Belfast Telegraph

Eddie and Gary just can't agree as Glentoran take points

By Gordon Hanna

Gary Hamilton tried very hard to take the positives from this home defeat and insisted: "We had the better of the overall chances and on another day we would have got a result."

Rival boss Eddie Patterson obviously didn't concur with his Lurgan counterpart and responded: "We were the dominant force in the game especially in the first half.

"Glenavon were lucky to go in only one goal down."

The diametrically opposed versions of events really only proves that legend Jimmy Greaves was right when he said football is a funny old game.

Line up as many people as you like and the chances are they see the game in a different light.

The outcome also brings home the merits in another old saying that a week is a long time in football.

Seven days ago Glenavon were revelling in a goal fest having slammed six past a hapless Ballymena United.

Now they are scratching their heads and blaming sloppy defending for the goals from David Howland and David Scullion which clinched all three points for the east Belfast giants.

Andy Coleman's poor attempt at a punch clearance certainly set up Glentoran's first in the 22nd minute but credit must go to Howland for his clinical finish.

And when Andy Kilmartin and Kyle Neill allowed Stephen McAlorum to squeeze between them, the one-time Glenavon youngster produced a precision pass which made it impossible for Scullion, ironically another former Lurgan player, to miss from close range.

It all meant Glenavon's bizarre response proved too little too late.

Hamilton, a 62nd minute replacement for Guy Bates, whipped over an in-swinging corner from the left.

The ball eluded everyone in the crowded goalmouth, rebounded off Elliott Morris's back post and went in off Andy McGrory's shoulder with Glentoran claiming their keeper was impeded in the melee.

To be fair Glenavon pushed hard for an equaliser but nearly conceded a third when sub Jordan Hughes hit them on the break.

But while the new signing from Lisburn Distillery calmly steered the ball past Coleman it came back off a post and straight into the keeper's arms.

Mark Farren and Ciaran Martyn spurned opportunities from chances created by the lively McGrory in Glenavon's late rally which rocked the Glens.

So much so that Hamilton rapped: "We had them rattled. They began to waste time. When the ball went out they didn't want to retrieve it.

"When you feel under pressure that's what you do. We had them on the back foot for most of the second half and I feel we deserved an equaliser."

However Patterson preferred to dwell on an entirely different aspect of what was a feisty contest – the number of players booked.

Glentoran had McAlorum, John Addis, Calum Birney, Mark Clarke and David Howland cautioned by referee Hugh Carvill while Glenavon's offenders were Gareth McKeown and Kilmartin.

Patterson said: "I still cannot fathom how we had so many players booked while Glenavon seemed to get off.

"Referees tell you it's about the accumulation of fouls but what exactly does that mean? Is it four, five, six? There were certainly others out there guilty of accumulating fouls but were not dealt with."

There were two distinct styles of play in evidence. Glentoran played a passing game whereas Glenavon were more direct.

Patterson said: "They were route one but it's what we expected and prepared in training to deal with long throws and goal kicks from the goalkeeper.

"We were the team intent on playing the football on what was a quality surface. We were also intent on not passing up chances like we did the week before against Coleraine.

"Of course we were also intent on getting three points and at the end of the day we did that."

Hamilton had the last word. He said: "In the second half we closed play down and put a lot of balls in the box. We had a few chances which is why I believe on another day we would have got a result.

"The way the Glens played they were always going to keep the ball more than us because they had an extra man in midfield.

"But they didn't really hurt us. They didn't really get in behind us to create many chances. Two mistakes cost us.

"Andy put his hand up for the first and we didn't mark properly at the back for Scullion's tap in."

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