Glentoran FC

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



Portadown 0-2 Glentoran

Sat, 26/11/2022 - 19:10

Glentoran returned to winning ways with a 2-nil victory at Shamrock Park this afternoon in the Danske Bank Premiership. The Glens remain in third place, 3 points behind leaders, Larne but with two games in hand.

There were quite a few changes to the starting line up for what was our second away trip to the basement club this season. Conor McMenamin and Hrvoje Plum were both missing due to injury whilst Shay McCartan was suspended. The Glens lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with the returning Luke McCullough partnering Aidan Wilson and Paddy McClean at the back. Marshall and Kane occupied the wide midfield positions with Murray, Devlin and Singleton cenral. Jay and Rory Donnelly led the line. 

Wet and windy conditions made things difficult at the mid-Ulster venue and both sides struggled to create anything of note. There was a half chance on 6 minutes for Terry Devlin but he shot wide of the target when he could possibly taked another touch or two. On 12 minutes the Glentoran defence failed to clear their lines and Igor Rutkowski's shot looked destined for the bottom corner before Aaron McCarey pulled off an superb save, fingertipping the ball past the post. From the resulting corner the ball was returned to Reece Jordan and as he drove into the area he went over following a challenge by Rhys Marshall. Referee Evan Boyce waved away the home side's penalty appeals.

Despite the Glens having the advantage of a strong wind at their backs it was Portadown who looked the more lively and threatening in the opening quarter of the game. Following another corner kick Lee Upton headed wide of the Glentoran goal. The Glens themselves then forced a series of corners but without really putting any pressure on Jethran Barr in the home goal. Paddy McClean eventually did get a header on target but it was a comfortable save for the Ports stopper. A long range effort from Mark Russell almost broke the deadlock on 20 minutes but his fine strike clipped the top of the crossbar before the ball ended up amongst the large travelling support.

As the half progressed Glentoran began to assert more authority and went close when Rory Donnelly headed a cross from Marcus Kane wide of the post. Then a long throw in from Aidan Wilson was flicked on in the box, the ball dropping to Sean Murray who failed to get a decent connection on the ball and it was easily gathered by Jethran Barr. 5 minutes from the interval another sublime pass from the imperious Luke McCullough reached Jay Donnelly on the left. He cut the ball inside to Marcus Kane but the skipper blazed his effort well over the top.

In the final minute of first half stoppage time Glentoran went in front. The Glens were awarded a free kick around 45 yards from goal, left of centre. Sean Murray fired the ball into the area. McClean, Wilson and Kane all went for it and perhaps that distracted Barr but the ball flew past everyone and into the Portadown net. 

Halftime: Portadown 0-1 Glentoran

Danny Purkis replaced Rory Donnelly for the second half anf the Glens, shooting towards their own fans, were soon on the attack. On 47 minutes a cross from Marcus Kane was met by goalscorer, Sean Murray but his shot on the turn was straight at the Portadown keeper. Danny Purkis then flicked the ball into the path of Jay Donnelly but his shot from the edge of the area was wide of the target. 10 minutes into the half the Glens were unlucky not to double their advantage when a corner from Sean Murray on the left fell kindly for Aidan Wilson but his shot from around 8 yards out, crashed off the underside of the crossbar; Marcus Kane with the follow up dragged his effort wide.

Midway through the half Jay Donnelly broke clear down the left. He then picked out Terry Devlin with a great pass but the young midfielder's shot from just inside the area, was inches over the bar. With 20 minutes remaining the lively Danny Purkis did superbly well on the right before delivering a dangerous cross into the area. Substitute Bobby Burns got to it first and was really unlucky to see his header flash past the far post. Burns then nearly turned provider for Jay Donnelly but the pass was perhaps slightly overhit and the Striker's shot was straight at Jethran Barr. On a rare breakaway Portadown had the opportunity to perhaps draw level late on. Igor Rutkowski managed to get his head on a cross from the right but his attempt lacked power and Aaron McCarey gathered comfortably.

The points were secured with 5 minutes remaining when Bobby Burns netted Glentoran's second. Luke McCullough's free kick into the area was headed on, initially by Marcus Kane and then by Danny Purkis. Burns got on the end of it, the ball coming off both his head and his knee before ending up in the back of the net. Not a contender for 'Goal of the Season' but it secured the win and meant the players, coaching staff and fans weren't stressed out for the remaining minutes! There was one final scoring opportunity when, following an excellent interchange between Purkis and Marshall, Purkis's cross was headed just over the top by Jay Donnelly.

Photographs by PACEMAKER:

Glentoran: McCarey, Wilson, McCullough, McClean, Marshall, Singleton, Devlin, Murray (Burns 66), Kane (c), R. Donnelly (Purkis 46) & J. Donnelly.