Glentoran reserves v Linfield Swifts match report

Glentoran Seconds 1 – 5 Linfield Swifts

Having suffered a 7 – 0 thrashing at the hands of the Swifts a few months ago over at Midgeley Park a decent crowd turned up at the Oval looking forward to a keenly contested match and hopefully a different result. On a dry, crisp evening under the Oval floodlights hopes were high but sadly it was not to be. Despite the presence of no less than six first team squad members, Hogg, Addis, Gordon, McCullough, McKee and Mark Clark, the wee Glens were swept aside by a well organised and highly motivated Swifts side keen to impress watching boss Warren Feeney. Linfield used three first team squad members, keeper Johnny Tuffey plus Carvill and Millar.

It all started so wonderfully well after just five minutes for the wee Glens when they raced into an early lead after they won a free kick out on the right. Matty Kerr’s cross looked to be far too high and drifting wide of the far post but Mark Clark read it well and headed back across goal where Colly Smith did brilliantly to steer a low shot past Tuffey. “Looking good” we thought to ourselves but sadly it was not to be.

Ten minutes later and Linfield drew level after a Glens defender dwelt on the ball on the right hand touchline. The Linfield winger stole the ball and raced down the line before passing across the six yard line to give their striker the simple task of side footing past keeper Aaron Hogg.

A few minutes later the young Blues raced into the lead when good approach play saw the ball spread out to their right winger who cut inside the box and fired a low shot which the diving Hogg seemed to have covered, sadly the ball hit the foot of a Glentoran defender and flew past him into the other side of the net.

Linfield then increased their lead when a Glentoran player was again caught out inside his own half and the right winger raced into the box and fired the ball into the net past Hogg. Worse was to follow when with half time approaching Linfield scored again when a neat passing move allowed their striker to get the ball along the by line and cut back for their impressive right winger to grab his second of the night.

Half-time: Glentoran Seconds 1 – 4 Linfield Swifts

We hoped for better in the second half. “Get a goal quickly and we are back in it, things can only get better” we thought to ourselves. How wrong we were. We had a good shout for a penalty when attacking full back Lee Chapman appeared to be chopped down as he twisted and turned in the box but the referee waved aside all appeals.

Shortly afterwards and with nearly 40 minutes still remaining the Glens were handed a lifeline when Linfield’s Millar was dismissed for a second yellow card offence, apparently after saying something to the referee. Could this have opened the way for a wee Glens comeback? Sadly the answer again was no. Mark Hillen, as always, worked his socks off trying to make something happen but Tuffey was rarely troubled, Indeed it is hard to think of a single occasion when he was forced into a dive. A few high balls were easily collected by the out of favour keeper but part from that there was little to report.

Manager Spike Hill threw on Jordan Baxter, Ethan Knipe and Ryan Mahood to try and liven things up but Linfield continued to press the ball and at times you would have though that they were the team with eleven players on the pitch rather than the other way round.

The Blues rounded off this nightmare of an evening for the wee Glens when a long ball out of defence was flicked on and then well controlled by their striker who raced into the box and fired number five past Hogg.

This was a night to forget for the Seconds, a team sprinkled with first team squad players, from whom much better would have been expected by the watching Eddie Patterson, what he made of it all we can only imagine. A disappointing night for the wee Glens when we came up against a hungry young Linfield team who punished every mistake with ruthless efficiency.

Glentoran Seconds: Hogg, Chapman, McCullough, Addis, Smith, Kerr, Gordon, Clark, Hillen, McKee, Boyd. Subs Mahood, Baxter, Knipe, Calvert, McSorley