Belfast Telegraph

Hrvoje Plum's growing goal collection comes from huge dedication in training, reveals Glentoran captain

Glentoran 2 Warrenpoint Town 1

Set-piece master: Hrvoje Plum
Set-piece master: Hrvoje Plum

By Alex Mills

Glentoran skipper Marcus Kane believes new signing Hrvoje Plum is building a personal goal of the season portfolio.

The 25-year-old is rapidly becoming a set-piece specialist at the Oval and added to his growing list of stunning goals with another ridiculous effort against Warrenpoint Town.

Having already punished Coleraine and Institute from distance earlier in the campaign, Plum lined up a 30-yard free kick after he had been hauled down by a clumsy challenge from Alan O'Sullivan - and, true to form, the Croatian smacked the ball with venom, lifting it over the defensive wall and into the net before goalkeeper Evan Moran could even more.

"Hrvoje puts so much work into his set pieces in training," revealed Kane. "Mick (McDermott) has him practicing every session. You can see the quality he has, he is a dead ball specialist.

"I know goalkeepers are now going to be wary of him when he gets a sight of goal, especially his free-kicks.

"Some of his crosses he puts in are actually too good at times. Hrvoje has settled in really well. He is now learning English and is adapting to the cut and thrust of the Irish League.

"It's the same with Elvio (van Overbeek). He is growing into the team and into the league."

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Glentoran failed to prosper from Plum's early party piece. McDermott's team squandered numerous first-half chances that really should have blown the visitors out of the water, with Robbie McDaid, Paul O'Neill and Van Overbeek the guilty culprits.

And they paid the price when big O'Sullivan latched on to a cross from Emmet Bennett to level with 21 minutes left.

Stephen McDonnell's lads were within touching distance of their first Premiership point of the season when disaster struck in the very last minute.

Kane's monster throw-in was flicked on by lanky Cameron Stewart for defender Paddy McClean to head past Moran, who got a hand to the effort, but failed to keep it out.

"It's the old cliché, we should have had them dead and buried," added Kane. "But I don't like the terms 'should have' or 'could have' - we have to be honest and admit we were poor in the second-half."

Despite another defeat, McDonnell was far from disillusioned by Town's display.

"I'm chuffed and pleased because it was courageous performance," he said. "It certainly gives me belief that we are going in the right direction. I thought our display warranted a draw."

GLENTORAN: Antolovic, Kane, Herron (Stewart, 87 mins), McDaid, McClean, Pepper, Crowe (Murray, 54 mins), Gordon, O'Neill (Gallagher, 66 mins), Plum, Van Overbeek. Unused subs: Morris, Garrett, Smith, Duric.

WARRENPOINT: Moran, White, Bennett, Reilly, O'Sullivan, Lynch, Watters, Scannell, O'Connor (Prendergast, 60 mins), Wallace, Donnelly (Doyle, 26 mins). Unused subs: Byrne, Smith, O'Kane.

Referee: Tony Clarke (Newtownabbey)

Man of the match: Hrvoje Plum

Match rating: 7/10

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