Glentoran 1 Coleraine 1
Published 31/08/2011 | 02:01
Glentoran's jubilation at finally getting one over on Linfield at Windsor Park lasted merely a couple of days as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Coleraine at the Oval last night.
Stephen Carson looked to have set the Glens on their way when he scored against his former club with less than a minute on the clock.
However, the Bannsiders were more than a match for the Glens and having failed to convert a number of chances they finally levelled through Curtis Allen in the second half and went home with a deserved share of the spoils.
The game was just 13 seconds old when two Coleraine old boys combined to force a corner after Darren Boyce's cross was headed away by Aaron Canning under pressure from Carson.
The latter of that ex-Bannside duo didn't take long to show his old club what they are missing as with 44 seconds on the clock he glanced a header just inside the post from 10 yards after an inch perfect Gary Hamilton delivery.
Shocked at going a goal down so quickly, especially through and old team-mate, it would have been easy for Coleraine to panic, but they didn't veer from their gameplan.
David Scullion's cross from the left on 17 minutes found Curtis Allen who outjumped Sean Ward but saw his header strike the base of the post.
Three minutes later, they were denied by a stunning save from Elliott Morris as he palmed away a Scullion header from close range.
That sparked Glentoran and the focus of an entertaining game switched to the other end as Ciaran Martyn tried a similar header to Carson's from a Jason Hill cross, but Michael Doherty saved.
The second-half was a slow burner compared to the first and it took until just before the hour mark for the first chance to come as Hamilton, who was seemingly covering every blade of grass, turned and shot just wide from 25 yards.
The Glens were dealt a blow on 68 minutes and forced into a defensive reshuffle as Ward went off injured and that, indirectly led to a deserved Coleraine equaliser five minutes later.
Aaron Canning's cross wasn't dealt with by Johnny Taylor who had slotted in at centre-half and Allen nipped in to head home.
As time ran out Hamilton looked to have been pulled back in the box when through on goal but referee Ross Dunlop saw no infringement.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Taylor, Nixon, Ward (Clarke 68), Hill, O'Hanlon (Murray25), Howland, Martyn, Carson, Hamilton, Boyce (Waterworth 68). Subs: Hogg, Clarke, Waterworth, Gibson, Murray.
COLERAINE: Doherty, Canning, Beverland, Ogilby, Black, Scullion (McCauley 64), Lowry, Tommons, Clarke (Jennings 64), Knight, Allen. Subs: McNulty, McIlmoyle, McCauley, Watt, Jennings.
Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).