COOPER AT THE DOUBLE FOR BLUES
Joel Cooper bagged a brace as holders Linfield continued their cup defence with victory over Glentoran at the BetMcLean Oval.
Cooper fired the Blues in front after 14 minutes after doing well to receive a cross from the left before controlling the ball and sliding it past Aaron McCarey into the net.
The Glens might have levelled towards the end of the first half when Daire O'Connor crossed from the right for Jay Donnelly but the normally clinical striker scuffed his effort on goal while, moments later, James Singleton could only flash a chance wide of the target from the edge of the box.
Linfield doubled their lead not long after the interval with Cooper's second of the evening, a curling right-foot effort high into the top left corner.
As with the first half, Donnelly might have responded for the Glens but could only fire wide after pouncing on a defensive error.
Cooper could have grabbed his hat-trick with a superbly struck half volley but McCarey produced an equally as good reaction save to deal with the danger.
Glentoran did pull one back with seven minutes remaining after again connecting with an O'Connor ball to nod the ball home in off an upright.
The Glens were frustrated late in the game after a Shay McCartan effort came back off team-mate Cameron Palmer while, in stoppage time, Junior Uzokwe nodded against the crossbar with the last move of the evening.
Glentoran: McCarey, Wilson, J. Donnelly, O'Connor, Singleton, Murray, Sule, Russell, Wightman, McGinn, Uzokwe subs Webber, McCartan, R. Donnelly, Palmer, Murphy, Kelly, Locke
Linfield: Johns, East, Newberry, Shields, Millar, McClean, Cooper, Hall, Clarke, Mulgrew, Fitzpatrick subs Walsh, McBrien, McKee, Haygarth, McCullough, Annett, Archer