Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran will be a force again says skipper Stephen McAlorum

Glentoran 1 - Dungannon 1

By David Mason

Skipper Stephen McAlorum believes new boss Alan Kernaghan can transform Glentoran into trophy chasing challengers again.

But major surgery may be required to get the east Belfast team back to where they once were if this performance is anything to go by.

It took a second half equaliser from rookie Jonathan Smith to salvage a point against Dungannon Swifts at The Oval.

Rodney McAree's boys were looking for their first win since September and it looked quite achievable when Andrew Mitchell headed home a delicious cross from the impressive Paul McElroy just two minutes after the interval.

But just eight minutes later, they switched off at the back, leaving teenager Smith with acres of room to plunder the equaliser.

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His first goal in a Glentoran shirt helped offset the disappointment of having a first half penalty kick saved by veteran goalkeeper Andy Coleman.

"It was frustrating game," said McAlorum. "In matches like that, it's important to get the first goal. We had enough chances in the first half to put the game out of sight.

"If you fail to take chances, you can ultimately be punished - and that's what happened.

"Jonathan showed a lot of nerve for the penalty, he wanted to hit it.

"Ciaran (Caldwell) was on penalties and he was ready to take it, but Jonathan took the ball off him. He's still only a kid and he'll learn from it.

"We are improving with every game, we are creating lots of chances. We really missed Curtis Allen up front. Had he been playing I reckon we would have won the game."

Swifts boss Rodney McAree was happy to leave east Belfast with a share of the spoils.

"It was a good point for us, especially coming off the results we've had," he said. "We haven't managed to win for some time, so it's important now to build on this and break the duck, sooner rather than later.

"We'll take the point and move on. We now have Warrenpoint Town next week which is now another massive game."

Glentoran: Morris, Kane (Henderson, 77 mins), Gordon, Addis, Holland, McAlorum Caldwell (Cafolla, 85 mins), McCullough, Smith, Hamill, McCaffrey. Unused subs: Hogg, Fearon, O'Hanlon.

Dungannon: Coleman, Montgomery, McCaffrey, Armstrong, Burns, Wilson Lowe (Fitzpatrick, 63 mins), Burke (McCullough, 85 mins), McElroy, Teggart (Liggett, 90 mins), Mitchell. Unused subs: Douglas, Addis.

Man of the match: Andy Coleman (pictured)

Match rating: 5/10

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

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