Belfast Telegraph

I meant it: Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris says his Brandywell goal was intentional as he dedicates strike to ill father

Institute 0-2 Glentoran

Rare goal: Elliott Morris
Rare goal: Elliott Morris

By Colin Speer

Glentoran goalkeeper Elliott Morris says his goal against Institute was no fluke.

Morris got on the scoresheet in his 723rd game for the Oval men and reacted by running to the Glens' support in gleeful celebration.

“It’s a bit surreal and a crazy way to mark my 700th-odd appearance for the club,” he beamed.

“I just looked up and saw that he (Institute keeper Gallagher) was standing close to his 18-yard line and, with the wind behind me, I thought why not go for it?

“I have tried it a few times throughout my career and it hasn’t worked. I hit the post against Dungannon once, but this time I just had a crack at it and thankfully it went in.

“I probably celebrated too much to tell you the truth and I apologised to Gallagher about that, but I think he’ll forgive me because it wouldn’t be very often that I score again, so that’s why I celebrated so much.”

Morris also dedicated the goal to his ill father.

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"I would like to dedicate that goal to my father Gareth, he's seriously ill, so that one was for him," he said.

Glentoran boss Gary Smyth was understandably pleased after his side saw out their first win in 13 games, capped by a first Premiership goal for teenager Paul O'Neill.

"That's (Morris)' first in 700 odd games, so it's about time it came," he smiled.

"Jokes aside I'm absolutely delighted, not only with the win, which was obviously going to be very hard coming down here, we knew that we because we have seen Institute twice already this season, but also the clean sheet.

"We have been hammering it into the boys to keep it tight at the back, because if you don't concede you always have a chance and if we can stay in games then we always have a chance.

"Institute had a lot of play around our box, but Elliott didn't really have to make a save, but they are still dangerous. However, to break away and get the second was brilliant."

Having such fire power of Robbie McDaid, Curtis Allen and most recently Darren Murray, the Glens boss feels the top end of their pitch isn't a problem.

"We have only had two clean-sheets all season prior to Institute - we had two clean sheets against Ards," he added.

"Our first came in the second game of the season and our second was against Ards in October and that's an absolute disaster for a club like Glentoran, but hopefully that's us now started.

"The boys are in great form in the changing room. A win, why don't you want to taste more of it."

Stute boss Paddy McLaughlin admitted the nature of the first goal was tough to take but sympathised with his keeper Gallagher.

“It’s disappointing,” he reflected. “I thought the goals we gave away were two soft goals and two poor individual errors and, at this level, if you make mistakes like that then you’re going to get punished.

“Goalkeeper is a position that nobody wants to play because if they make a mistake then there’s nobody there to cover for them.

“If you make a mistake higher up the pitch then you always have two or three players coming in behind to pull you out.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve conceded the goal because there wasn’t really much in the first half. Both sides cancelled each other out and worked really hard, so to give away the goal in that manner was a major disappointment.”

INSTITUTE: Gallagher, McLaughlin (Dunne, 86), Bonner, Curry, Doherty (Morrow 73), Harkin, McCrudden, Scoltock, Jarvis, Wilson (McIntyre, 65), McCready.

Glentoran: Morris, Birney, Gallagher (Gordon 80), Allem, McDaid (McCarthy 90), Kerr, Pepper, Crowe, Redman, Murray (O'Neill 80), Gwiazda.

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

Man of match: Elliott Morris.

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