Glentoran Reserves 5-4 Larne Tech Old Boys(Intermediate Cup)

This game proved to be a massive titanic struggle: As it evidently turned out, a magnificent game of football from the minute that this utterly out of his depth referee blew his whistle for the game to commence right to the compelling climax! This game actually opened up with an opening goal in favour of our opposition! Larne Tech – whom incidentally proved themselves most formidable opponents throughout the entire ninety minutes just as I had originally predicted – crashed an unstoppable shot deep with the Glentoran net that all stemmed from the left after we failed in our efforts to cut out a cross from that same wing! Nevertheless, although the goal was taken well, we have only ourselves to blame!

However, in this pulsating cut & thrust Cup Tie – it was not destined to remain that way for long. That marvellous young prospect Mark Hillen, intercepted well with the equally flamboyant Mason McSorley – Mason, in turn delivered a cunning little ball deep into the area that was snatched upon by that young eager-beaver Jordan Baxter, whom glided it deep into the very bottom left hand corner when standing unmarked at the near post! It was, nonetheless, a simply sensational finish!

Spike Hill & Jim Morgan took a no-nonsense approach today – making sweeping changes, from the team that so tamely capitulated to Linfield Swifts – we seen no less than NINE changes, sending shock-waves throughout the Glentoran Seconds camp! Those promoted from the Colts, did not let the side down! We went two-one ahead after a superbly distributed ball was despatched deep into the area by the awesome Eithan Knipe, a free kick taken with such precision, that left young Baxter – a highly gifted young player- the simple task of rounding the keeper thus tucking it into the now unprotected net! All to easy for an exceptionally hungry & promising young Glentoran player blessed with the skills that this young man has to offer!

But at this stage Larne Tech remained undeterred – they came roaring back with a superbly crafted goal of their own making – an absolute rocket of a shot was thus catipulted deep into our net giving the young Colts Keeper Bradley no chance whatsoever from reasonably close range! 2-2!

The heavily inspired Mark Hillen, played a delightful little ball right into the path of the ‘General’ Mason McSorley – this magnificent young man – now totally dominating the midfield alongside his colleague ‘the enforcer’ – the true Iron man himself, Ryan Mahood – intelligently stopped play as he raced into left of the box – looked up, then, with the astonishing vision that he possesses – sought out the in rushing hungry young full back Dean Smith – who proceeded to deal a killer blow! This exceptionally talented young individual simply complimented Mason’s sheer brilliance with the accuracy toward goal that this cross thus deserved! A shot taken, with sheer simplicity yet stunning awareness slammed deep along the ground that landed into the far left hand corner of the net! 3-2 the wee Glens!

We have an outstanding young fullback amongst our quartet required for defensive duties called Adam Calvert – This young man, is simply impressive & outstanding in everything that he does in the execution of these duties. He is progressing extremely well both in mannerisms & ability. Today, he delivered a simply sublime cross all the way down the left wing that selected out Dylan Elliot. The pass was so exquisite that you needed to be there to observe it! Dylan, acted upon this with predatory instinct, crossed the ball deep into the box that found the amazing Mason McSorley – this grand master that makes the Glentoran seconds tick – cleverly controlled the ball with a ‘one touch’, before ‘flicking’ it over one opponents head, then likewise with another, but just he was about to pull the trigger with an instinctive volly, the ball was ‘hacked’ clear by some desperado LTOB defending!

No Glentoran Seconds performance nowadays ever receives proper closure without concentrating on the silky skills contained within the talents of the magnificent Mason McSorley – Similar to Jordan ‘Sukka’ Stewart from a season or so ago. If Glentoran Seconds fail to function then Mason has not played. Once again, this brilliant young man – a very special player – set every act in motion, grinned as he did this. In one instance, he beat three men in the space of a fifty-pence piece, initially with back to goal, he drag-backed, then sidestepped, dummied, leaving three men utterly bewildered as to what had happened – before sending a shot just wide of the left hand post!

Another highly talented young individual, yet another ace that Spike & Jim have up their magical sleeve, happens to be a young chap called Eithan Knipe: What a sensational free kick this young gentleman delivered to the far left of the post, Mark Hillen connected but unfortunately couldn’t glide home from reasonably close quarters! But what a ball from young Knipe – who I thought, just as young Baxter was – highly active throughout this first half: Jeepers creepers, what a magnificent ball, displayed in such a fashion that you sense that this boy has quality written all over him! That first ball he delivered for young Baxter to secure his brace was never a fluke!

Larne Tech themselves provided us with some nail-biting moments. They were never out of this game- they were awarded a free kick that just sailed over the bar: In another instance, a well taken corner as distributed from the left found one of their number, although he too only succeeded in blazing over the bar!

Half Time : Larne Tech 2-3 Glentoran Seconds.

It did not take long before Larne Tech drew level – Our outstanding young Captain Colin Smith, managed to somehow cut out a dangerous cross from the right of the area, however this rebounded from his legs giving his opponent the opportunity to supply again, only this time around he made no mistake! A beautifully crafted cross deep into the box found an unmarked Larne tech (Who incidentally play in home colours similar to ourselves) forward who guided it into the roof of the net!

Soon, it appeared to get even worse when deep inside the box Larne Tech launched yet another attack that we had thought at this stage would put our light out! An initial shot rebounded to the – I’m almost sure Number 11 – who turned, swiveled, then let fly with the target deep within his sights! It was a truly magnificent save that thwarted this effort- sadly, though this task was not undertaken by our keeper but an outfield player – our highly efficient young full back Adam Calvert! We all knew what was coming next: Adam, was given his marching orders whilst the referee awarded a penalty kick. Young Bradley dived in the right direction but couldn’t keep it at bay! Maybe if Adam had have been in between the sticks we might have had a chance! Couldn’t resist that BTW – Adam, did the instinctive thing in my opinion – Spike & Jim may view it differently from my perspective but as a supporter I expect & actually demand this sort of action resulting in execution of duty in defence of a certain goal- young Bradley unlucky not to get a hand to the spot kick as he had guessed correctly! For those who disagree may I point out the case many years ago when Tottenham met Southampton when a similar case developed, Spurs awarded the spot kick that ended being saved! No goal arose! I rest my case!

Although reduced to ten men, we soon clawed our way back: that most majestic of enforcers, Ryan Mahood, sent forth an absolutely compelling cross that met young advancing forward Jordan Baxter galloping into the far right of the box. The cross was so sublime, that this fantastic young man quite simply abided his time, drew the keeper, then unleashed a shot with unspeakable fury deep into the opposition net! 4-4!

Soon afterwards the ten men continued to advance: Mark Hillen, tried his pot luck from all of twenty-five yards, a blazing effort that just sailed over the crossbar! That thorn in the flesh of our opponents, Jordan Baxter, almost succeeded in slashing them again, when he just narrowly avoided contact with a ball that the LTOB keeper just barely got & no more!

Larne Tech at one point threatened to take the lead deep inside our area: It took an absolutely outstanding save to thwart their number eleven from young Bradley, who diverted it for a corner! The resulting corner was double fisted clear by young Bradley who took a no-nonsense approach. Regular Seconds goalkeeper John Gunning, in the land of Uncle Sam – America – would have been proud of his young understudy today, as indeed were we, the men who assembled at this ground to offer him support!

We created more ourselves though: most notably when Eithan Knipe singled out Mark Hillen with a subsequently delighful ball, Eithan hitting this from a central midfield poition, however, Mark misqued practically in front of goal, the shot veered to the left, Colin Smith picked upon it but could only shoot straight at the keeper!

Mark Hillen has afforded another opportunity but as he raced into the area from the right, he managed to direct his shot just narrowly wide of the left hand post!

I have offered a separate post on the antics of today’s referee: I have no need to elaborate any further: We got the winner when the keeper rushed out of his area, handled outside the box, a free kick awarded.
The resulting free kick, taken by the master of the set piece Mattie Kerr, curled deep with an attractive pace, this rebounded of the keepers body, fell to the prdatory Mark Hillen, who in turn took a touch, before blasting it into the net to secure our victory!

An unbelievable game: Summed up best when the final whistle blew, that the Captain of the Glentoran reserves, Colin Smith galloped all the way from the centre circle to embrace the supporters of the wee Glens! You were quite simply magnificent today boys, and we are extremely proud of you all! Le Jeu Avant Tout!

Glentoran Seconds:

1/ Bradley ? 2/ Dean Smith 3/ Adam Calvert 4/ Gary Watson 5/ Colin Smith 6/ Ryan Mahood 7/ Eithan Knipe 8/ Jordan Baxter 9/ Mark Hillen 10/ Mason McSorley 11/ Dylan Elliot

Subs: Elliot McKim, Stephen Boyd, Mattie Kerr, Lee Chapman.