Glentoran 2-1 Coleraine
Conor McMenamin bagged a priceless last gasp winner to keep Glentoran’s title challenge on the boil.
Just when it looked like Mick McDermott’s boys would surrender two points, McMenamin popped up to pocket his second goal in four days – he was also on the mark in Friday night’s win at Crusaders.
Michael O’Connor first goal for the club shot the Glens into a first half lead only for it to be wiped out by Coleraine skipper Stephen O’Donnell.
But with the clock ticking down, McMenamin sent the home crowd into raptures with his late party piece. It was Coleraine’s first League defeat at the Oval since 2016.
With the Donnelly bothers – Jay and Ruaidhri – still missing following the death of their mother, boss McDermott made only one change to the side that won so impressively at Crusaders with Seanan Clucas taking over from Joe Crowe in midfield.
The Bannsiders ended a run of seven games without a victory by beating Carrick Rangers at the weekend and manager Oran Kearney make only one change, handing Conor McKendry a shirt in place of Curtis Allen.
It was the visitors who had the first sniff at goal when Jamie Glackin whipped in a great free kick, but before it could find the head of Stevie O’Donnelly, Clucas got a telling touch.
Glackin then drilled in the resulting corner kick that ping-ponged around the box before landing on the boot of Josh Carson, whose stinging low drive was well saved ag the base of the post by Aaron McCarey.
Glentoran responded in a positive manner with Robbie McDaid cutting in from the right only to fire his show high and wide with the unmarked O’Connor screaming for a pass in the middle.
But the home fans were on their feet on 29 minutes when O’Connor did receive the ball from McDaid. Sean Murray sent the striker hurtling down the right and, when he fizzed in a great cross, the former Dundalk man flicked out a telescopic boot to send the ball into the top corner.
Glentoran stormed from the traps after the restart and McDaid had Gareth Deane at full stretch with a low drive from distance, after great work on the right by Rhys Marshall.
They thought they had grabbed a killer second goal four minutes later when Murray’s cross found O’Connor at the back post, but his shot was somehow smuggled off the line by O’Donnell.
Kearney made a double substitution on the hour, introducing Allen and Matthew Shevlin in a bid to inject some impetus into his anaemic front line.
And, the move worked a treat because the Bannsiders were level with 17 minutes remaining.
McKendry’s in swinging corner kick was flicked on by Rodney Brown for O’Donnell to score from practically under the crossbar.
But it was McMenamin who had the last laugh when he popped up at the back post to poke the ball past Deane following a free kick from Plum
GLENTORAN: McCarey, Marshall, Burns, Clucas, McClean, Marron, Plum, O’Connor (McCartan 66), McDaid, McMenamin, Murray.
Unused subs: Glendinning, Cushnie, Smith, Jenkins, Kane, Mitchell.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, Mullan (Shevlin 60), Brown, Jarvis, McKendry, Lowry, McLaughlin (Allen 60), Carson, O’Donnell, Glackin. Unused subs: Wilson, Parkhill, Kelly, Traynor, Gallagher.
Referee: Shane Andrews.
Man of the match: Sean Murray
Match rating: 7/10.