Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 4-1 Ballymena Utd

Fri, 10/09/2021 - 23:41

An opening goal from Robbie McDaid and a Conor McMenamin hattrick gave the Glens a comfortable win at the Bet McLean Oval in tonight's Danske Bank Premiership clash.

There was just one change to the starting line up from last Saturday's game at Cliftonville; Conor McMenamin coming in to replace Rory Donnelly.

In front of a good crowd, the Glens started brightly and had a chance with just 3 minutes played; Robbie McDaid curling an effort beyond the far post. A foul by Ryan Waide on Glens skipper Marcus Kane gave the home side another chance 5 minutes later. Hrvoje Plum took the free kick and found Jay Donnelly but the Glens number 9 headed straight at Jordan Williamson in the visitors' goal. The first opportunity of the game for the Sky Blues came from a set piece. Captain, Leroy Millar's 30-yard free kick deflected off the Glentoran defensive wall though and went behind for a corner.

The opening goal arrived on 17 minutes. A shot from Bobby Burns was blocked but fell to Shay McCartan. He clipped a delightful pass to Rhys Marshall on the right. Marshall carried the ball to the edge of the 18-yard box before cutting past Daniel Bramall and delivering an excellent cross which Robbie McDaid headed home from 4 yards. 

Glentoran doubled the lead just 5 minutes later. Ballymena United had a corner at the Sydenham End which the Glens cleared upfield. Jay Donnelly chested the ball into the path of Conor McMenamin and he drove towards goal, cutting inside Lee Chapman before firing a low shot which hit the inside of the near post on its way into the goal. A couple of minutes later McMenamin hit another powerful drive but this 30-yard effort flew over the bar. Glentoran were dominant at this stage and Marcus Kane was unlucky to see his header from a Hrvoje Plum corner flash wide of the post.

On 35 minutes an excellent flowing move from the home side almost brought a third but Conor McMenamin's cross from the left was deflected just out of the reach of Jay Donnelly. Ballymena United pulled a goal back on 39 minutes. Jude Winchester's ball into the penalty area was cut back into the path of Paul McElroy and his low shot seemed to take a deflection off a Glentoran defender on its way past Aaron McCarey.

Halftime: Glentoran 2-1 Ballymena United

It was a quiet start to the second half but just after the hour mark the Glens restored their two goal lead. Luke McCullough played one of his trademark long diagonal balls towards the left corner of the 18-yard box. Marcus Kane headed it towards the penalty spot where it was beautifully controlled by Jay Donnelly. Donnelly shaped to shoot but with his way to goal blocked, played a short pass to Conor McMenamin who fierd a low shot past Jordan Williamson. 

With 20 minutes remaining the Glens wrapped up the points. Robbie McDaid clipped the ball forward and Jay Donnelly skinned Caolan Loughran before racing through on goal. His shot from 16 yards was parried by the United keeper but fell at the feet of Conor McMenamin who tucked it into the unguarded net with the Ballymena Untied defenders appealing unsuccessfully for offside.

Jay and Rory Donnelly both went close to making it 5 and as we reached 87 minutes there were chances in quick succession for Shay McCartan and substitutes Gael Bigirimana and Seanan Clucas. In the final minute of stoppage time Jay Donnelly was once again denied the goal his performance deserved, Williamson turning his shot from a tight angle, behind for a corner. From the set piece the ball broke for Marcus Kane but his shot on the turn came off the post and was cleared.

Fulltime: Glentoran 4-1 Ballymena United

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall (Clucas 83), McCullough, McClean, Kane (c), McCartan, Plum (Marron 64), Burns, J. Donnelly, McMenamin (Bigirimana 76) & McDaid (R. Donnelly 76).