It was a case of doing what they had to do on the day for Glentoran as they narrowly edged out Warrenpoint Town at Stangmore Park by a single goal on Saturday.
After dominating the first half but failing to find the net due to a combination of superb goalkeeping and defending from Warrenpoint and some poor finishing, the Glens eventually broke the deadlock seven minutes after the restart when Marcus Kane headed home from Johnny Addis’ long throw.
However, Warrenpoint did create chances late on to level and but for a couple of fine stops from Elliott Morris, the result could have been a whole lot different.
As it was, Glens boss Eddie Patterson was happy to blow off the cobwebs of their midweek cup defeat to fierce rivals Linfield with a win in the league although he knows his side should have made more of their first half dominance.
“I’m delighted with the three points. The only thing I have to complain about is the first half – I thought we played some excellent stuff in the first half and created some great chances and we should have come in at half-time maybe two or three up. That has been our Achilles heel at the moment,” Patterson admitted.
“We haven’t been putting teams away and we haven’t been killing teams. We were fortunate enough to come out in the second half and get the goal; but when we got the goal we stopped playing. You have to give credit to Warrenpoint because they were getting in our faces and weren’t allowing us to play. We’re disappointed that we didn’t really play after the goal and we took our foot off the gas.
“We came out with a very high tempo in the first half and created some good chances.
“They were some people getting tired because they out in some fantastic shifts on Tuesday night for two hours of football and with ten men for the last hour against Linfield.”
While Jim O’Hanlon and Kane had gone close in the same move early in the first half for Glentoran and Daniel and Stephen Hughes had done likewise at the other end, the goal didn’t arrive until 52 minutes when Kane rose highest amongst a crowd of players to loop home a header from that Addis long throw.
But Warrenpoint came back into it and found Morris in fine form as he clawed away a Daniel Hughes glancing header before a fine reflex save to keep out a stinging Mark Hughes drive late on at the Oval side held onto the three points and Patterson praised the character of his young side.
“Maybe at the early stage of last season, we would have lost that game.
“From the start of this season we have lost some very big names and we’ve had to bring in new faces, some very young new faces, and they are finding their feet and learning to play the Glentoran way. They are playing for the shirt.”