Coleraine 1 Glentoran 1
Defender Marcus Kane’s glorious goal at Coleraine was a source of bewilderment to boss Eddie Patterson!
While the Oval boss wasn’t happy with the performance of referee Colin Burns, he did express delight at his left-back’s sensational second goal of the season.
“I still don’t know if it was a shot or a cross to be honest,” he confessed.
“Marcus hit the ball with his weaker right foot but he got it on target and you give yourself a real chance of scoring if you hit it as hard as he did.”
However, Patterson had no words of praise for the referee who, he claimed, permitted substitute Shane Jennings’ late equaliser at the Showgrounds to stand despite what he saw as a clear handball offence by home striker Curtis Allen in the build up.
“It was obvious. I don’t know how the referee missed it,” said Patterson who also felt his side had two justifiable penalty claims dismissed by the man in the middle.
“In the end I am satisfied with the draw considering the way Coleraine came at us in the final 15 minutes but the referee is the only one who can explain why he didn’t give us what we deserved.”
However, Coleraine manager Oran Kearney was pleased with his side’s work-rate after surviving a spell of Glentoran pressure early in the second half.
He said: “We produced a much better performance with good passing and created some great chances.”
Glentoran, with only one victory against their opponents in 10 previous meetings, were caught by Jennings’ superb equaliser 11 minutes from time although they also had keeper Elliott Morris to thank for several vital saves.
The Glens took the lead from an unlikely source. Left-back Kane delivered the only first half highlight, crashing a speculative right-foot shot past keeper Michael Doherty.
Earlier Patterson has been forced to push his defender into midfield when livewire midfielder Richard Clarke limped off with a leg injury before the halfhour. Substitute Jason Hill effectively took up the defensive position and the Glens bounced back after a period of readjustment.
But Jennings’ arrival for striker Darren Boyce along with Johnny Watt’s arrival for Ryan McIlmoyle, enabled the Bannsiders to blossom and keeper Elliott Morris denied Allen twice while he also stopping a shot from busy Jennings.
Yet Jennings got the better of his opponent and a flat-footed Glens defence in 79 minutes.
He collected defender Howard Beverland’s ball over the top and guided it wide of advancing Morris. Coleraine came on strong in the closing stages.
Coleraine’s top scorer Allen wasted an opportunity at the near post and midfielder Stephen Lowry failed to get Canning’s cross under control with only Morris to beat. Davy Howland and Andy Waterworth failed to reply for the Glens while earlier Stephen Carson had fired over and Waterworth ended a run from Hill’s assist by fizzing a shot over the bar.
Glentoran’s next clash is Monday’s night’s Sky televised game against a Cliftonville side who will be determined to get back on track after losing to champions Linfield at Windsor Park.
Coleraine: Doherty 6, Canning 7, Beverland 8, Ogilby 7, McIlmoyle 6 (Watt 6, 61), Scullion 6, Hegarty 7, Lowry 6, Harkin 7, Allen 7, Boyce 6 (Jennings 6, 61). Unused subs. Gillan, Bradley, Owens.
Glentoran: Morris 8, Ward 7, Magee 6, Birney 6, Kane 7, Howland 7, M. Clarke 6, Callacher 7, R. Clarke 7 (Hill 7 28), Carson 6, Waterworth 7. Unused subs – O’Hanlon, McComb, Gordon, Bradley.
Referee: Colin Burns (Newtownabbey).