Curtis Allen celebrates scoring Glentoran's fourth goal (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Wednesday, 09 May 2018
Glentoran staged a remarkable recovery to roar back from two goals down to defeat Linfield at Windsor Park in the Europa League play-off semi-final.
After a quiet opening Andrew Waterworth almost fired Linfield in front when, on 21 minutes, he raced cleared one-on-one with Elliott Morris but his low shot was well saved by the veteran Glens stopper.
At the other end a few minutes later Marcus Kane found himself in space inside the area only to fire wide.
The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes with a moment of skill from Kurtis Byrne who fired past Morris with his left-foot into the bottom right corner after swivelling inside the box.
Mark Haughey might have added a second just after the half-hour mark when the ball fell to him 12 yards from goal but he could only direct his shot straight at Morris.
Robbie McDaid came close to levelling for the Glens early in the second half only to be denied by a fingertip save from Alex Moore.
But their hopes of salvaging something from the game looked dash just two minutes after that when Andrew Waterworth bundled the ball over the line after a Stephen Lowry shot had fallen loose.
Glentoran's fightback began just after the hour. Haughey was adjudged to have fouled Curtis Allen inside the box and from the subsequent spot-kick Dylan Davidson stepped up to send Moore the wrong way into the bottom right corner.
Then, just three minutes later, Kane laid the ball off on the edge of the area for John McGuigan to beat Moore with a well taken right foot shot from around 20 yards out.
Ronnie McFall's side then grabbed the lead on 79 minutes thanks to Willie Garrett's header from Ross Redman's free-kick from the left.
And, sensationally, it was 4-2 with six minutes left. McDaid beat Haughey to the ball and cut it back from the touchline for Allen to fire into the top left corner.
Linfield put up a fight, grabbing their third right at the end of normal time after Stephen Fallon connected with a Millar cross to beat Morris with a well struck volley but it proved to be too little, too late for spark a dramatic last gasp revival.
Linfield: Moore, Crowe, Haughey, Callacher, Waterworth, Lowry, Millar, Byrne, M. Clarke, Fallon, Quinn subs Casement (not used), Rooney (replaced Lowry 87), Campion (replaced M. Clarke 81), A. Carroll (not used), McGuinness (not used)
Glentoran: Morris, Addis, Kane, Redman, Gordon, Garrett, Birney, McDaid, McGuigan, Allen, McMahon subs Ferrin (replaced McGuigan 90+3), Kerr (replaced Birney 40), Davidson (replaced McMahon 53), O'Hanlon (not used), Kelly (not used)
Referee: Ian McNabb
|Stephen Fallon||37||90 +3|
|John McGuigan||90 +3||66|
|James Ferrin||90 +3|