Little Martin Murray grabbed a priceless winner for Glentoran in last night’s Setanta Sports Cup clash against St Patrick’s Athletic at the Oval.
Eddie Patterson’s side went into the game level following last week’s first leg scoreless draw in Dublin and, when a similar outcome looked on the cards, Murray plundered a goal of rich quality in the second half to light up East Belfast.
It was St Pat’s who almost claimed the lead in the first attack when Calum Birney’s scuffed clearance, following Killian Brennan’s cross, came off the legs of goalkeeper Aaron Hogg and fortunately bounced clear.
Glentoran upped the tempo with Stephen McAlorum firing wide following a clever piece of industry by Martin Murray.
Then a dreadful clearance by Aidan Price on 14 minutes fell invitingly for McAlorum, who sent Andy Waterworth scampering through the middle, but his shot grazed the crossbar.
The visitors then burst into life on 26 minutes with Christy Fagan showing a nimble touch, but his finish lacked conviction and accuracy.
But Murray struck on 63 minutes to light a dull night in East Belfast. McAlorum’s initial effort was blocked, but the ball broke kindly for the little midfielder, who sent a spectacular scissors kick looping past Dave Ryan.
Glentoran: Hogg, Nixon, Waterworth, Clarke, Hill, McAlorum, Murray, O’Hanlon (Gibson 80), Birney, McGuigan (Ward 72), Bradley. Subs: Morris, Magee, Callacher, McComb, McCullagh.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Ryan, O’Brien, Bermingham, Kenna, Price, Brennan, Carroll, Gannon (Murphy 80), Keegan, Fagan (Flood 72), Forrester (Byrne 67).
Subs: Clarke, Hoare, Bolger.
Referee: H Carvill