Belfast Telegraph

O'Connor fires Linfield to Big Two derby delight at Glentoran

Glentoran 0-1 Linfield

Michael O'Connor.
Michael O'Connor.
John McGuigan in action for Glentoran
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2018 Glentoran v Linfield Danske Bank Premiership. LinfieldÕs Kirk Millar and GlentoranÕs Marcus Kane pictured in action during this evenings game at the Oval in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2018 Glentoran v Linfield Danske Bank Premiership. LinfieldÕs Michael O'Connor pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during this evenings game at the Oval in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2018 Glentoran v Linfield Danske Bank Premiership. LinfieldÕs and GlentoranÕs Connor Aindriu Pepper pictured in action during this evenings game at the Oval in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Michael O'Connor fired Linfield to victory in the first Big Two derby of the season.

The striker, who rejected Glentoran's interest to sign for the Blues during the summer, bagged the only goal of the game on 15 minutes at the Oval.

The result sends Linfield to within a point of league leaders Genavon and eight clear of third place Crusaders. Glentoran are a point further back in fourth, but with a game in hand on the sides above them.

Their talisman Joel Cooper was influential in the goal, bursting forward and teeing up O'Connor to slam home his fourth Premiership goal of the campaign with the clinical nature Linfield fans are getting used to.

The closest Glentoran came before the break was a John Herron overhead kick that fell into Roy Carroll's arms.

The hosts did create a couple of better opportunities to level in the second half.

The first of those was uncharacteristically spurned by Curtis Allen when he headed Ross Redman's cross over the bar, perhaps underestimating the time he had been afforded to measure his shot.

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Later in the half, skipper Marcus Kane rose highest to meet a corner kick but Roy Carroll was able to block his header.

Plenty of Glentoran possession went unrewarded as Linfield closed out their eighth win in their last 10 league matches.

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