Improved Bannsiders slip to defeat

Mark Miskimmin at the by-line. photo:Derek Simpson
Mark Miskimmin at the by-line. photo:Derek Simpson

Glentoran picked up all three points at home to an improved Coleraine on Saturday.

They had the visitors though to thank for both goals as the first came from an unfortunate deflection from Howard Beverland with nine minutes gone.

The home side dominated the first half, only an inspired performance by Michael Doherty kept them at bay.

The Bannsiders improved after the break but failed to make their dominance pay before David Scullion clinched the win late on.

It was the Glens who carved out the game’s first opening on five minutes as Marcus Kane picked out Kym Nelson at the back post, but he headed straight at Michael Doherty.

The hosts did edge in front just four minutes later thanks to a huge slice of luck. Fra McCaffrey’s attempted one-two with Curtis Allen flicked off Howard Beverland’s outstretched leg leaving Doherty wrong footed as it bobbled into the net.

Coleraine responded and new acquisition Darren McCauley forced a great save from Aaron Hogg on 11 minutes.

McCaffrey tried his luck from the edge of the box again on 24 minutes, but his wayward shot never troubled the visitors’ goal this time.

The midfielder was at the heart of everything good for the Glens and his pin point cross on 33 minutes picked out David Howland in the six yard box, Doherty though produced a terrific reaction save to beat away his header.

Doherty was at it again right on the half time whistle as he parried David Scullion’s volley before reacting well to deflect Allen’s follow up over the bar.

The home side suffered a blow just five minutes into the second half as they lost both Jay Magee and Kym Nelson to injury.

One of the substitutes, Steven Gordon, tried his luck from distance on 65 minutes but team-mate Allen deflected it over.

Coleraine were dominating large chunks of the second half with Parkhill and McCafferty both going close without really troubling Hogg in the home goal.

Glentoran should have wrapped up the points with eight minutes to go. Danny McKee had a rattle form close range, which was kept out by a combination of Mullan and Doherty. Coleraine failed to clear their lines and Allen should have done better as he crashed an effort off the crossbar.

Two minutes later Scullion did make it safe as he volleyed in from distance as the Bannsiders failed to deal with McAlorum’s through ball to McKee.

Glentoran: Hogg, Kane, Birney, Magee (Addis 46), McCaffrey (McKee 67), Scullion, Howland, Allen, McAlorum, Nelson (Gordon 50), Holland.

Subs: Stewart, O’Hanlon.

Coleraine: Doherty, Canning, Mullan, Douglas, Beverland, Parkhill (McGinty 69), McCafferty, Harkin, Hegarty, McCauley, Miskimmin (Browne 69).

Subs: Browne, McGinty, Watt, Barton, Hasson.

Referee: Colin Burns (Comber).