Paul Millar expecting another tough battle against Coleraine

Glentoran assistant manager Paul Millar is expecting another tough test as his side face Coleraine again tonight.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 1:00 pm

It’s the second time three days that the Glens face the Bannsiders following their 2-2 draw at The Oval on Tuesday night.

The hosts had the better of the first half and deservedly went in front through Jay Donnelly.

But they needed a freak own-goal from Josh Carson late on to earn a share of the spoils after a Matthew Shevlin brace had put Oran Kearney’s side in control.

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Millar though was full of praise of his team and is hoping for more of the same at The Showgrounds.

“We were pleased with a lot of aspects of our game, we were solid at the back, worked hard in the middle of the park and our movement and rotation up front was great,” he said.

“We just do it all again...it’s tough, but it’s tough for them too.

“We should have had the game over by half-time, we totally dominated the first half.

“We had a stonewall penalty decision turned down, there is no question about that. Hrvoje Plum had his legs whipped from under him inside the box (by Aaron Jarvis).

“The referee was going to award it, but he was overruled by his linesman.

“It came on the back of a penalty kick awarded against us at Ballymena United last week (when Chris Gallagher and Sean Graham collided) which was never a spot kick.

“I know people make mistakes, but that’s two in a week against us. It was at a crucial point in the match. . . and a crucial decision that ultimately cost us. Had we gone two goals up, we would have won the game.”

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney was pleased to see the response from his side but he was left speechless by Carson’s unfortunate strike.

“From a poor start, in typical Coleraine fashion, we got ourselves back into the game with a lot of spirit and endeavour,” he said.

“We got ourselves into a great position. For me, the most important was when we went 2-1 we looked solid and strong for 15 minutes or so and we looked as though we were starting to frustrate them.

“It appeared we could see out the game. It was just the moment and the timing of that own goal.

“Could it not have happened in a pre-season friendly or in a game with not as much significance?

"I’ve never seen a goal like that in football and I’ll never see it again, it was incredible.

“If they cut us wide up and score a great equaliser, you could accept that.

“Josh has been one of our standout performers this season.

“His fitness levels; the amount of games in succession he’s played; and his attitude had been spot on . . . he is one of our star men. He has been exceptional.

“He was expecting a tackle and I think the player (Plum) pulled out at the last moment. It was a total freak. Even the players said the ball started way outside the post and then it bent in.

“You could do it two or three hundred times and would never get close to it. That is probably the most sickening bit for our boys.

“It did look as though we were in a position to see out the game because there was a little level of frustration in the Glentoran team, so it was hard to take from our point.”

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