GLENTORAN 2 WARRENPOINT 1
Curtis Allen got his Danske Bank Premiership campaign up and running with a clinical brace against Warrenpoint Town at The Oval.
Allen scored either side of Stephen Hughes’ reply for the visitors as the Glens – who also missed a penalty – recorded their first win of the season.
The striker tapped home in the 23rd minute, but Warrenpoint equalised with the last kick of the half through Stephen Hughes.
The points were sealed when Allen showed his predatory instincts to fire home the winner in the 71st minute.
All the goals came after Fra McCaffrey had a penalty saved by Johnny Parr – but thankfully for the Glens it didn’t prove crucial.
Jordan Stewart was paraded in front of the Oval fans prior to kick-off.
Stewart signed a two-year deal with Swindon Town on Friday, with much of the pre-match debate surrounding how the Glens would cope without their 20-year-old talisman.
The early signs looked positive when they were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute after Mark Clarke appeared to handle McCaffrey’s deep cross.
But for McCaffrey his resulting spot-kick was saved by Johnny Parr, the Warrenpoint goalkeeper getting down to his right to palm the effort away.
In the 17th minute Marcus Kane headed over from David Scullion’s corner, while at the other end Daniel Hughes clipped the outside of the post with a low drive.
Glentoran broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with Allen bagging his first Premiership goal of the season.
Captain Stephen McAlorum did well to reach the by-line, and when he delivered a low cross there was Allen free at the back post to rifle home from close range.
Warrenpoint went close in the 25th minute when Stephen Hughes blazed widely over after Glentoran failed to clear Liam Bagnall’s corner.
Daniel Hughes then showed some trickery inside the box to find space for his shot but Aaron Hogg did well to block the effort.
McCaffrey lobbed a shot inches wide of the Warrenpoint post in the 32nd minute, and three minutes later Hogg did well to claw Padraig Smith’s shot behind for a corner.
Warrenpoint levelled with the last kick of the half with Stephen Hughes finding space on the edge of the box and then drilling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Allen almost made it 2-1 in the 56th minute, but the striker’s curling free-kick was expertly tipped around the post by Parr.
From the resulting corner Allen was inches wide with a hooked effort.
The striker would not be denied in the 71st minute, however.
Johnny Addis’ long throw was flicked on inside the box, and Allen pounced to dispatch a shot high into the roof of the net.
GLENTORAN: Hogg, Kane (McCullough (69), Holland, Birney, Scullion, Allen, McCaffrey (Gordon 66), McAlorum, Addis, Nelson, McMenamin.
Subs not used: Garrett, Magee, Gibson.
WARRENPOINT: Parr, Clarke, McGuigan, Smith (Murray 80), D. Hughes, Stephen Hughes, Dane, Bagnall, M. Hughes (Dolan 80), Boyle, Kierans.
Subs not used: Murphy, McCabe, Anderson.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus)