Belfast Telegraph

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Glentoran fans and the manager deserve that win over Linfield, says Curtis Allen

By Gareth Hanna

Curtis Allen has dedicated Glentoran's Boxing Day win over Linfield to the supporters and his manager.

Haveron has been under fire during a difficult run of results but the last-gasp success after their Big Two rivals at the Oval marks the highest point of his reign so far.

Cameron Stewart gave Linfield the lead but Curtis Allen levelled on 43 and then looked on as Robbie McDaid's injury-time effort deflected in on Matthew Clarke.

"It was massive," he said on BBC Radio Ulster. "Over the last few months, the fans as well as ourselves have been disappointed so it was massive. It doesn't matter where you are in the league, this is the biggest game.

"To win it in the style we did is fantastic. I ran off with emotion, I was so happy. Robbie's shot came in, I was beside Matty Clarke and it came in so quick, hit him and went in. I was over the moon and ran to the fans.

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Glentoran manager Gary Haveron celebrates as his side scores a late winner during todays game at the Oval in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press

"It's been a long time since we beat them. We've had a few heartbreak stories the last few times and thankfully today we got a bit of luck. I think we deserved the three points overall.

"The belief that we showed, Gaz and the fans deserve today. He puts in a lot of work behind closed doors that other people don't see. After recent weeks, he deserved today and so did the fans."

Now back up to sixth place, Allen is adamant that the result can't be a mere flash in the pan.

"We have to (build on the result)," he said. "I feel for Gary because he really works hard. He's one of the hardest working managers I've been under. It's sometimes luck and injuries don't go your way. Performances haven't been good or acceptable at times, the fans have shown that but we've got to use this. We know on our day that we can beat anybody. We just need to get a run going, get boys fit and playing. We'll have John McGuigan back soon, Willie Garrett is back and playing well.

"We will enjoy today but we've got to go and beat Dungannon."

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Glentoran's Kym Nelson celebrates as his side scores a late winner during todays game at the Oval in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press

Midway through the first half, the win seemed a long way off with Linfield one up and Glens keeper Elliott Morris struggling with injury.

"(The equaliser) did come at the right time," said Allen. "I managed to get in round the back and score. It changes the team-talk at half-time.

"Elliott's back had spasmed up a bit but it took a bit of time. He took a couple of tablets and then he was ok. He has problems with his back, I don't want to say he's old but he has problems with his back and he works on it a lot. Thankfully he was able to stay on the pitch."

Linfield did have the ball in the net with almost the final move of the match but Mark Haughey's effort was ruled out.

Allen reflected: "It was a bit of a scramble, the last few minutes. The boys held the line well and fair play to them for having the confidence to that at that stage of the game."

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