IRISH LEAGUE: Half-time talk saves Glentoran in Linfield draw

Glentorans Aaron Harmon celebrates scoring against Linfield
Glentorans Aaron Harmon celebrates scoring against Linfield

Glentoran boss Gary Haveron admitted a half-time rant sparked his boys to life in yesterday’s Big Two clash at Windsor Park.

Title chasing Linfield bossed the first half, but had only a Mark Haughey goal to show for their efforts.

Following Haveron’s lecture, the Glens were a different team in the second half. Midfielder Aaron Harmon sent the big following of visiting fans into raptures when he headed his team level.

The battling visitors then had to play out the last five minutes with only 10 men after skipper Stephen McAlorum was sent off for a horrible challenge on Sean Ward.

Linfield now trail Danske Premiership champions Crusaders by seven points after this result.

“We have got to be happy with a point, given we were second best in the first half,” said Haveron. “I went through the boys at half time, demanding pride and commitment in the second half and I got that in abundance in the second half.

“I asked the boys to show the fans what it meant to play for Glentoran.

“Everyone of them stood up to the challenge. I was really proud with our second half performance.

“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded. I don’t allow players to hide, they all have their responsibility.

“We switched off and were punished. But we regrouped and we had to get into the Linfield faces -- and that’s what we did.

“I also though we were denied a decent penalty shout when Roy Carroll brought down Ciaran Caldwell . . . I would like to see that one again.”

Linfield boss David Healy admitted his team now face a massive task to reel in Crusaders at the top.

“It certainly is a long way back,” said Healy. “The Crues have proved what a good side they are by beating Cliftonville.

“One thing we need now is for my players to stand up and be counted -- something that didn’t happen against Glentoran.”

“We missed too many chances in the first half and that came back to bite us. If you are not clinical and ruthless in front of goal, sometimes it can come back to haunt you.

“We just didn’t come out for the second half -- we were not good enough.

“We try to set standards at the club about performance an attitude, but those standards were missing in the second half.

“Big games call for big players and we didn’t have enough of them today. I was disappointed the way we capitulated. We looked a big leggy, almost lazy.”