Nixon to the rescue for Glens to deny Derry
Glentoran 1 Derry City 1
Super-sub Colin Nixon was the Glentoran hero last night as he came off the bench to earn a priceless draw against Derry City in an entertaining Setanta Sports Cup clash at the Oval.
Conor Sammon had put City in front from the penalty spot against a young Glens side which started with seven changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Linfield on Saturday.
But a couple of switches after the break produced a more recognisable look to the home side and it was one of those experienced players in Nixon who popped up to grab a share of the spoils with a blistering volley.
City started in the ascendancy and the young central defensive pairing of Andrew Ferguson and Philip Simpson were having trouble coping with the attacking threat from the visiting side from very early on.
As much as they lacked a bit of cohesion at the back, the east Belfast men were dangerous on the break and six minutes later Gary Hamilton almost had them in front.
The Northern Ireland international striker burst through, cutting inside Stephen Grey, before unleashing a shot which Gerard Doherty in the City goal did well to save with his outstretched leg.
Glens boss Alan McDonald threw Paul Leeman and Sean Ward into the fray after the break to shore up the defence.
However, the sheer pace of City's attack was always going to cause problems and it was that commodity which lead to Stephen Kenny's side taking the lead.
Jamie McGovern, no slouch himself, couldn't keep up with McGinn as he burst into the box and the young full-back could do nothing but upend him as he raced towards goal. A definite penalty and Sammon stepped up to fire home although Morris did get a firm hand to it.
Derry were cruising from then on.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the Glens were back in it. Colin Nixon had been on the pitch a mere five minutes as a replacement for Glendinning when he struck a beauty of a volley. Ward's long free-kick eluded everyone and Nixon took a touch before burying his shot into the goal via the inside of the post.
Derry were stunned and were left further frustrated when Morris pulled of another couple of world class saves near the end.
The Glens held on though to record a valuable draw and remain in contention to qualify for the knock out stages.
GLENTORAN: Morris, Glendinning (Nixon 66), Ferguson (Leeman 46), Simpson, McGovern, Scullion, Fitzgerald, Berry, Boyce, Hamilton (Ward 46), Halliday. Subs: Dougherty, Hill, Steele, Fordyce.
DERRY CITY: G Doherty, McCallion, Hutton, Grey, Martyn, K McHugh (Morrison 77), Sammon, Callaghan, McGlynn, Molloy, McGinn. Subs: Higgins, Delaney, Tidman, McDaid, M Doherty, Reynolds.
Referee: Mark Courtney (Dungannon)