Setanta Sports Cup: Gutted Glentoran left to rue missed chances
Glentoran 0 Dundalk 1: Glentoran were made to pay for missing a hatful of chances in the first-half as they eventually went down 1-0 to a disappointing Dundalk side in the quarter-final first leg of the Setanta Sports Cup at the Oval last night.
The Glens dominated the match but didn't take the opportunities that came their way and Mark Quigley settled it with a fabulous winner eight minutes from time.
Dundalk started brightly and it appeared ominous for the Glens as Daniel Kearns was looking lively on the right wing, skipping his way through on a couple of occasions, but without providing a telling cross.
Glentoran grew in confidence and looked the team most likely to open the scoring. Matty Burrows shot wide after picking up a pass from Andy Waterworth, Neal Gawley saw his dangerous cross cleared by Michael Hector and Waterworth then fired wide from distance all within the first 13 minutes.
Then the Glens had two gilt-edged chances to break the deadlock.
Jamie McGovern's free-kick on 17 minutes found Colin Nixon, who headed back across goal for the lurking Waterworth, but he headed straight at Peter Cherrie in the Dundalk goal.
Eight minutes later, Richard Gibson was unlucky not to score his first goal for the Glens as he glanced a Daryl Fordyce cross against the post from 15 yards.
It was all Glentoran at this stage and on 34 minutes, Gibson, turning in by far his best display since signing from Ballymena in January, had a goal-bound shot blocked by Hector.
Scott Young's side should have been in front a minute later as Fordyce's intelligent through ball put Burrows in the clear, one-on-one with Cherrie, but the keeper came out on top.
Dundalk’s only real chance of the first-half came on 36 minutes when Jason Byrne struck from 15 yards at an angle and Elliott Morris saved.
After the break, the Louth men looked a lot more dangerous and but for a superb Morris save could have gone in front on 50 minutes.
Kearns' inch perfect cross found Byrne in the box and he headed at goal, but the Glens ‘keeper acrobatically tipped over the bar.
The Glens regained control, but found chances harder to come by.
That was until a spell of pressure on 71 minutes when Burrows saw his cross deflected wide for a corner. They won another when Johnny Taylor's shot was knocked past the post and then from there a deep ball found Burrows and his cross back into the box found Nixon who headed narrowly over.
Failure to take the chances would come back to haunt Glentoran though as Dundalk nicked it with eight minutes to go.
It was a cracker as Quigley smashed in a stunning volley from the edge of the box after a corner had been cleared into his path.
GLENTORAN: Morris, McGovern, Nixon, Johnny Taylor, Hill, Waterworth, Fordyce, Clarke, Gawley, Burrows (Steele 74), Gibson: Subs: Gardiner, Birney, Doran, Burns.
DUNDALK: Cherrie, Madden, Hector, Guthrie, N Murphy, Kearns, Maher, Bennett, Ward 9McDonnell 90), Quigley, Byrne (Breen 88). Subs: P Murphy, Bolger, Griffin.
Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge).