Glentoran Reserves 5-1 Ballinamallard Reserves

It seems that I had almost forgotten what that deep inner feeling of both contentment & satisfaction actually feels like when one has achieved the upper hand, managed to ‘put one over’ the auld enemy! Good Gracious me, it seems surely like almost an eternity ago since a Glentoran Seconds team managed to secure a celebratory victory over any opposition worthy of note! However, this ‘wrong’ was ‘righted’ today – whereupon when it did eventually come, it was, just like in part of that soliloquy used by those in that old Carlsberg Beer advert – it climaxed with the immortal words ‘Worth waiting for’!

We also had to endure a huge slice of the ‘uncertainty’ factor long before this match evidently got started – firstly, the original destined kick-off time for 14-00 happened to be forwarded to 14-30. Then, incredibly, the Mallards arrived at the Oval absent mindedly forgetting to bring with then their football kit! This was remedied easily enough thanks to our officials courteously providing them with black Glentoran shorts, whilst the match official in charge used common sense in so far as that he permitted their eleven players to wear a mixture of both blue – blue/white stripped jerseys in this reserve fixture today! Still, fair play to all parties concerned – a somewhat strange opening inception, but at least we had a game to look forward to after all the fuss had died down!

In many such previous reports I have actually opened up, after the initial introduction, with a phrase such as ‘We stormed out onto the glorious Oval turf with a spring in our step’ or perhaps words to that effect – however, today, such a phrase could righteously be justified – for we genuinely did! Quite simply, we where quite simply awesome as an attacking force from the offset! Our mindset from the moment that the referee indeed blew his whistle to commence proceedings was indeed the correct one – we treated this game, if we happened to be army, as an operation of war!

Our bright opening seen the Ducks completely bombarded under a series of intensive Glentoran attacks – Perhaps, the first real half chance within the game surfaced when Danny McKee found himself almost in the role of free agent – a sublime ball thus had landed at the feet of Danny whilst thence on the edge of the eighteen yard box. Danny, initially, performed the spade work by both twisting & turning his blue-cladded opponent that he faced in front of him to both the right – then the left- whilst in proper fashion proceeded toward goal! However, Danny – with the entire goal now gaping – astonishingly elected to roll the ball across the area that in turn happened to be henceforth cleared by a somewhat rather alert-to-the-situation Blue shirt! Perhaps, that, with hindsight, the more wiser option might well have been to have drilled a shot toward the Ducks home lair!

Danny McKee played a brusque little pass toward his colleague Conor McMennamin whereupon positioned on the left of the pitch: Conor in turn, subsequently floated a phenomenal ball aimed with great precision in the direction of Mattie Boyd, whom had arrived at the far right hand post – however, a superb finger-tipped intervention from the young Mallards keeper saved the day as his feintly-veiled touch managed to intercept an almost certain opener for the wee Glens! The ball veered out of play for a corner!

On the last outing that I happened to observe Neil Donaghy at close quarters, he scored what I regard as probably the goal of the season when we played Glenavon reserves – today, he came extremely close to even bettering that famed strike! Neil, enjoyed a simply sensational game today – he bolstered his game with trickery, outlandish flicks, outrageous efforts aimed at the target – the sort of man that shall have Mark Clougherty scratching his head in bewilderment but a man destined to be a big fans favourite! We, on the terraces, always appreciate someone whom so outrageously attempts the almost impossible – Neil’s ‘flicks’ to his colleagues – his flamboyant ‘drag-backs’ – mark you, that most speculative power- enforced attempt on goal that he cunningly ‘flicked’ neatly over an opponents head, then, from all of thirty-five yards exasperatingly let fly from all of thirty-five yards that moreover just sailed past the Ducks right hand post!

We all enjoy the emergence of a flair style player here at Glentoran seconds – we ask that Mr Donaghy please be allowed to entertain us with his Pandora’s box of artistic tricks! He appears a sensational acquisition to our forward line.

Nevertheless, I remain optimistic that even Neil himself would have to confess that he should have opened up the scoreline in our favour after a botched clearance by the young Mallards keeper arrived straight at his feet from about twenty-yards out or so – Neil’s aim, in this particular instance, appeared a little lap-sided as he thenceforward rifled in a quick response toward goal, the goalkeeper forced to back-peddle, however Neil’s effort drifted wide from the right-hand post notwithstanding the fact that he had the entire wide open target at his ultimate mercy!

In yet another attack, this time escalated from a corner kick as mushroomed in from the right by Neil Donaghy, Danny McKee failed to convert what many of us present thought a reasonably easy opportunity whilst positioned at the far-left post. Danny, did manage to greet this opportunity with his head, but unfortunately managed to crash it into the side netting!

Kym Nelson – a player whose name has become synonymous with inspirational daredevil like play throughout his entire Glentoran career – somewhat in swashbuckling manner, juggernaughted his way from basically the heart of mid-field, thus, his telling ball sought out the penetrative figure of Neil Donaghy whereby had descended deep into the left of the box – Neil, incorporated the pass, proceeded to advance, whereas unsuspectingly rolled the ball to young Kris Gaw whom hammered the ball venomously toward goal, with the bite of a Kobra, but regrettably his shot spat wide from the left hand post!

Fra McCaffrey went exceedingly close with a daisy-churner that narrowly strayed wide from the left hand post!

Danny McKee should most certainly have opened up the match for us when he happened to be simultaneously released with a free-reign on goal, yet astonishingly, with only the Ballinamallard custodian to beat, he fluffed the chance, as he went to ground, the chance therefore went abegging – the play acting was so poor from McKee that he never even so much as offered a defence in the denial of a penalty – the referee was not bluffed! Danny, in fairness, may not have protested but how the hell did he possibly miss such an open blared opportunity on goal?

The Mallards themselves provided us today with little impetus – on the rare occasions that they did, Ballinamallard’s Scott Robinson’s nemesis Mark Clougherty seemed to have an ace up his sleeve to counteract such a challenge- young debutant’s such as our excellent young Goalkeeper Ben Thompson, Lee Currie, did extremely well – notwithstanding the the expertise marshalling of that fabulous young player Mattie Boyd – whom enjoyed an overwhelmingly tremendous game today.

Right back Kris Gaw shall feature prominently in the second half, however, young Ben excelled today as he dealt comfortably with the high balls either hoisted or pumped into our area that the Mallards had on offer! In another instance, they fired a free kick narrowly past the left hand post, however, never for one second, was this a fairly clear cut chance, as young Ben’s reactions would clearly indicate that he had it covered!

Nevertheless, the Ducks subsequently took a somewhat unexpected lead against the estranged throw of the dice – A long ball centred into our area from a corner kick as taken from the right descended haphazardly in amongst a mish-mash of players, from both cordons, the result – a low shot that sky-rocketed into the roof of our net giving our young goalkeeper Thompson no chance! 1-0 the Mallards.

In an almost ground hog like tragicomedy – Danny McKee missed a simple opportunity to equalize after sufficiently been released with a clynical ball played by Cole McGuinness – Danny once again raced into the box, however, as has now become expected, fired well wide from the right hand post at very close quarters!

Our newest recruit – a chap with the surname supposedly Miglehwa – instinctively met a Danny McKee corner hoisted in from the left – but his header ostentatiously veered wide from the right hand post after he had brilliantly propelled himself above a posse of opponents that had risen in aerial resistance!

First Half – Glentoran Seconds 0-1 Ballinamallard Reserves.

We never, even for so much as one minute, took our finger of the pulse for this game. At all times throughout it must be righteously scribed that we remained entirely focused on the task that lay ahead. We may well have entered the half-time interval at 1-0 down, nonetheless given our dogged determination to salvage from this game, a defeat never seemed to be on the automatic turn flick of a card!

Danny McKee made a sensational galloping run down the left-wing – whereupon, whereas he reached the proximity of the box, he instinctively cut in thus likewise distributed an emphatic cross-field ball that single handedly found the frame of Fra McCaffrey on the far right, whom, like McKee was positioned within the box – Fra casually strolled the ball into the direction of the highly-dynamic Conor McMennamin whom squeezed the trigger from close quarters – unfortunately though, Conor blazed his effort wide of the left hand post!

In another sensational pulsating attack Danny McKee – now seemingly playing an ‘Andy Cole’ type role – some shall probably understand what I mean by this – supposedly signed by Sir Alex Ferguson to fulfil the role as an out & out striker that he enjoyed at Newcastle – However, when he failed to live to this role he nevertheless proved himself as a tremendous asset to the team on the production line in the creativity factor – moreover as a creator of chances – in such a position McKee might just well excel. McKee nippingly made his way to the bi-line, superbly, in the process, whipped in a wicked cross that thenceforth happened to be met by Fra McCaffrey – in fine astronomical form today – whose initial acute shot toward goal beat the keeper but this was systematically cleared off the line by a rather enterprising blue shirt with a never-say-die attitude!

Eventually we scored our much deserved equalizer after some fine build up play that all corresponded on the left – the ball fell somewhat kindly to the fired up Conor McMennamin whom superbly drilled home from close range to give us, at least at that stage, a share of the spoils!

Young Conor once again played a highly influential role in our next party piece shortly thereby afterwards as he sensationally glided a sublime ball out to the right, his pivotal pass pinpointed with deadly accuracy that supreme young gentleman Kris Gaw. This tremendous young fellow thus, with catlike cunning, calculatingly singled out the frame of Fra McCaffrey, as he stroked the ball deep into the six yard box for Fra to convert deep into the Ducks net to give us a 2-1 advantage!

Our bench made a couple of substitutions – namely Eddie Shaw & Dee Fearon – both these tremendous young tigers added a bit more fresh impetus to our attack minded play, an overwhelming contributive factor throughout.

Fra McCaffrey’s counterbalanced ball, magisterial in its right, happened to architected with such precision that when it arrived deep within the left of the box, young marksman Dee Fearon struck it forcefully across the six yard box with such venom that it ricocheted from the legs of a Ducks defender, thence cannoned past the hapless keeper into his own net! 3-1 the wee Glens!

The new boy on the block, Migishwa, enunciated a great ball into the direction of young Kris Gaw – sensationally taking up the role of all out attack minded defender on that right wing – once again, young Gaw readjusted himself – in an almost carbon like copy he meticulously singled out the awesome Conor McMenamin whom likewise applied the lethal killer touch to secure his brace thus blast deep into the roof of the Ducks net to make it 4-1!

In the last kick off the game Dee Fearon made it 5-1 as he with cucumber style coolness trickled the ball into the bottom far left hand corner to provide us with not only our highest scoreline this season but by far our best performance!

Glentoran Seconds –

1/ Ben Thompson 2/ Kris Gaw 3/ Lee Currie 4/ Matthew Boyd 5/ ? Migishwa 6/ Kym Nelson 7/ Cole McGuinness 8/ Fra McCaffrey 9/ Conor McMennamin 10/ Neil Donaghy 11/ Danny McKee.

Subs = Dee Fearon, Eddie Shaw & Betta.