portadown

Sat, 04/12/2021 - 19:12

Jay Donnelly was the headline maker again with two well taken goals in our victory over Portadown in today's Danske Bank Premiership game at the Bet McLean Oval.

Glentoran were missing Aaron McCarey, Hrvoje Plum and Gael Bigirimana from last week's squad and with Elliott Morris also unavailable, Kai Beck was on the bench as back up to Ross Glendinning.

Portadown went in front with virtually their first venture into the Glentoran half. There were just 6 minutes on the clock when Michael Ruddy's strike from all of 30 yards, flew past Ross Glendinning. Glentoran looked to strike back quickly and were almost level on 12 minutes. A cross from the right from Rhys Marshall saw Jay Donnelly, at full stretch, just fail to get that vital touch on the ball.

The visitors were presented with a chance to increase their lead on 14 minutes when a slack back pass from Joe Crowe went behind for a corner. The ball was swung in from the left but Lee Bonis, given a free header, was unable to keep his effort on target. The Glens had their own set piece opportunity shortly afterwards. Shay McCartan's shot was deflected behind and from the resulting corner, Conor McMenamin headed wide. Midway through the first half we had an excellent bit of play from Seanan Clucas; the midfielder getting past several Portadown defenders before unluckily seeing his shot blocked.

Goal scorer, Michael Ruddy then picked up an injury as he tried to pull back Shay McCartan. The Portadown player rightly received a caution and play was then held up for several minutes as the visiting team's physio looked to reset what seemed to be a dislocated finger. 10 minutes from the interval Glentoran felt they should have been awarded a penalty. Jay Donnelly saw his initial effort blocked but in the follow up play, Robbie McDaid was hit late inside the area. Referee McNabb waved away the appeals. Seanan Clucas was then taken out as he broke down the left. A free kick was awarded but surprisingly no yellow card! The free kick was easily cleared but broke to Caolan Marron. He went for goal from around 30 yards and wasn't far off target.

Glentoran were very much on top as we approached the break and deservedly levelled things up on 42 minutes. A long pass forward from Rhys Marshall was superbly controlled by Jay Donnelly. He tried initially to clip it over the out-rushing Jethran Barr but the keeper got a hand to it. Donnelly collected the ball again and from a narrow angle slotted it into the City End net despite an attempt from Ruddy to block it on the goal line. Not content with the equaliser, the home side looked to take an advantage before halftime. Rhys Marshall found Joe Crowe but his effort from the edge of the area was deflected wide. 

Despite the lengthy stoppage for Michael Ruddy,  two on-field treatments for Adam McCallum (who was eventually substituted) and numerous occasions of time wasting by the visiting team, only three additional minutes were added at the end of the first half, much to the frustration of the home support.

Halftime: Glentoran 1-1 Portadown

10 minutes into the second half Portadown had the chance to go back in front when substitute Adam Salley was through on goal. He was denied though by a superb, last ditch tackle from the excellent Caolan Marron. Seanan Clucas had a chance to grab a second for the Glens just before the hour mark but dragged his shot across goal and wide of the far post. 

Glentoran went in front on 61 minutes and what a finish it was! Paul Finnegan tried to see the ball out of play but Jay Donnelly robbed him right on the by-line. He was no more than a foot inside the pitch but still managed to squeeze the ball in past a despairing Jethran Barr. What a goal! The angle looked impossible but not for the league's leading marksman. Another Glentoran corner on 65 minutes presented Seanan Clucas with a chance but his shot came off a defender and went wide. Moments later a free kick from Conor McMenamin was headed home by Robbie McDaid but the Glentoran number 11 was denied by a raised linesman's flag. It must have been really tight!

With 15 minutes remaining Glentoran had goalkeeper Ross Glendinning to thank for preserving their lead. A simple ball forward caught out the Glens' back line and Glendinning did really well to keep out Adam Salley's effort. On 78 minutes Shay McCartan almost opened his scoring account for the Glens. Had his 40-yard effort gone in you'd be pretty sure he'd never score a better one! As it was, Jethran Barr got the slightest touch on the ball, deflecting it onto the crossbar. 

Glentoran effectively sealed the points with a third goal on 81 minutes. A long ball diagonal pass forward from Bobby Burns was flicked on by Conor McMenamin. Robbie McDaid collected the ball on the edge of the area and as he drove towards goal, seemed to be taken down by Paul Finnegan. As Finnegan tried to clear the danger, Conor McMenamin took the ball off him and smashed it past Barr from around 10 yards out. Glentoran introduced several substitutes in the closing period and comfortably saw out the remaining minutes plus the additional 3 added by the match officials to remain in 3rd place in the Danske Bank Premiership. Next up is a trip to Carrick Rangers next Saturday.

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Glendinning, Marshall, Burns, Marron, McClean (c), Crowe, Clucas, McCartan (Smith 82), J. Donnelly (Wightman 88), McDaid (R. Donnelly 82) & McMenamin (Cushnie 88)