Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Glens restore pride, but they still fall

GLENTORAN 0 - SHAMROCK ROVERS 0; Rovers win 5-1 on aggrgate

In the back: Glentoran's Mark Clarke clears under pressure from Shane Robinson of Shamrock Rovers
In the back: Glentoran's Mark Clarke clears under pressure from Shane Robinson of Shamrock Rovers

Glentoran's season ground to a halt as they were dumped out of the Setanta Sports Cup by Shamrock Rovers.

Trailing 5-1 from the first leg in Dublin, Eddie Patterson's men may have salvaged a certain degree of pride, but there was never any hope of them progressing in the tournament.

In fact, only for skipper Elliott Morris, the Rovers could have been out of sight by half-time in front of a meagre 300 fans at The Oval.

There was a heavy police presence, even though only 100 Rovers fans bothered to make the journey north. In fact, there were not many more with Glentoran colours.

Even so, both sets of fans were kept well apart.

Already well in the driving seat, Rovers almost added to their tally after only six minutes. Mark Clark's wayward pass was picked up by Eamon Zayed, who crossed for Karl Sheppard, but he headed straight at Morris.

Morris rescued the Glens on 28 minutes when he got down well to deny Dean Kelly.

The Glentoran skipper was at it again five minutes later, this time getting down to paw away a viciously hit Zayed drive after Luke Byrne had sliced his way through the home defence.

Jim O'Hanlon tested Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy for the first time on 35 minutes, cutting in from the right before letting rip.

Zayed held his head in frustration on 40 minutes when Morris conjured up another magnificent stop. He played a neat one-two with Madden before unleashing a thundering drive that was somehow beaten away by Morris.

It was Glentoran who came out of the traps with purpose in the second half. McAlorum threaded a delicious pass into the path of Clarke, whose wicked drive was beaten away by Murphy.

The Glens went close again on 71 minutes with Allen firing in a stinging drive from the edge of the box, which was finger-tipped past the post by Murphy.

Rovers almost grabbed a winner 10 minutes from time when Kelly latched on the a long punt through the middle, but Morris rushed out to reach the ball first.

Glentoran: Morris, Bradley, Addis, Birney (Nelson 66), Garrett, McAlorum, Clarke, O'Hanlon (Hughes 61), Stewart, McCaffrey (McKee 41), Allen. Subs: Miskimmin, Boyd, Kerr.

Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, Madden, Cornwall, Kenna, Byrne (Kehoe 84), Kelly, Robinson, Bayly, McCabe (O'Connor 61), Sheppard, Zayed. Subs: Hyland, McGuinness, Finn, Kilduff.

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Dundonald).

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