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Alan Kernaghan resigns as Glentoran hit new low

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Oh Novo: Glentoran's Nacho Novo walks off last night

Oh Novo: Glentoran's Nacho Novo walks off last night

Manager Alan Kernaghan faces the wrath of the fans

Manager Alan Kernaghan faces the wrath of the fans

Oh Novo: Glentoran's Nacho Novo walks off last night

Alan Kernaghan unceremoniously quit as manager of Glentoran last night as the east Belfast club plunged to a new low in their proud history in a shock 3-2 League Cup first round defeat by Portadown side Annagh United who are anchored to the bottom of local football's second tier, the NIFL Championship One, a division below the Premier League Glens.

Former Republic World Cup defender and ex-Middlesbrough and Manchester City star Kernaghan left the field to a furious barracking from travelling Glens supporters calling on him to go... and within minutes he had tendered his resignation to club chairman Stephen Henderson.

That was then accepted following a hastily convened on the spot meeting of the club board.

Former boss and legendary Irish League manager Roy Coyle, currently serving as the club's Director of Football, has been placed in temporary charge of the team.

Ironically, Kernaghan's departure came just as his most high profile signing, former Rangers striker Nacho Novo, scored his first goal for the club.

Bangor-raised Kernaghan (49) took over from sacked Eddie Patterson in November last year with high hopes of inspiring a Glens revival on the field to match the club's ambitious plans of a new Oval rising in east Belfast on the site of the current stadium.

That dream must now proceed with him.

Having whittled down well documented financial and debt problems in recent years, a confident new-look Glens board felt able to back Kernaghan with a contract until the end of this season and new signings like Nacho Novo.

But the former coach with Clyde and Dundee in Scotland never quite managed to get his ideas through to his team and his selections and tactical decisions had been coming under increasing fire from supporters on the terraces and on their internet forums.

A stumbling start to the season continued in a 4-1 Danske Bank Premier League defeat at Coleraine on Friday night, adding to the supporters' clamour for him to go.

Nevertheless, the Glens were expected to easily overcome lowly Annagh in the League Cup last night and earn him a stay of execution.

Instead, he faced defeat and a firing squad as he ran the gauntlet of more fan fury and headed straight for the exit door.

A club statement, released late last night, read: "Following tonight's 3-2 defeat to Annagh United in the League Cup, manager Alan Kernaghan tendered his resignation to the Chairman and it has been accepted.

"Roy Coyle will take temporary charge of the team. A further statement will be issued in due course."

Belfast Telegraph