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Donnelly boys lead the way as rampant Glens rocket into third place

Carrick Rangers 0 Glentoran 5

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Job done: Jay Donnelly scores Glentoran’s second goal in their win over Carrick Rangers

Job done: Jay Donnelly scores Glentoran’s second goal in their win over Carrick Rangers

Job done: Jay Donnelly scores Glentoran’s second goal in their win over Carrick Rangers

Glentoran's relentless surge up the Danske Bank Premiership table continued with a crushing 5-0 victory over Carrick Rangers which propelled them into the top three, six points off the lead and with a game in hand.

Two goals from Jay Donnelly in the first 14 minutes killed the game as a contest but they were only the appetiser to a devastating first-half display.

Back in December, Mick McDermott's side beat Carrick 6-0, yet when Ruaidhri Donnelly scored in the 43rd minute the visitors were threatening to match that by half-time.

As seemingly happens more often than not, though, a one-sided first half is followed by a scoreless second and while it happened again here, the Glens' sixth successive win extended their unbeaten Premiership record at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena to 10 matches.

Carrick actually had the first chance, a deflected free-kick in the seventh minute from Caolan Loughran forcing Dayle Coleing into a fingertip save.

The goal-rush started in the 11th minute with the first of a catalogue of defensive errors. Michael Smith, returning to his old position at left-back, failed to deal with a Ciaran O'Connor cross from the left and Jay Donnelly beat him and two more in a mazy run before shooting off balance into the corner of the net.

With their next attack, the Glens doubled the lead. A long ball from Dale Gorman left Jay Donnelly in the clear and the striker stylishly rounded keeper Aaron Hogg to shoot home.

Three minutes later, Gorman was again the creator, this time for Ruaidhri Donnelly who slipped a perfect first ball inside to the overlapping Caolan Marron and although the defender's powerful shot was stopped on the line by Reece Glendinning, he could only help it into the net.

Ruaidhri Donnelly had a glorious chance to get off the mark in the 21st minute from another long ball over the top from Gorman but he shot wildly over.

However, the fourth goal was delayed only another eight minutes, when a Luke McCullough free-kick was headed across the area by Ruaidhri Donnelly. It should have been cleared by Loughran but he allowed Conor McMenamin to nip in and his looping header found the net.

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Conor McMenamin

Conor McMenamin

Conor McMenamin

Jay Donnelly had to forego his chance of a hat-trick when he hobbled off in the 37th minute.

The first-half rout was completed, courtesy of more ridiculous defending, with McMenamin's header finding Ruaidhri Donnelly unmarked to fire home.

With job done, Glentoran's intensity dropped in the second half with a Donnelly shot, well saved by Hogg, their only on-target effort in the first 25 minutes.

Gorman and O'Connor, two of the three changes from the Glens' win over Linfield on Tuesday, were fresh and still running the show from midfield however, and from a chipped cross by the latter, substitute Cameron Stewart's header was brilliantly clawed away by Hogg.

The referee put Carrick out of their misery by not adding a single second of stoppage time at the end. The Glens march on.

Carrick Rangers: Hogg; Glendinning, Ramsey, Loughran, Smith (Neale 54 mins); Chapman, Kelly, Anderson (Storey 52 mins), Gibson; Friel, Jenkins (Millar 66 mins). Unused subs: McKinty, McKenna, Cherry, McMullan.

Glentoran: Coleing; Marron, McCullough, McClean, Kane; R Donnelly, Gorman, Bigirimana, O'Connor; J Donnelly (McDonagh 37 mins), McMenamin (Stewart 52 mins). Unused subs: Clucas, Brown, Crowe, Plum, Marshall.

Referee: Steven Gregg

Man of the Match: Dale Gorman

Match rating: 7/10.

Belfast Telegraph


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