Two goals from Lukasz Gwiazda and a brace from Darren Murray set the Glens up for an emphatic win at Warrenpoint in today's Danske Bank Premiership fixture.
The game had 5 goals, a penalty save and two red cards as the Glens climbed above Institute to 7th in the table. In a strange opening 10 minutes, Warrenpoint Town spent most of the time in Glentoran's half but found themselves two goals down.
Only 80 seconds had passed when the Glens hit the front. A corner to the back post from Chris Gallagher was headed back across goal by Marcus Kane and Lukasz Gwiazda nodded home. On 7 minutes a foul on Kane gave the Glens another set piece opportunity. Again Gallagher took the responsibility and again Gwiazda got on the end of it to head past Jared Thompson. It might have been 3-nil on 12 minutes. Robbie McDaid broke from just inside the Warrenpoint half but having outpaced the home defence, saw his curling shot go just wide of the far post.
James Magowan forced Dwayne Nelson to tip the ball over the bar before Glentoran's John Herron brought a decent save out of Thompson. On 24 minutes the Glens grabbed their third. Gallagher's corner was headed down by Gwiazda and Darren Murray was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net. Next up we had 5 minutes of madness from the home side! Skipper Ciaran O'Connor said something to referee Andrew Davey which resulted in a yellow card. Despite the caution he carried on and referee Davey then produced a straight red card! The captain's armband was passed to former Glentoran player, Fra McCaffrey but a few minutes later he too was heading for an early shower having been red carded for a really poor tackle on John Herron.
Three goals in front and a two man advantage - the Glens then set about trying to add to their goal tally. Darren Murray and Marcus Kane both went close before in first half stoppage time Murray netted his second of the game. A delightful ball from Connor Pepper set McDaid clear on the right. His ball into the area found Murray who rounded the keeper before making it 4.
Halftime: Warrenpoint Town 0-4 Glentoran
To be fair to the home side, despite being down to 9 men and trailing by 4 goals, they kept trying to play football and push forward. On 51 minutes Alan O'Sullivan cut inside Willie Garrett but his effort was well saved by Dwayne Nelson. A Nathan Kerr cross from the right then narrowly eluded both Robbie McDaid and Darren Murray. On 68 minutes Nelson was called into action again, turning James Magowan's shot away for a corner. From the set piece referee Davey awarded Town a penalty with Daniel Wallace going down having been beaten in an aerial challenge by Kane and Birney. Dwayne Nelson preserved his clean sheet though, saving Mark Griffin's spot kick.
Lukasz Gwiazda almost grabbed his hat trick on 70 minutes. Substitute Curtis Allen forced a corner which was swung into the area by James McCarthy. Calum Birney headed it towards goal and Gwiazda's touch forced a great save out of Thompson. It became 5-nil on 74 minutes when Robbie McDaid's cross from the left was almost met by Darren Murray, the ball then coming off Stephen Moan and past his own keeper. In the closing minutes Darren Murray twice came close to grabbing his hattrick. A header from McDaid's cross was inches over the bar and then a 30 yard effort again was just too high. Curtis Allen did have the ball in the net at the end but was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper.
Photographs by PACEMAKER
Glentoran: Nelson, Kerr, Kane (C), Garrett (McCarthy 58), Birney, Pepper, Gallagher (Allen 57), Herron (Smith 78), Gwiazda, McDaid & Murray.