Glentoran FC

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Queens University 2-3 Glentoran

Sat, 01/02/2020 - 19:26

Glentoran are through to the quarter finals of the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup following a nervy but deserved 3-2 win over Queens University thanks to a Robbie McDaid hattrick. The small capacity ground was completely sold out however there were as many Glentoran supporters outside, watching the game from various vantage points.

Manager Mick McDermott made a few changes to the starting line up with Willie Garrett returning in central defence in place of Gavin Peers, Ciaran O'Connor coming into midfield and Jonny Frazer starting in a 3-,man attack alongside Robbie McDaid and Paul O'Neill.

The Glens were out of the blocks quickly and put the home side under severe pressure early on. Navid Nasseri struck the post with a 20 yard drive in the first minute and then, following a Glentoran corner, Ciaran O'Connor's cross was headed against the crossbar by Willie Garrett.

With just 6 minutes on the clock the Glens went in front. Nasseri's short corner found Marcus Kane and the skipper whipped a dangerous ball into the 6-yard box. Queens keeper Brown spilled the ball and Robbie McDaid, making his 100th appearance for Glentoran today, poked home from about 3 yards.

Glentoran continued to dominate, McDaid coming close with a header on 9 minutes and Paul O'Neill fashioning a good chance for Ciaran O'Connor which he couldn't finish.

Midway through the half and against the run of play, the home side drew level. Following a collision between two Glens defenders the ball broke to Ronan Young on the left. He got his cross in from the edge of the box and Jonah Mitchell, unmarked, headed home past a helpless Marijan Antolovic. The home side might have snatched the lead a minute later when another cross from the left was headed clear by Willie Garrett with two strikers waiting to pounce.

Perhaps the Glens had scored too early but from around the 20 minute mark they became careless and complacent allowing the home side back into the game. There was a rare opportunity for Jonny Frazer on 32 minutes but in general he was well marshalled by former Glentoran Seconds player Adam Calvert who had an excellent game.

A couple of minutes before the break the Glens edged in front again. A foul on Navid Nasseri gave the Glens a free kick midway in their own half. Garrett played the ball short to Joe Crowe who fired a long ball forward, finding McDaid in plenty of space. McDaid side stepped Adam Robinson and shot from the edge of the box. The ball deflected off the unfortunate Robinson though and past Declan Brown. 2-1 Glens.  

The lead lasted less than a minute though. Joshua Corry found Matthew Hughes about 25 yards from goal and he went past a couple of Glentoran defenders (far too easily) before drilling the ball into the far corner of the net. Halftime: Queens University 2-2 Glentoran

Chris Gallagher and Elvio Van Overbeek were introduced at the start of the second half in an attempt to give the Glens more of a cutting edge but it was the home side who almost snatched the lead. On 47 minutes a cross from the left by Ronan Young found Matthew Highes at the back post but his shot went into the side netting. A couple of minutes later and another cross from Young had to be cut out by Paddy McClean, the big defender almost putting the ball into his own goal! 

Robbie McDaid fired a free kick into the wall at the other end whilst the ever dangerous Nasseri tested the keeper just before the hour mark. McDaid was also through 1 v 1 but Declan Brown did well to block for a corner. On 73 minutes Glentoran went in front for the third time. A sublime cross field pass from Marcus Kane found Elvio Van Overbeek on the right. The substitute's low, driven cross was met by McDaid who smashed it home from around 8 yards.

Into the final 10 minutes then and Queens went looking for another equaliser. Benjamin Mulgrew fired well over (80) and then Leon Bonnes shot straight at Antolovic (83). With 4 minutes remaining Marijan Antolovic made a hash of clearing a back pass, hitting the ball straight to substitute, Brendan Glackin. Glackin's effort was on target but the big Croatian keeper redeemed himself with an excellent save to preserve the Glens advantage. In added time Glackin had another opportunity but failed to connect properly with the ball allowing Antolovic to gather. The final effort of the game came from Van Overbeek who tested the keeper with a stinging shot from a tight angle.

So there was to be no 'Big Two' double for Queens. Glentoran, despite being under par, eventually got the job done and their reward is a home quarter final tie against cup holders, Crusaders.

Full-time: Queens University 2-3 Glentoran

Photographs by PACEMAKER

Glentoran: Antolovic, Pepper, Kane (c), McClean, Garrett, O'Connor, Crowe, Nasseri, Frazer (Gallagher 46), O'Neill (Van Overbeek  46) & McDaid.