Big Steve Gordon's double is so sweet for Glentoran in League Cup win over Carrick Rangers
Glentoran 3-1 Carrick Rangers
Big Steven Gordon last night grabbed a glorious double to take Glentoran into the quarter-finals of the JBE League Cup.
Eddie Patterson's team went into the game buoyed by their late draw against fierce rivals Linfield last weekend.
The east Belfast boys, however, failed to hit the same level of consistency against Gary Haveron's side at a sparsely populated Oval.
They appeared to carry on from their last-gasp Windsor Park draw - Curtis Allen popped up late to give them a point - when Gordon struck after only three minutes.
But Carrick levelled through Brian McCaul before Conor McCloskey fluffed his lines from the penalty spot.
It proved costly for the visitors as Gordon struck again 17 minutes from time before Allen sealed the deal in the 86th minute.
The Glens roared from the traps with Gordon soaring high to head home David Scullion's delicious cross following a scintillating move involving Allen and Fra McCaffrey.
And Gordon almost struck again just three minutes later.
This time, McCaffrey's cross caused panic in the visiting defence and with the goal at his mercy, the midfielder's effort was heroically blocked by centre-back Daniel Kelly, who injured himself in the process and had to be taken off for McCaul.
The substitute was only on the pitch for five minutes when he headed Haveron's men level, although the goal will give Glens goalkeeper Elliott Morris nightmares.
He left his line to deal with a Joe McNeill corner-kick, but got nowhere near the ball, leaving little midfielder McCaul with an open goal.
Carrick should really have been in front on 20 minutes. Referee Mervyn Smyth spotted a handball by Glens defender Willie Garrett and awarded a penalty. Although a posse of Glentoran players attempted to persuade the Belfast whistler to change his mind, which resulted in Garrett picking up a booking, the usually lethal McCloskey's shot was superbly saved by Morris, who made up for his earlier error.
Carrick's No.1 Brian Neeson almost gifted Glentoran a second goal on 24 minutes.
His poor clearance was gobbled up by Allen, but his first-time effort was gratefully grasped by the relieved keeper.
Glens skipper Stephen McAlorum then tried his luck from distance, but his 25-yard shot drifted high and wide of the Carrick goal.
The home team upped the tempo as the half progressed. McAlorum's inch-perfect pass sent McCaffrey scampering through the middle, but the midfielder's shot was pawed to safety by Neeson.
Then, just before the interval, ex-Glentoran man Kyle Cherry was allowed time and space on the edge of the box, but his low drive failed to seriously trouble Morris.
Glentoran did all the pressing after the break. Gordon just failed to get his head to a Barry Holland cross on the hour.
Then Johnny Addis whipped in a wonderful ball from the left that was flipped off the boot of the in-rushing Scullion by defender Aaron Traynor.
But from Scullion's corner-kick on 73 minutes, Gordon appeared from nowhere to poke the Glens ahead.
And Allen ended the contest four minutes from time when he motored on to a Gordon pass before firing low past Neeson to ensure his side's place in the last-eight of the competition.
Kids from east-Belfast and further afield are being invited to take part in sporting activities at a week long event at Ashfield Boys' High School.
The 'Halloween Scheme' runs from Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30 and will include swimming and football.
Actitivites will start each day at 9am, finishing at 2pm and cost £50.
Boys and girls aged seven to 12 are invited to sign up to the scheme and further information is available from 02890 656812.