European Play-Off: Semi-Final

Glentoran 0 - 3 Coleraine
01 May 2024 - 19:45The Oval

COLERAINE sealed their passage into the European play-off final after a 3-0 win against Glentoran at The Oval…

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney made seven changes from Saturday’s defeat at Larne as Rory Brown, Lyndon Kane, Dean Jarvis, Graham Kelly, Matthew Shevlin, Jamie Glackin and Jamie McGonigle were restored to the starting line-up.

With the early stages of the game seeing Stephen O’Donnell and Fuad Sule booked, the Bannsiders took the lead with the first meaningful opportunity of the contest. A fantastic ball into the box by Andy Scott was glanced by the head of McGonigle into the net with 20 minutes on the clock.

The game struggled to get into any rhythm or consistency due to fouls and injuries but Coleraine created a big chance on 41 minutes. A cross into the area by Lyndon Kane found Shevlin at the back post and after his header was saved, McGonigle was unable to steer the rebound on target.

However, Kearney’s men would have a second goal to celebrate before half-time. A snapshot by Jamie Glackin was expertly saved by Aaron McCarey, with the Glens stopper and Luke McCullough getting in each other’s way which allowed Lyndon Kane to tap home his first goal of the campaign.

Glentoran brought on Shay McCartan and Niall McGinn at the break with the latter’s cross being met by Patrick McClean but Rory Brown gathered with ease.

Just before the hour mark, a dangerous cross into the box by McGinn was stabbed towards goal by David Fisher, with Graham Kelly in the right place at the right time to deny Jay Donnelly a simple tap-in.

Coleraine were happy to sit in and threaten on the counter-attack and they had Brown to thank on 66 minutes as the Bannsiders stopper used his reflexes to tip Junior’s goalbound header around the post.

The Bannsiders knew a third goal would kill the contest and it duly obliged on 70 minutes. A clever corner-kick between Glackin and McGonigle allowed the latter to fire beyond McCarey for his second goal of the evening.

The hosts would end the contest with ten men as Sule was dismissed for a second bookable offence as Coleraine saw the game out to set-up a final showdown with Crusaders.

GLENTORAN: McCarey, McCullough, Donnelly, Singleton (Clucas ’13 mins), Sule, Palmer (McCartan ’46 mins), Murphy (McGinn ’46 mins), Fisher (Junior ’61 mins), McClean, Russell, Farley.

Subs Not Used: Webber (GK), Kane, Burns.

COLERAINE: Brown, Kane, D. Jarvis, Kelly (Farren ’76 mins), Shevlin (McDaid ’86 mins), Carson, O’Donnell, Glackin, J. Scott (Lowry ’76 mins), McGonigle (Gaston ’86 mins), A. Scott (Lynch ’83 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), O’Mahony.

Referee: Shane Andrews