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Glentoran are looking no further than our next game, insists Conor McMenamin


Winning feeling: Conor McMenamin after scoring Glentoran’s second goal against Coleraine. Credit: Matt Mackey

Winning feeling: Conor McMenamin after scoring Glentoran’s second goal against Coleraine. Credit: Matt Mackey

Winning feeling: Conor McMenamin after scoring Glentoran’s second goal against Coleraine. Credit: Matt Mackey

Goal hero Conor McMenamin insists no one will be getting ahead of their station, even though Glentoran now have the Danske Bank Premiership title firmly in their sights.

Mick McDermott’s boys cranked up the pressure on Big Two rivals Linfield with a dramatic last gasp win over gutsy Coleraine at the BetMcLean Oval on Tuesday night.

With David Healy’s title holders slipping up across town at Cliftonville – they were held to a 2-2 draw – the Glens looked to have blown their chance to close the gap at the top.

It was all smiles and high-fives when Michael O’Connor shot the east Belfast side into a first half lead – it was his first goal for the club since his arrival from Shelbourne in the current transfer window – only for them to surrender their advantage 17 minutes from time when skipper Stephen O’Donnell headed the Bannsiders level.

With the clock ticking down and the crowd on the edge of their seats, Hrvoje Plum whipped in a trademark free kick from the left, which was helped on by Paddy McClean for McMenamin to poke the ball past Gareth Deane with practically the last kick.

Instead of basking in the glory, McMenamin insisted it will be business as usual because it was three points won, nothing more.

“The gaffer keeps us grounded, our focus now is on Warrenpoint Town at the weekend,” said McMenamin. “It will be another tough game, but the wins against Cliftonville, Crusaders and Coleraine will count for nothing if we don’t take another three points on Saturday.”

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McMenamin only returned to action against the Crues after picking up an injury against Linfield on December 27 - he was also suspended after receiving a red card and had to sit out three match ban. But he wasted no time in getting back among the goals again as he and Robbie McDaid did the business at Seaview.

“It’s great to be back in the team and back scoring goals again... it’s been a brilliant couple of days for me personally and for the team.

“I wasn’t involved in the victory at Solitude – that was also a massive win as well. We carried that momentum into the Crusaders match on Friday.

“They are now all big games, it was a massive three points against Coleraine. There is no better way to win a game than getting a goal with the last kick.”

McMenamin believes the Glens now have the momentum to go on to better things.

“We’ve got a great changing room, the group has great character,” he added. “We believe in our ability. That character has come out in those recent matches when our backs were against the wall.

“We came from behind at Solitude and Seaview to win those games and, even though Coleraine put us under a bit of pressure in the second half, we were good enough to ride it out. We know with the quality we have, we’ll always get a chance – thankfully I was there to take it.”

McMenamin acknowledges the part the fans have played in recent times.

“There is no question, we’ve had three tough games in the space of eight days and we were feeling it in our legs,” he added. “But the fans have been brilliant. They just keep urging us on and give us great backing.

“They really have been our 12th man this season. I think they sensed we had another goal in us on Tuesday night – and they were right. They helped get us get over the line.”

Meanwhile, the Irish FA disciplinary committee has deferred a decision on the incident at the Ballymena Showgrounds on December 27 when some fans appeared to run onto the pitch and confront Coleraine players after David Parkhouse scored an injury-time winner.

United said afterwards that some supporters had been 'suspended indefinitely'.

The club face charges of spectator misconduct and bringing the game into disrepute.

A United statement read: "Following submissions from all parties, the committee deferred a decision on a sanction pending confirmation from the club of the outcome of our own internal investigation.

“The board of Ballymena United will meet to consider the matter, and have agreed to further correspond with the Irish FA within one month, following the conclusion of our investigation.”

And Dundela have been thrown out of this year's Irish Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their 3-2 win over Ards.

Ards will now play Newry City in the second round on February 5, subject to appeal.

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