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Josh Carson's spectacular 35-yard own goal sees Coleraine and Glentoran draw to aid Linfield's title bid

Glentoran 2-2 Coleraine


The result at the Oval did neither Glentoran nor Coleraine's title chances any good.

The result at the Oval did neither Glentoran nor Coleraine's title chances any good.

The result at the Oval did neither Glentoran nor Coleraine's title chances any good.

Josh Carson's bizarre own goal deprived Coleraine of three crucial points in last night's Danske Bank Premiership showdown with Glentoran at The Oval.

Oran Kearney's boys looked to be on course for a much-needed victory until the midfielder lashed the ball into his own net from fully 35 yards.

It was first of a double-header between the sides - they meet again at the Showgrounds on Friday night - but it was a result that did neither team any good as they look to close down pace setters Linfield.

Jay Donnelly shot the Glens into an early lead, but Matthew Shevlin showed a deadly touch in front of goal to hit a delicious double after that.

The Glens had to rely on Carson's freak effort to salvage a point. The result also means the east Belfast team haven't beaten Coleraine at The Oval since March 2016.

The Glens pocketed three points against Dungannon Swifts on Saturday and manager Mick McDermott decided to stick with the same starting eleven.

Coleraine were missing goalkeeper Gareth Deane, who broke a thumb against Linfield last week, Marty Gallagher again deputized. But manager Oran Kearney, as is now customary, made four changes to the team that won at Warrenpoint Town at the weekend, drafting in Aaron Canning, Aaron Jarvis, Carson and Shevlin.

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The Glens roared from the traps and were almost in front after only three minutes.

Hrvoje Plum deceived the Coleraine defence by playing a short corner to Gael Bigirimana, who whipped in a great cross that defender Patrick McClean just failed to convert at the back post.

Skipper Marcus Kane then looped a Plum free kick over the top before Jay Donnelly broke the deadlock on six minutes.

Luke McCullough's 50-yard diagonal ball was headed on by Robbie McDaid to Donnelly, whose first touch was sublime, and his second was a vicious low drive that arrowed into the bottom corner.

The home team almost undid their early dominance when Rory Brown's clearance was charged down by the alert Jamie Glackin, but the red-faced shot-stopper got back to save.

The Glens almost struck again on 19 minutes. Ruaidhri Donnelly's superb pass sent Rhys Marshall racing into the box only to see his low shot saved by Gallagher

From Plum's resulting corner kick, McCullough's vicious half-volley clipped the top of the crossbar, with Gallagher beaten.

Glentoran then had a big appeal for a spot kick turned down by referee Raymond Crangle when Plum went down under a challenge from Jarvis, before the big Croatian midfielder blasted a 25-yard free kick inches past the post, leaving Gallagher a mere spectator.

After soaking up all the pressure, the Bannsiders were level - a goal that will give goalkeeper Brown nightmares.

Glackin floated in a free kick from the left that was completely missed by the former Institute man, and Shevlin flicked home with his head.

Suddenly it was Coleraine asking the questions. Shevlin was deprived of a second goal by a great block by McClean just five minutes from the break before Glackin's cross found Stephen Lowry at the back post, but his volley was somehow kept out by Brown.

Glackin should have had the visitors in front only 90 seconds after the interval. He was sent through the middle from a great pass by Ronan Wilson, but his rushed shot flashed over the crossbar.

But the Glens responded by producing a great move involving Marshall and Jay Donnelly, whose little flick allowed Seanan Clucas a yard of space inside the box, but his left-footed shot fizzed wide.

The pace slackened considerably in the second half, which was hardly surprising following what was an action-packed opening 45 minutes.

But Shevlin struck again with 20 minutes remaining. Glentoran's defence switched off after Glackin and Clucas clashed in midfield, but referee Crangle waved play on.

When the ball reached Shevlin on the edge of the box, he held off a challenge from Marshall before smashing a low shot past Brown.

But Glentoran were back in the game and level with 13 minutes remaining - and what a freak goal it was.

Lowry carelessly lost possession and Carson charged into a tackle on Plum, but his 35-yard attempted clearance flew over the goalkeeper for the most bizarre of own goals, which denied his team a point.

GLENTORAN: Brown, Kane, McCullough, Bigirimana, R Donnelly, McDaid, McClean, Clucas, Plum (O'Connor 81), Marshall, J Donnelly.

Unused subs: Morris, Gallagher, McDonagh, Mitchell, Crowe, Marron.

COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Canning, Jarvis, Lowry, Carson, Wilson (Doherty 65), O'Donnell, Glackin, Traynor, Shevlin (Bradley 85).

Unused subs: Henderson, Mullan, Tweed, Allen, Nixon.

Referee: Raymond Crangle

Man of the match: Matthew Shevlin

Match rating: 8/10

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