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Glens have extra chance to close gap on Linfield after missing out at Coleraine


Man on: Luke McCullough challenges Eoin Bradley at the Showgrounds

Man on: Luke McCullough challenges Eoin Bradley at the Showgrounds

Stalemate: Oran Kearney’s men had to settle for a point against Glentoran

Stalemate: Oran Kearney’s men had to settle for a point against Glentoran


Man on: Luke McCullough challenges Eoin Bradley at the Showgrounds

Glentoran assistant manager Paul Millar thought the visitors 'edged' Friday night's contest between the teams who are second and third in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

But although the Glens can leapfrog Coleraine into second place with victory at Cliftonville tomorrow night, both teams missed the opportunity to make inroads on Linfield's lead at the top after the Showgrounds stalemate, three days after the teams had also drawn at The Oval.

Glentoran head to Solitude 13 points behind their Big Two rivals, and still two points behind the Bannsiders who have played a game more.

"It was a really hard fought game and credit must go to both sets of players," said Millar.

"At this stage of the season, the games are coming thick and fast, which means every game is a cup final, so it was tough out there.

"I thought we edged it, Coleraine had a few chances, as did we later on especially.

"I think Ruaidhri Donnelly will be a bit disappointed with himself as it was a great opportunity and he's been playing really well.

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"I thought we edged it but it was two evenly matched teams.

"We were hoping that after going ahead we could maybe hold on.

"The goal we conceded was a bit poor really.

"I haven't seen it again but we were a bit disappointed with that.

The Glens made all the early running and took a deserved lead at half-time as Robbie McDaid powered home after being found by the lively Ciaran O'Connor.

The hosts improved after the break and restored parity just after the hour mark as an inviting cross into the box by Ben Doherty was swept home by Matthew Shevlin from close range.

Coleraine missed the chance to go ahead when Shevlin lashed wide from inside the box, before Donnelly headed over from close range following a corner kick.

Despite falling further behind in their quest to bring the Gibson Cup to the Ballycastle Road for the first time since 1974, Bannsiders chief Oran Kearney was pleased to see his side come from behind to earn a share of the spoils.

"I think a draw was probably a fair result," he said.

"Both teams acquitted themselves really well for a 72-hour turnaround.

"It was frustrating time to concede right before the half-time whistle.

"O'Connor gets on the wrong side for us and I'm not sure if he means the pass or not, I think it might skip off someone.

"It's one of those fortuitous ones that hurt us, but he shouldn't be there in the first place.

"Again we find ourselves having to show a bit of character and come from behind.

"That's something I feel we have in abundance though.

"It was a good response in the second half and great to see the goal go in, it would have been nice to have seen a grandstand finish with another one taken, but it wasn't to be."

COLERAINE: Gallagher, Kane, Canning, Lowry, Bradley, Carson, Tweed (Doherty 52), O'Donnell, Glackin, Traynor, Shevlin (Allen 80).

Unused subs: Henderson (GK), Mullan, Jarvis, Wilson.

GLENTORAN: Brown, Kane (R Donnelly 72), McCullough, Bigirimana, McDaid, Mitchell (J Donnelly 53), McClean, Clucas (Gorman 38), O'Connor, Marron, Marshall.

Unused subs: Morris (GK), Gallagher, McDonagh, Plum.

Referee: Ian McNabb

Man of the Match: Paddy McClean

Match Rating: 7/10

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