For many, this season’s expectations for a Glentoran side engaged in major recuperation may be quite low.
But so far, six games already negotiated, they are cheekily perched in second place with their confidence clearly on the rise.
Evidence of this was provided at Stangmore Park as Eddie Patterson’s energetic team was made to work reasonably hard for their deserved win.
Key to their successful start to the season, and this most recent win, is the polished Andy Waterworth and his six goals from six starts. An impressive tally, the confident striker completed the half dozen on Saturday against Dungannon by giving the Glens the lead before easing them into the comfort zone with a second just after the hour.
Glentoran were on top for long periods, but without transferring that dominance to the scoresheet, before JP Gallagher fouled Richard Clarke and gifted Jay Magee a score from the penalty spot on 35 minutes.
A swift response from Dungannon restored parity when Stevie O’Neill|(pictured, with Stefan|Lavery) ended the celebrations of the visitors almost before they really began with a wonder strike which grazed the crossbar on its way in — just 60 seconds after conceding.
The half-time teamtalk from Patterson proved crucial for Glentoran. Described as ‘harsh words', it had the right impact as Waterworth struck with a poacher’s finish seven minutes after the break before a stylish, pre-arranged link-up with Magee allowed a neat shot to the far left corner for 3-1.
Swifts claimed a penalty between these scores but their call — after Stefan Lavery’s run up the right wing to the edge of the box was ended by a sliding tackle from Glens keeper Elliott Morris — received a negative response from referee Colin Burns.
Goalscorer extraordinaire Waterworth was delighted with his role in the latest win.
“I thought we were poor enough in the first half but harsh words at the break put that right, we got there in the end and took the points, so all considered this was a good win,” he said.
“We were much better in the second half and, after threatening to score in the first half, I managed to hit the target twice which is pleasing personally.
“The second goal came from a move that I had talked through with Jay Magee at the break.
“It’s one that we try occasionally and this time it worked out, his pass setting me up for the finish. On another day it wouldn’t have worked.”