Glentoran FC

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



Larne 2-1 Glentoran

Fri, 24/11/2023 - 22:01

Two defensive lapses, early in each half, cost Glentoran at least a point at Inver Park tonight and left us firmly rooted in fifth place in the Sports Direct Premiership approaching the half way stage of the campaign after our second 2-1 defeat by reigning champions Larne..

Warren Feeney made two changes from last week’s home win over Ballymena United. Junior started in place of the injured Jay Donnelly and Josh Kelly starting in midfield in place of Niall McGinn who started tonight’s game on the bench.

The Glens started brightly enough apart from the softest of bookings for Cammy Palmer but were on the back foot after nine minutes. A very speculative long ball out of midfield from Jaziel Orozco saw Andy Ryan easily outmuscle Paddy McClean on the left flank to cut in and give Aaron McCarey no chance from the edge of the six-yard box.

Larne were the better side for most of the half but few meaningful chances were created at either end other than a wide Joe Thompson shot on 18 minutes. The Glens created little in attack but the midfield of Palmer, Josh Kelly and Fuad Sule were the match of Larne in all areas.

On 36 minutes Glentoran had a strong penalty claim when Junior was clearly pushed over in the Larne box by Tomas Cosgrove. Despite the protestations of Glens players and the supporters behind the goal, referee Ian McNabb ignored the claims and waved play on. Then immediately following this incident good work around the box by David Fisher and Johnny Russell came to nothing when no final attempt on goal was forthcoming.

The teams saw it through to half time with only a wide shot from Leroy Miller of note.

Halftime: Larne 1-0 Glentoran

The second half started in the same feisty manner as the first and also with a Larne goal. This time a lengthy period of Larne possession with at least 20 passes ended with a ball out to Levi Ives on the right wing. Ives’ low cross inexplicably managed to beat three Glentoran defenders as it crossed the penalty area to be met by the outstanding Leroy Millar whose first time shot beat Aaron McCarey. Frankly McCarey was entitled to expect much better protection from those in front of him. In fact a few minutes later the Glens keeper made a fine save from Andy Ryan.

At this point Junior was replaced in attack by Rory Donnelly and in a tactical decision by Warren Feeney, Josh Kelly, who had been very effective in midfield, by Niall McGinn. It paid off quickly when the Glens pulled one back. Cammy Palmer – probably our best outfield player on the night – brilliantly intercepted deep in midfield and after a piercing run forward found David Fisher on the edge of the Larne area. The Englishman then took a first touch before unleashing an unstoppable drive low into the Larne net.

The Glens continued to dominate the play without creating meaningful chances and lost Aidan Wilson to injury, replaced at right back by Aaron Wightman. With 8 minutes to go McCarey was called on to make another fine save and on the blow the Glens won a corner from a goalmouth scramble. But it came to nothing as the final whistle blew.

So another disappointing result with the Glens unable to use a strong midfield performance as a platform for victory. On to the County Antrim Shield semi final on Tuesday night. I’m sure Warren Feeney will hope his lengthy injury list won’t be lengthened further following tonight’s encounter.

Final Score : Larne 2-1 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Wilson (Wightman 70), McClean, Singleton, Russell (McCartan 79), Sule, Palmer, Kelly (McGinn 63), O'Connor, Fisher & Junior (R. Donnelly 63).

Subs (Not used): Webber, Boyd, Feeney