Goals from Richard Gibson, Mark Clarke and Jimmy Callacher saw Glentoran progress into the 3rd round of the 2012-13 Irn Bru League Cup.
The teams had just taken the field and the game kicked off when the heavens opened at the Oval this evening. Those who had opted for the terracing swiftly made their way into the stand and they didn’t have to wait too long before the Glens opened the scoring. Richard Gibson, in for Andy Waterworth, got the early goal, controlling the ball well in the area before turning and firing into the bottom corner past a helpless Keith Wilson after 8 minutes. On 12 minutes Martin Murray’s cheeky back heel found the same corner but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag. The Glens, playing some neat passing football, went close again when Gibson (14) brought a fine save out of the PSNI keeper. Two minutes later Richard Clarke’s 25 yard effort whistled just wide and on 20 minutes Martin Murray’s shot was blocked on the line. Gibson headed over from Jim O’Hanlon’s corner (24) before the home side doubled their lead on 25 minutes. Having survived a scare at the other end when Peter Steele almost levelled for PSNI, the Glens broke down the left only for Jason Hill to be brought down outside the area. Richard Clarke took the free kick and his ball to the back post was headed home by Mark Clarke; his first goal for Glentoran. On 28 minutes Jay Magee headed home from a Jim O’Hanlon corner but the referee, Simon Creaney disallowed it for a foul. Shortly afterwards, a quickly taken free kick by Martin Murray (34) was headed narrowly wide by Richard Clarke. PSNI had a great chance to reduce the deficit on 39 minutes when Peter Steele broke the offside trap and was left with only Aaron Hogg to beat. He tried to chip the keeper but didn’t get enough on the ball and Hogg saved it comfortably. Right on half time a deep cross from Sean Ward was headed over by Martin Murray.
Four minutes after the break a superb run from Jim O’Hanlon ended with the winger finding Richard Gibson on the edge of the 6-yard box. The big striker had time to turn but curled his shot wide of the post. Glentoran dominated up until the hour mark creating plenty of opportunities, particularly down the right side through Ward and O’Hanlon. However following a Glentoran corner the visitors broke; Peter Steele picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove forward before finding Lukaz Adamczyk who slotted the ball between Hogg’s legs to make it 2-1 on 60 minutes. The Glens came straight back with Richard Clarke (63) and Martin Murray (65) both having chances. Another mazy run from O’Hanlon (67) ended when he was taken down on the edge of the area. Surprisingly there was no yellow card however Jimmy Callacher dished out his own punishment to the visitors, smashing home the 20 yard free kick. On 70 minutes a terrific drive from Richard Clarke was spilled by Wilson in the PSNI goal but he was able to gather it at the second attempt. On 76 minutes Jim O’Hanlon was once again the victim of a bad challenge from behind. Again the referee was lenient and the cards stayed in his pocket. Having missed the recent U21 international and two subsequent league games following a similar tackle, Jim O’Hanlon surely deserves better protection from the officials. He is a gifted young player who has the ability to excite crowds in the Irish League but seems to be targeted too often now by opponents for rough treatment. Richard Clarke, another player returning from injury, was cut down by Gary Brown on 79 minutes. This time the yellow card did come out. In the closing minutes Jay Magee again powered home a header from a Martin Murray corner but he was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper and the goal was disallowed.
Glentoran: Hogg, Ward (capt), Hill, Magee, Birney, M. Clarke, R. Clarke, M. Murray, E. Murray, O’Hanlon & Gibson.
Subs: Callacher for E. Murray (46), McComb for Gibson (62) and Bradley for Ward (81).