It's six games unbeaten for Glentoran but unfortunately not six consecutive wins. On a horrendous day weather wise, the journey to the North West was extended for players, officials and supporters by road closures. However it didn't take long for the Glens to get into their stride and within the first 10 minutes we witnessed a Robbie McDaid header flash wide of the post and then Rory Brown in the 'Stute goal did well to keep out a free kick from Hrvoje Plum. On 11 minutes a long, raking pass from Patrick McClean put Marcus Kane clear on the left. The skipper drove forward before firing a dangerous ball across goal; McDaid just failing to get a connection which surely would have resulted in a goal.Next up it was a ball from Gallagher which found Nasseri. He burst forward but his shot was off target.
The deserved breakthrough came on the quarter hour. John Herron picked out Navid Nasseri. He put the ball to the back post where Elvio Van Overbeek drove it home. It was an excellent finish given the tight angle and the small target Van Overbeek had to hit. Glentoran continued in the ascendency with Nasseri in particular creating problems for the Institute defence. The home side began to get a foothold though and on 26 minutes Gareth Brown lifted the ball over both keeper and crossbar when well placed. Marijan Antolovic was then called into action and produced an excellent stop to deny Joseph McCready.
Glentoran needed to get to the break in front but unfortunately couldn't manage it. A soft foul conceded on the left allowed 'Stute the opportunity to put the ball into the Glentoran box with just 2 minutes to the break. The defence didn't deal with it though and Niall Grace drove the ball in. Half-time: Institute 1-1 Glentoran
The Glens had much the better of the second half but despite numerous chances, failed to get that vital second goal. McDaid headed straight at the keeper (47) and then Van Overbeek (52) brought an excellent save out of the 'Stute number 31. A shot from Marcus Kane took a deflection and looked to be going in but touches from both Rory Brown and the crossbar kept the ball out. A foul on Navid Nasseri in the 'D' then gave Hrvoje Plum the opportunity for another of his special free kicks. He struck the ball really well but again Brown in the home goal kept it out.
A header from Gavin Peers (75) then tested the keeper again as the Glens won a succession of corners. Following one of these Elvio Van Overbeek was unlucky to see his shot from the edge of the area come back off the post. The home side were now wasting time at every opportunity but unfortunately referee Andrews wasn't prepared to take any action. Both sides made changes, Glentoran bringing on Cameron Stewart and Paul O'Neill whilst the home side made 3 changes in an effort to cling on to their point. We had a couple of instances when the Institute physio came on to administer treatment, one particularly lengthy stoppage when Robbie McDaid was given a yellow card for what looked like an innocuous incident. It's hard to comprehend why we only had 3 added minutes. Given the substitutions, stoppages and time wasting in the second half. Perhaps the correct amount may have given the Glens the opportunity to get a winner but referee Andrews blew up to end what can only be described as a very frustrating afternoon.
Glentoran: Antolovic, Pepper, Kane (c), McClean, Peers, Plum , Herron, Gallagher (Stewart 73), Van Overbeek, Nasseri (O'Neill 85) & McDaid.
Photography by Thomas Sewell