Elliott Morris hails Glentoran’s defensive performance at the Showgrounds

Mark Miskimmin takes on the Coleraine defence
Mark Miskimmin takes on the Coleraine defence

Glentoran captain Elliott Morris hailed the defensive qualities of his side after the picked up their first league win at Coleraine since March 2010.

Eddie Patterson’s men shrugged off the disappointment of conceding an own goal late in the first half to edge in front just two minutes after the restart thanks to quick fire strikes from Jim O’Hanlon and Mark Miskimmin.

The visitors were resolute after that until John McGuigan finally sealed the win with virtually the past kick of the game, but not before Morris had produced several important saves to keep his side in front.

“That’s what I’m there for,” said the keeper after the game. “We are defending well and I’m glad to be contributing to that.

“We’ve been very strong defensively all season. Apart from the games against Cliftonville and Crusaders we’ve defended very well and been hard to break down and kept a few clean sheets along the way.

“So to go in one down at the break because of an own goal was a blow for us. But we got a bit of encouragement at half time to get the fingers out and get our heads up again, and we certainly couldn’t have asked for a better response.

“Scoring two quick goals put us in the ascendancy and we kicked on from there.”

Saturday’s win coupled with other results means the Glens are just one point off second place. Morris though is determined that they will keep going about their jobs quietly.

“It is such an open league this year, the table proves that,” he said.

“Even this weekend there was a few results which you probably wouldn’t have expected going in to the games.

“We’re just going to concentrate on ourselves though and try and keep this winning run going. People aren’t expecting us to do anything this year, but we’ll just keep ticking along under the radar and see how we go.

“When we looked at the games we had coming up we earmarked the Dungannon and Warrenpoint games as must win games for ourselves. And we knew today that if the other results went our way we could really close the gap on the teams above us with another three points.

“Thankfully that has happened and now we’re only a point behind the Cues in second place.”

For Coleraine boss Oran Kearney though it was another disappointing day at the office.

“When you go in 1-0 up at the break you expect to kick on in the second half, but, like too many times this season when we’ve found ourselves in this position, we haven’t done enough to see the game out,” he said.

“To concede two goals in a minute is criminal at any level and you don’t deserve to win games with spells like that.

“After we conceded the goals we spent 15 minutes or so feeling sorry for ourselves and then got ourselves going again and created four really good chances to draw ourselves level.”