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No papering over Glentoran cracks from honest Curtis Allen

Glentoran 3-0 Portadown

By Alex Mills

Glentoran striker Curtis Allen bagged a glorious double at the Oval, but admitted his team requires major surgery.

The 28-year-old brought his goal tally for the season to 18 in this meaningless outing against a Portadown side guaranteed to fall through the relegation trap door after next week's final games of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.

Eric Foley was also on the score sheet which helped Gary Haveron's team complete their first back-to-back home wins for over a year.

But it still failed to camouflage Allen's disappointment on what has been another disastrous season for the East Belfast club as they didn't even finish high enough to warrant a place in the Europa League play-offs.

"I will be glad to bin this season after next week's final match," admitted Allen. "It's been a long, hard slog, but we have to put it behind us.

"As a team, we haven't been good enough. Yes, we've had injuries, suspensions and a change of manager, but the bottom line is we were not good enough.

"It has to change, it has to get better. The squad needs [to be]strengthened, there is no question about it.

"Glentoran Football Club needs to be challenging - and, in all honesty, we are light years away from that at this moment in time.

"We shouldn't be struggling in the bottom half of the table in eighth or ninth place and hoping for a team to lose to get us into a Euro qualifier. The bottom line is we didn't deserve to be there."

Although the team has failed miserably, Allen is still only two goals away from his original target of 20.

"I've two to go," he said. "Any striker who hits 20 could class it as a good return. We haven't a lot to play for next week against Ards, but I'll be trying to reach my target."

Ironically, it was probably the Glens' most impressive 90 minutes for some time, but Allen knows it was too little too late.

He added: "It just reflects the position we are currently in, in the league table.

"We have to start making progress and taking steps in the right direction. We must be looking for a top-six place for next season and a run in the cups.

"We need to be consistent on a weekly basis if we are to match Linfield and Crusaders. We are a mile off at the minute."

GLENTORAN: Morris, Kane, Stirling, Magee, Allen, Foley, Addis, Redman, Smith (Novo, 66 mins), Delaney (Ferrin, 76 mins), Jallow (Cafolla, 70 mins). Unused subs: Nelson, O'Flynn.

PORTADOWN: Duffin, Shannon, O'Hara, Breen, Larkin, Henderson, Garrett, Wilson (Ferris, 46 mins), Hazley, Soares (Brown, 76 mins), Holmes (Macuilaitis, 61 mins). Unused subs: Hughes, Lyttle, Brown.

Ref: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

Man of the match: Curtis Allen

Match rating: 4/10    

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