Belfast Telegraph

Allen at the double as Glens boost play-off bid

Newry City 0-2 Glentoran

Two good: Glentoran ace Curtis Allen celebrates finding the target against Newry City
Two good: Glentoran ace Curtis Allen celebrates finding the target against Newry City

By Gareth McCullough

A first-half double from Curtis Allen proved more than enough to see Glentoran stroll to a well-deserved victory over a lacklustre Newry City last night.

The ace striker produced two clinical finishes to extend Mick McDermott's unbeaten start to life as the Glens manager to three games as they remained in pole position for the European play-off spot.

Newry began on the front foot and went close inside four minutes when Dara Noonan saw his header deflected over following a Tiarnan Rushe free-kick, before Thomas McCann shot narrowly wide from 25 yards two minutes later.

However, it was the Glens who took the lead midway through the first period as they punished the hosts in clinical fashion.

Darren Murray put McCann under pressure midway inside the Newry half to steal the ball and play in Allen.

It was all about the striker from there on in as he cut inside onto his right foot and coolly slotted past Andy Coleman in the Newry goal.

While the visitors were in front, Newry still continued to create opportunities and after John Boyle had seen his goal-bound shot blocked on 29 minutes, Noonan went even closer than his earlier effort as his header from a Josh Durnin corner took a nick off a defender to loop onto the top of the crossbar.

However, as the first half entered its final stages, McDermott's men stepped it up a gear and almost doubled their advantage on 39 minutes.

Murray got the better of Boyle down the right, cut into the penalty area and slid the ball across the six-yard box.

Just when it looked like John Herron was about to side-foot home, McCann got back to clear with his toe.

However, the east Belfast men did make it 2-0 four minutes before the interval with a goal that was as simple as it was effective.

Murray launched a long throw into the box from the right and following Gavin Peers' flick on, Allen cleverly volleyed it home from six yards.

With a 2-0 lead going into the second period, the Glens began to dominate after the break and Allen and Murray both went close to making it three before the latter produced an excellent bit of skill to lift the ball over Boyle's head only to put in a weak shot straight at Coleman shortly after the hour.

While Newry were very much second best, they almost pulled one back on 69 minutes when Boyle met a Rushe corner and Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris had to be alert to push it over the crossbar.

At the other end, Allen was denied his hat-trick six minutes from time by the outstretched leg of Coleman as the Glens comfortably saw the win out.

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