James McLaughlin scores late as Coleraine see off Glentoran at the Showgrounds

Glentoran's Conor McMenamin tries his luck against Coleraine
Glentoran's Conor McMenamin tries his luck against Coleraine

COLERAINE 1 GLENTORAN 0

A late goal from substitute James McLaughlin was the difference as Coleraine earned all three points against Glentoran at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

The main talking point of the first half happened inside the opening minute as a great pass from Jordan Stewart found Curtis Allen inside the penalty area.

The striker turned to shoot but was denied by a sliding challenge from David Ogilby, however referee Raymond Hetherington wasn’t interested in awarding a spot-kick.

At the other end Garth Falconer forced Glentoran ‘keeper Eliiot Morris into making a terrific save following a rasping 25-yard shot.

In a first half that lacked any creativity, the Irish Cup holders nearly made the breakthrough as a great cross from Steven McCullough was flicked on by Danny McKee and the ball evaded a vital touch from Allen.

On 58 minutes Sammy Morrow spurned a great chance to open the scoring as Ruairi Harkin found Ian Parkhill on the edge of the penalty area. Parkhill had the vision to find Morrow in the box but his weak effort was easily saved by Morris.

The home side were becoming an attacking threat as Higgins was denied by Morris and Brown flashed wide when well placed. However, the Glens spurned their best chance of the match as a great cross from Stewart met Conor McMenamin but his header was cleared off the line by Steven Douglas.

However, the deadlock was broken on 82 minutes as a deflected cross from Falconer was dropped by Morris and McLaughlin pounced to score on his debut with his first touch.

COLERAINE: Doherty, Beverland, Mullan, Higgins, Douglas, Ogilby, Morrow (McLaughlin 79), Harkin (Lyons 90), Brown, Parkhill, Falconer.

Subs Not Used: Watt, Kane, McGonigle.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Garrett, Kane, Birney, Magee, Allen, Stewart, McAlorum, Gordon, McCullough (McMenamin 68), McKee (Scullion 61).

Subs Not Used: Hogg, Holland, Addis.