Glentoran FC

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Linfield 1-1 Glentoran

Thu, 13/04/2023 - 01:08

Bobby Burns continued his quest to be recognised as his generation’s Johnny Jameson as his last gasp equaliser tonight at the National Stadium was his fourth goal against Linfield this season. It was no more than the Glens deserved in what was a scrappy game, but one in which the visitors had the lion’s share of possession..

Rodney McAree made four changes from the weekend’s defeat at Larne. Nineteen-year-old Harry Murphy was included for his first league start of the season at centre back in place of injured skipper Marcus Kane, while Hrvoje Plum, Niall McGinn and Junior all started in place of Shay McCartan, Danny Purkis (both on the bench) and Jay Donnelly.

Linfield got off to a lively start without seriously troubling Aaron McCarey or a resolute Glens defence. After five minutes the game settled into a pattern with Glentoran dominating the midfield but with few chances created at either end. On 28 minutes there were two controversial incidents. First the Glens had a penalty claim denied when a McGinn cross appeared to strike Daniel Finlayson’s hand. More contentiously, as the ball broke from the incident, Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew went to ground in a very heavy tackle on Harry Murphy, catching him on the shin. Mulgrew was lucky to escape with a yellow card. Young Murphy was on the rough end of a lot of similar treatment this evening but to his credit he refused to be intimidated and was confident and composed throughout.

Glens supporters must have felt they’d seen it all before this season as the half drew to a close. First Aaron McCarey was called on to make his first save of the match, a very acrobatic one from a  Fallon   shot. Immediately afterward James Singleton made a brilliant block from Kirk Millar. But the brief period of Blues’ pressure bore fruit from the corner when Sam Roscoe rose unchallenged to head home.

Half Time: Linfield 1-0 Glentoran

Glentoran started the second half positively as firstly an incisive pass from Terry Devlin sent Conor McMenamin through but Chris Johns saved well in the Linfield goal. Then Rhys Marshall played a perfect ball across the goal but Junior was unable to reach it.

The Glens continued to dominate the midfield and looked secure defensively but still few meaningful chances were created. That’s until two minutes into injury time when Burns continued his Big Two scoring run.

First Terry Devlin – outstanding throughout – played a long ball forward. This was met by the head of substitute Rory Donnelly who demonstrated his ariel prowess with a header straight into the path of the onrushing Burns who met and converted the ball first time for a well deserved equaliser. Donnelly nearly created a winner when with the final kick of the game he crossed deep to find Terry Devlin who met it but headed just wide.

Full Time: Linfield 1-1 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Singleton, McCullough (c) , Murphy (R. Donnelly 83), Burns, Devlin, Plum (McCartan 74) McGinn (Wightman 83), McMenamin & Junior (Purkis 70)