Irish Premier League
Linfield Scorer :
Stephen Fallon 45'
Glentoran Scorers :
Jay Donnelly 9', Conor McMenamin 32', Rhys Marshall 62'
Linfield Yellow Cards :
Kyle McClean, Kirk Millar, Matthew Clarke
Glentoran Yellow Cards :
Marcus Kane, Rory Donnelly, Patrick McClean
Linfield Team :
Chris Johns (GK), Conor Pepper, Mark Haughey (Ross Larkin 45’), Jimmy Callacher, Matthew Clarke, Jamie Mulgrew ©, Kyle McClean (Jordan Stewart 68’), Stephen Fallon, Kirk Millar (Andy Waterworth 68’), Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery
Linfield Subs not used :
Alex Moore (GK), Niall Quinn, Navid Nasseri, Cammy Palmer
Glentoran Team :
Dayle Coleing (GK), Caolan Marron, Luke McCullough, Patrick McClean, Marcus Kane (C), Hrvoje Plum, Rhys Marshall, Chris Gallagher, Conor McMenamin, Rory Donnelly (Cameron Stewart 87'), Jay Donnelly (Jamie McDonagh 78')
Glentoran Subs not used :
Rory Brown (GK), Joe Crowe, Gael Bigirimana, Dale Gorman, Ciaran O'Connor
The ‘Big Two’ locked horns again tonight for the second time in a week but unfortunately it brought the same outcome as last week with some cheap goals given away at The Oval.
Linfield started very well in the opening five minutes or so, getting joy down the right side. Shayne Lavery darted into the box with the ball twice, firstly pulling the ball agonisingly across the face of goal with Stephen Fallon not far off the receiving end of it. Lavery did the same thing moments later, only this time it was knocked behind for a corner by Glens defender Luke McCullough.
Glentoran were the team who took an early lead, however, and it was against the run of play. Conor McMenamin found himself taking on the isolated Conor Pepper and beating him to make room for a low driven cross to the back post for Jay Donnelly to fire it home.
That seemed to knock a bit of the stuffing out of Linfield after a bright start. More hesitant defending allowed Glentoran midfielder Hrvoje Plum to intercept a dropping ball and he forced a save from Chris Johns from a good position.
The Glens doubled their lead on 32 minutes and it was a cheap goal to concede from Linfield’s perspective. A simple long punt up the pitch looked to be gathered by Chris Johns, and he was either put off by the challenge from Rory Donnelly or the fact that he was close to the edge of his box, and the goalkeeper spilled the ball out for Conor McMenamin to fire into a pretty much empty net from the edge of the box.
Although Linfield deservedly went into the break behind, Stephen Fallon offered a glimmer of hope. Kirk Millar hit a free-kick from around 20 yards out Glentoran ‘keeper Dayle Coleing got down low but palmed it into the danger area and Stephen Fallon was following up to tap into the empty net.
Half Time: Glentoran 2 – 1 Linfield
Again, Linfield started the half brightly, but it was as good as it got when Joel Cooper cut inside the box and drew a save from Coleing who pushed the ball behind for a corner.
Ultimately Glentoran scored a decisive goal on 62 minutes to take a 3-1 lead. It was another cheap goal to concede and Chris Johns will be disappointing that he didn’t catch a cross which he opted to punch out, only as far as Rhys Marshall whose first shot was saved and the follow-up nestled in the bottom corner. David Healy will also be disappointed with the on-lookers that Marshall was able to get two bites at the cherry from the edge of the box.
The Blues looked to muster a comeback but it never really looked like happening. The only real attempt came through Shayne Lavery who showed urgency to drive into the Glentoran box before firing a low shot wide of the post.
It was a disappointing night but a fair result and Linfield will be very disappointed with the generosity at the back. After a strong showing by the same 11 against Larne last Friday unfortunately the performance levels fell short of the same tonight.
Full Time: Glentoran 3 – 1 Linfield