Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran feature two notable trialists in draw with Swansea U23s

By Josh Bunting

Summer signing Daniel Kelly netted a fine finish as a Glentoran side featuring a couple of notable trialists was held by Swansea City Under 23s.

Kelly, who joined from Carrick Rangers, slotted home to level the scores after Oliver Sarkic had given the visitors a half-time lead.

Former Cliftonville midfielder James Knowles was named on the bench in the number 17 shirt while Nathan Kerr started the game at right-back, wearing William Garrett's old shirt.

Kerr is a Northern Ireland Under 19 player who was last season on the books at League Two side Stevenage. He signed a professional contract in May last year and made his first team debut in the EFL Cup in August. He came off the bench in one League Two game but was loaned out to St Albans City, who play in the National League South, in February.

Knowles played 18 league games for Cliftonville last season but left Solitude at the end of the season.

Glentoran created the first chance of the game at the Oval as another summer signing Tiarnan McNicholl was played in by Ross Redman before the former Cliftonville forward attempted an audacious chip only for the ball to loop over Swansea keeper Steven Bender and onto the roof of the net.

It was the young Swans who took the lead when Brandon Cooper slid in Oliver Sarkic to round Nelson and coolly slot into the empty net.  In what was a poor first half, Swansea should have made it two on the stroke of half-time as Tyler Reid crossed for George Byers who slid the ball wide of the target.

Swansea started the second half just as the first had ended when Cooper played in Jordan Carrick who jinked his way around the static Glentoran defence before his shot was well saved by the legs of Nelson.

Gary Haveron’s side should have been level on 56 minutes as John McGuigan ran through before thumping his shot wide of goal from eight yards out.  However, the Glens did grab their leveller on 63 as Daniel Kelly was left unmarked at the back post to slide the ball into the net after a Jonathon Smith pass split the Welsh side's defence.

Glentoran should have been ahead when McNicholl was played through on goal by McGuigan but he was denied by a low Bender save.  With 15 minutes to go, Bender was called into action again as he made a fine low save from McGuigan after he was played in by Stephen Gordon.

Swansea should have made it 2-1 as Ryan Blair hit the side-netting after he turned the home defence inside out before blasting his shot goalwards.  

A draw was to be a fair result in what was a poor game overall but another 90 minutes under the belts and a look at the two notable trialists for the Irish league side.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Kane, Kelly ,McGuigan,McMullen, Davidson,McNicholl,Gordon,Redman, Smith, Kerr

Subs: Stirling, Foley, Hamill, Knowles, Nelson, Delaney, Cafolla, Ferrin, Henderson, O'Neill

SWANSEA: Bender, Reid, Plezier, Blair, Cooper, Radon, Carrick, Sarkic, Byers, Babi

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