Feisty Glens Bring Drogs Run to End; Not This Year, Lads: Droghedas Adam Hughes Goes in (above) on Michael Halliday of Glentoran, Who Is Back in Action in an Aerial Battle with Graham Gartland (Right) as Glens Caused a Setanta Cup Shock
Byline: GERRY KELLY
GLENTORAN qualified for their first Setanta Cup f i n a l despite being reduced to nine men in a single-goal victory over reigning champions Drogheda.
In a feisty encounter at United Park, the Belfast side struck for what would prove to be the winner early on, survived the awarding of a penalty to the home side and finished the match two players short of a full quota after a dramatic and eventful second half.
The only bad news for the Northern outfit was that the men sent packing, captain Paul Leeman and goalscorer Jason Hill, will both miss the final through suspension.
Glentoran were gifted the opening goal in their first attack after only three minutes when Hill broke down the left, cut into the box and sent a tame strike towards goal which Drogheda keeper Jamie Ewings somehow allowed to slip under his body and into the net.
United went close to an equaliser after ten minutes when Fahrudin Kuduzovic picked out Adam Hughes, but he saw his shot blocked by net minder Elliot Morris before knocking the loose ball wide.
The home side continued to push forward at every opportunity as Paul Keegan drove wide, Declan OBrien clipped his effort past the post and Morris saved from Hughes once more.
Ewings early mistake knocked his confidence as right through the first half he looked uncomfortable and uncertain under the corners and high balls that Glens pumped into the box.
Either side of the half-hour mark he struggled to deal with a couple of Gary Hamilton corners and was then all at sea under a cross from the left which he spilled to Michael Halliday, who saw his shot stopped on the line by Graham Gartland before Ewings recovered to block the strikers second attempt. …