Donnelly brothers at the double as Glentoran defeat Coleraine

Glentoran picked up their first win at Coleraine Showgrounds since 2013 to pull level on points with Linfield at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Goals in either half from brothers Ruaidhri and Jay Donnelly sealed a seventh win on the bounce for Mick McDermott’s men ahead of Monday’s intriguing ‘Big Two’ clash with Linfield.

There was a big switch for the hosts with Adam Mullan coming in to a back three and Conor McKendry and Jamie Glackin partnering teenage forward Patrick Kelly in attack.

Unsurprisingly, the Glens named an unchanged side from the team which defeated Glenavon 2-0 last Friday.

Glentoran's Jay Donnelly celebrates scoring against Coleraine. Pic by Pacemaker.

And they started with all the confidence of a team that had won each of their last six league games - taking the lead inside four minutes.

Ruaidhri Donnelly was afforded too much space in the Coleraine six-yard box, allowing him to head home Shay McCartan’s corner.

They almost doubled their lead on 17 minutes as the home defence failed to deal with another corner.

Seanan Clucas’ header fell for Jay Donnelly, but he screwed his shot wide from eight yards.

Patrick McClean then tried his luck from distance, with his shot deflecting away for another corner which the Bannsiders managed to defend this time.

It was Coleraine’s chance to threaten from a corner as play approached the half-hour mark but Rodney Brown powered his header over from McKendry’s delivery.

The hosts almost shot themselves in the foot 10 minutes from half-time as a rare loose pass from Stephen Lowry allowed Conor McMenamin to race towards goal - but he blazed his shot over.

The Glens started the second half with the same attacking intent, with Bobby Burns having a shot deflected narrowly wide of the target.

The Bannsiders threw on James McLaughlin seven minutes into the second half and he powered over a header minutes after coming on.

But it was the Glens who scored again just past the hour mark as McMenamin nicked the ball past Mullan before squaring for Jay Donnelly for a tap-in.

Coleraine carved out another opportunity on 69 minutes as McLaughlin fed Lyndon Kane, but his shot was beat away by Aaron McCarey.

They forced the keeper into another stop minutes later as McCarey got down well to block a McLaughlin header.

Glackin then fizzed a shot wide after a scramble in the visitors’ penalty box.

Right at the death, Donnelly should have bagged his second as he capitalised on another mix-up in the Coleraine defence but he fired over the target.


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