Saturday 4 January 2020, Kick Off 3.00pm
On Saturday we begin this season’s Irish Cup campaign by renewing an old rivalry when Portadown visit the Oval.
We have played Portadown three times in the Irish Cup this decade, winning all three. In 2013 a second half header from Marcus Kane gave Eddie Patterson’s Glens a 1-0 semi-final victory at Windsor Park on our way to our final victory over Cliftonville. The following season we won 3-1 at Shamrock Park at this stage of the cup, with two debut goals from Curtis Allen, who had just signed from Inverness CT, and one from Aaron Boyd. Our most famous win was five seasons ago when a second half strike from David Scullion won us the Irish Cup Final at the Oval, our most recent trophy win.
Patrick Van Dort, football correspondent of the News Letter, has covered Portadown for many years and spoke to www.glentoran.com about Saturday’s opponents: “Meetings between Portadown and Glentoran have produced some of the most thrilling games in the modern Irish League era. Relegation in 2017 may have restricted that rivalry to knockout ties until Portadown can return to the top table but that only adds to the sense of excitement heading into this weekend’s return to the Oval. The Ports visit Belfast fresh from back-to-back Bluefin Sport Championship wins over the festive period against Loughgall and PSNI, with consecutive clean sheets in keeping with a defensive resolve which has formed the backbone of the promotion drive. A climb out of second-tier football remains the clear priority for Matthew Tipton’s Championship league leaders.
However, Portadown will tackle the Glens aware of the financial benefits connected to an Irish Cup run alongside an opportunity to test individual progress against such in-form hosts.
Although Tipton is determined to maintain full focus on the push for promotion irrespective of Saturday’s result, players within his young squad will embrace the chance to gain experience against temporary rivals they hope can become permanent sooner rather than later”.
Mick McDermott: "At Dungannon on Wednesday, we needed to really knuckle down to dig in to get the result we needed. I never felt we were in difficulties at any point Against Ballymena last Saturday and again at Dungannon on Wednesday. We probably won ugly to some degree but with Cameron injured, Paul suspended and Marcus away, we’d had to make a few changes. We got the goal relatively early through Willie, got the second from Elvio at a good time so while we maybe weren’t firing on all cylinders, I felt we looked comfortable. The travelling support we had at Dungannon on New Year’s Day was a testament to how pleased our supporters are with our progress and we’ll do everything we can for them
There has been a lot of comment in the media about the number of games we’ve currently gone unbeaten, but we will continue approach our matches in the New Year with our same “one-in-a-row” thinking. The game immediately in front is the only one to think about, whether that’s in the League or Cup, and that continues with Portadown on Saturday. That approach has served us well so far and it’s the right one for us to adopt at all times, as all our matches are equally important, and all our opponents demand the same level of respect.
Today we play our first Irish Cup match since I joined the club and our first match against Portadown for a few years. I’m aware there’s always been a sharp rivalry between the two clubs, and also how important the cup has been to Glentoran and our supporters over the past few decades. This is a very important trophy, both in terms of the great day out at the final, but also because of the European qualification that goes with winning it. So, our focus is fully on the Irish Cup this weekend and we’ll do everything we possibly can to progress as far as we can.
Keith Cowan and Ciaran O’Connor are available for selection today. They have been training very well with us and we’re very happy to have them on board”.
Saturday’s match sponsor is Nicdar Tiles
Nicdar Tiles are a newly formed Tile showroom based in East Belfast who have found a market to supply top quality Mediterranean tiles at low cost prices.
We sell a from a large range of tiles in large format, wood effect, marble style, etc, in porcelain and ceramic.
Hanwood Business Park
Telephone: 07852 427240