Burrows strikes as Glens struggle to see off Whites
Glentoran 2 Lisburn Distillery 0
Glentoran made up ground on the previous leaders of the Carling Premiership, Cliftonville with a less than comfortable 2-0 win over basement battlers Lisburn Distillery last night, but on the basis of this performance, rivals Linfield look like being the team to beat.
The Glens struggled to overcome a dire Distillery side with Paul Leeman eventually opening the scoring before Matty Burrows doubled the lead late on.
Glentoran didn't overpower the Whites in the way they should, or at least would have been expected to. At times they looked sloppy and lethargic and a better side would really have caught them on the hop.
Fortunately for the home support, Distillery offered nothing by way of a threat and it was evident very early on that this was going to be another one of those nights where the Glens would labour to victory.
Gary Hamilton finally found a bit of space on the left on 23 minutes, but the angle was too acute for the outcome to be anything other than a Philip Matthews stop.
That was the height of a poor first-half in which Distillery showed why they are bottom of the league and the Glens showed why they were in danger of blowing their title chances.
Michael Halliday was sent on for the second-half for Johnny Black as McDonald went for a 4-3-3 formation in a bid to breath life into the attack.
And finally the deadlock was broken on 67 minutes. Paul Muir upended Andy Waterworth, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous position, 25 yards from goal. Kyle Neill took it and his shot was deflected into the path of Leeman who volleyed into an almost empty net from eight yards.
The Whites almost grabbed an equaliser when the Glens failed to deal with a corner and after a scramble around the penalty spot, the ball fell to substitute Aaron Nash who chipped towards the top corner and with Elliott Morris well-beaten Sean Ward had to be on hand to head off the line.
Matty Burrows came off the bench late on and after coming close following a great run and shot which went just wide, he slid the ball home in injury time to give the 2-0 scoreline a flattering gloss.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Nixon, Leeman, Ward, Black (Halliday 46), Gillespie, Clarke (Fordyce 65), Fitzgerald, Neill, Hamilton, Waterworth (Burrows 77). Subs: James Taylor, Johnny Taylor.
LISBURN DISTILLERY: Matthews, McCann, S Thompson, Muir, Callaghan, Cooling, McDonnell, McAllister (Kilmartin 73), G Thompson (Friel 83), Corey (Nash 73), Browne. Subs: Simpson, Gawley.
Referee: David Dunlop (Belfast)