Glentoran FC

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Glentoran 5-1 Dungannon Swifts

Sat, 28/11/2020 - 19:47

Manager, Mick McDermott was forced into two changes with both Dayle Coleing and Seanan Clucas sitting this one out through suspension. In came Rory Brown and skipper, Marcus Kane. Otherwise it was the team who played the second half at the National Stadium on Tuesday evening which kicked off this Danske Bank Premiership fixture.

Prior to kick off there was a minute's silence observed following the untimely death yesterday of Eleanor Murray, partner of our former player, manager and friend, Scott Young. 

It was a thrilling display from Glentoran but Dungannon Swifts played their part too in an attacking first half which saw 5 goals....and it could have been more! Indeed it was the visitors who had the first real opportunity when Oisin Smyth's curling 25-yard effort forced Rory Brown to turn it behind for a corner with just 5 minutes on the clock. Dale Gorman then released Jay Donnelly on the left and his low cross looked to be finding Paul O'Neill in the box but the danger was cleared by the Swifts defence.

On 17 minutes Glentoran went in front. Cricky Gallagher found Ciaran O'Connor and he in turn picked out Dale Gorman in the area. Gorman then slipped the ball through the legs of Adam Glenny to Paul O'Neill and the Glentoran number 9 fired a low shot past Samuel Johnston from a tight angle, into the corner of the City End goal.

The lead only lasted a couple of minutes though. A long ball forward from Shane McGinty eluded Luke McCullough and Rhyss Campbell chested the ball down before drilling a right foot shot past Rory Brown from 8 yards out. The visitors almost went in front shortly afterwards. A dangerous cross from their right went right across the Glentoran 6-yard box with Campbell just failing to get the touch which surely would have resulted in a second Dungannon goal.

Just before the half hour mark the Glens went back in front. Caolan Marron, who had another excellent game, glided past 3 or 4 players before clipping the ball into the box for Robbie McDaid. McDaid controlled the ball on his chest and then fired past the helpless Johnston in the Swifts goal. Just 4 minutes later it was 3-1. The Glens were awarded a free kick midway into the Dungannon Swifts half. Dale Gorman fired the ball towards the penalty spot and Patrick McClean rose highest to head the ball into the bottom corner of the net. 

On 35 minutes more excellent build up play from the home side saw Marcus Kane drill a cross in from the left. Jay Donnelly got his head to the ball but his effort was straight at the keeper. A minute later though and Donnelly had his goal. Marcus Kane played a lovely one two with Ciaran O'Connor before once again crossing into the 6-yard box. This time the unmarked Jay Donnelly made no mistake, side-footing the ball past Sam Johnston. On 41 minutes Donnelly almost turned provider, his delightful through ball picking out Robbie McDaid. McDaid though was unfortunate to see his shot blocked by a Swifts defender and the ball spun away for a corner. In the final minute of the half Dale Gorman tried his luck from fully 30 yards. Johnston could only parry the ball and was fortunate to gather it in before Paul O'Neill was able to get a touch.

Halftime: Glentoran 4-1 Dungannon Swifts

Glentoran were in confident mood as the second half got underway and went looking for more goals. Patrick McClean played a long ball forward on 49 minutes which was then played to Ciaran O'Connor. The midfielder took aim but unluckily his 25-yard effort went narrowly wide of the post. Unfortunately for O'Connor he then picked up a muscle injury on the hour mark and had to be replaced. Whilst it was disappointing to see O'Connor leave the action his replacement Hrvoje Plum made a very welcome return to action. Not long after entering the fray a corner from Plum almost created a 5th goal for the Glens but McDaid's effort was blocked.

On 77 minutes Dale Gorman and Robbie McDaid then combined to set up a scoring chance for Hrvoje Plum but his curling effort from the left corner of the 18-yard box was well saved by Johnston. Within a minute Plum tested Johnston again, this time with a 25-yard shot. However this was a much easier stop for the Swifts keeper. With 11 minutes remaining we almost had what would undoubtedly have been the goal of the game. Two sublime passes, the first from the excellent Luke McCullough to Hrvoje Plum and the second from Plum to Donnelly saw the young Glens striker through on goal. He rounded the keeper but then a miskick denied him the chance, much to the relief of the visitors.

On 81 minutes Jay Donnelly got the second goal his all round performance deserved. Gallagher and Kane were involved in midfield before the Glens skipper played the ball back to Paddy McClean. McClean's pass from the centre circle found Donnelly and he smashed an unstoppable shot past Sam Johnston to make it 5-1. He might have completed his hattrick in the final minute when substitute Gael Bigirimana picked him out in the area but this time Johnston kept his shot out.

There were plenty of positives from this game. 5 goals, with all 3 strikers scoring for the second game in a row. Some excellent flowing football on William Kirkwood's sublime playing surface. And the very welcome return to action of Hrvoje Plum. The only downside was the injury picked up by Ciaran O'Connor but hopefully he won't be out for too long.

Full-time: Glentoran 5-1 Dungannon Swifts

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Brown, Marron, McClean, McCullough, Kane (c), Gallagher, O'Connor (Plum 60), Gorman (Bigirimana 79), O'Neill (McDonagh 74), J. Donnelly & McDaid