Confident Glens are now a match for anyone, says Allen
Glentoran 2 Warrenpoint Town 0
Curtis Allen believes Glentoran are ready for lift-off. The East Belfast boys maintained their unbeaten start to the Danske Bank Premiership campaign by defeating Warrenpoint Town at the Oval on Saturday - a result that catapulted them up to third place in the league table.
What was even more significant is the fact that the Glens achieved the points without reaching the level of performance their faithful fans have now come to expect.
Allen and new signing Robbie McDaid displayed their predatory instincts with two quick-fire strikes early in the second half.
The opener was special. Allen's 20 yard free kick zoomed into the top corner, in spite of a desperate attempted save by goalkeeper Jonny Parr.
McDaid had to work a lot harder for his, but when he bore down on goal, there was always going to be one outcome.
Warrenpoint, however, will reflect on a number of excellent chances that went begging, particularly striker Darren Murray. Yes, he forced Elliott Morris in to a few smart saves, but he'll have nightmares over the one he blazed over the bar in the second half from just under the crossbar.
And, the striker's day was compounded two minutes from time when he was dismissed by referee Evan Boyce after picking up two yellow cards.
With McDaid joining him up front, Allen reckons they can cause havoc this season.
"It's going to take a wee bit of time," he said. "We are still learning from each other. It's brilliant having Robbie at the club. Playing two up front obviously suits me.
"I think it's well documented that I prefer somebody up there with me. We are chipping in with goals, which is great.
Allen admits he was thrilled with his early goal of the season contender - his fourth so far, adding: "I always practice my free kicks, but I haven't been hitting them too well of late.
"I've scored some really good ones over the years, but it just wasn't happening for me. Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck. I hit that one really well and I was delighted to see it hit the net.
"There is a new belief in the team . . . there is a lot of energy. There is a new feel about the place - within the squad, within the ground, and among the fans.
"We have a winning mentality in the team. Lots went on last season, but we've brushed that all away. We have moved on and I think that is been shown on the pitch. We are working hard in training. The intensity doesn't drop at any stage.
"Strangely, we didn't play particularly well in the first half. But we upped the gears in the second half. In the end, it probably could have been more than two nil."
Glentoran: Morris, Kerr, Kane, Birney, Allen, McDaid (Addis 72), McMullan, McNicholl (McCawl 68), Knowles (Kelly 46), Delaney, Ferrin. Unused subs: Smith, Foley.
Warrenpoint Town: Parr, Foster, McCreery (S Murray 60), Moan, Lyttle, Mackle, McMenamin (TJ McMenamin 70), D Murray, Forde (M Murray 75), McKenna, McCafferty. Unused subs: Blayney, Roohi.
Referee: Evan Boyce (Ballygowan).
Match rating: 7/10.