Eddie Patterson named an unchanged team as the Glens travelled to South Down this afternoon to face the in-form Warrenpoint Town. Glentoran had hit 5 goals on their last visit to Milltown but the hattrick hero that day, Curtis Allen, had to sit this one out with an ankle injury.
Stephen McCabe was first to have an effort on goal but his 6th minute shot was blocked by Willie Garrett. Good inter-play from Steven Gordon, Barry Holland and Stephen McAlorum resulted in a corner for the Glens. The set piece was played to the back post and Marcus Kane was unlucky to see his looping header cleared off the line. Daniel Hughes then had a shot on target from the edge of the area but it lacked power and was easily dealt with by Elliott Morris. Just before the quarter hour mark a corner was cleared to the edge of the area. Niall Henderson caught it beautifully but his goal bound effort was blocked by his midfield partner, Stephen McAlorum. For the next 20 minutes or so both teams cancelled each other out. Glentoran continued to dominate possession but their only efforts on goal, from Stewart and Scullion, were snuffed out.
The breakthrough finally came on 35 minutes. Johnny Addis found Steven Gordon who attempted to chip the ball over the keeper. Danny McKee challenged Dermot McVeigh and the ball fell to Jordan Stewart. Stewart went past 'Point skipper John Boyle before smashing a left foot shot past the helpless Jonathan Parr. A couple of minutes later Stephen Hughs almost levelled but his 20 yard effort was turned away by Elliott Morris. Gordon, Stewart, Scullion and McAlorum then combined for Glentoran; a beautiful move which ended with Scullion's shot being blocked. 3 minutes from the interval Stephen Hughes was given too much time and space but the Glens' skipper, Morris got down smartly to keep his shot out. A minute late Willie Garrett lost possession to Daniel Hughes and eventually felled the Warrenpoint Town on the left corner of the penalty area. Hughes took the set piece himself but his ball into the danger zone was cleared by Steven Gordon.
Glentoran were awarded a free kick in an almost identical position 2 minutes into the second half. Niall Henderson put the ball into the area and Jordan Stewart escaped his marker to head home from around 8 yards out. On 49 minutes Stephen Hughes was just about a yard wide of the post with his shot from the edge of the box. Straight down the other end went Glentoran and Stewart's 20 yard effort was brilliantly saved by Parr. A 30 yard free kick from Daniel Hughes failed to trouble Morris but the Glentoran custodian had to be at his best to deny Stephen Hughes a minute later. 10 minutes into the second half the Glens got their third. An excellent ball down the right from Stewart was chased down by David Scullion. He managed to nick it off the defender and found Danny McKee on the corner of the 6 yard box and he fired past Parr for his 3rd goal in 4 games. Daniel Hughes had a great chance to pull a goal back but Elliott Morris was not to be beaten, producing another excellent save. Apart from that effort Glentoran were in complete control. Stewart broke clear again down the right and unselfishly tried to find Danny McKee in the centre but Jonathan Parr intercepted Stewart's cross.
With 81 minutes gone Glentoran were awarded a free kick in their own half. The ball was played long to the edge of the area and Danny McKee flicked it on into the path of Steven Gordon. The midfielder was denied though by a last ditch tackle. From the corner kick Warrenpoint Town seemed to have cleared the danger but substitute Jonathan Breen was adjudged to have kicked out at Willie Garrett by referee McNabb and the home side were reduced to 10 men. Jordan Stewart stepped up to take the resulting penalty; his right footed shot sending Parr the wrong was and completing his 'perfect hattrick'. 5 minutes later it was 5-nil to Glentoran. McKee played the ball to substitute McCaffrey on the right and his low cross was turned home by Steven Gordon from just inside the 6-yard box. It was the midfielder's 5th goal of the campaign. In stoppage time Jordan Stewart attempted to clip the ball over Jonathan Parr but just failed to get enough height on the ball.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell.
Highlights on BBC Sport NI HERE
Glentoran: Morris (capt), Holland, Kane, Addis, Garrett, McAlorum, Henderson, Gordon, Stewart, Scullion & McKee.
Subs: Nelson for Holland (55), McCaffrey for Scullion (79) and Birney for Addis (86).
Unused: Hogg & McCullough.