After a thrilling night of football at Windsor Park and Solitude, Glentoran will go head to head with Cliftonville for the last place in the Europa League Qualifiers.
After a devastating loss to Coleraine in the Irish League Cup last weekend, Barry Grays’ side manage to pick themselves up and put on a fantastic performance against Ballymena United last night.
What started off as a quiet game, quickly turned into a nightmare scenario for Ballymena United when Kevin Braniff was sent off after a challenge on Conor McDonald after just thirty minutes. It was his second booking in the space of a few minutes and it didn’t take long for Cliftonville to take advantage to up the tempo of the game. It was sixty-seven minutes in before the deadlock was broken by Jay Donnelly. Cliftonville dominated the second half scoring another three goals in the closing ten minutes. Jay Donnelly scored his second of the night in the eighty first minute while teammate Joe Gormley went on to net a further two goals in the space three minutes to finish the game 4-0.
The Glens had a tougher challenge against Linfield in the Belfast derby last night to clinch a spot in the Europa League play off final. Linfield led in the first half courtesy of Kurtis Byrne, who netted their first goal twenty-six minutes into the game. Linfield doubled their lead five minutes into the second half with Andrew Waterworth’s shot from six yards out.
Glentoran mounted their comeback when awarded a penalty after Jimmy Callacher had tugged Curtis Allen’s shirt inside the area. Substitute Dylan Davidson drove the penalty home and team mate John McGuigan equalised within minutes with a fantastic curling shot in the top corner. Now the game was on and Glentoran used the momentum to their advantage. William Garrett headed his 2nd of the season in the seventy ninth minute followed by Curtis Allen who hammered home the fourth of the night for the Glens. Linfield’s Stephen Fallon snatched a consolation goal in stoppage time but too little too late. This is the first time in fifteen years that Linfield failed to book their place in Europe.
This Saturday Cliftonville go head to head with the Glens to secure their place in Europe this Saturday at 3pm at Solitude A cool 200k is up for grabs for the winning side.