Rodney McAree praises Glentoran’s character as post-Mick McDermott era begins in promising manner with win over Newry City

Rodney McAree was off to a perfect start as Glentoran manager as his men beat Newry 3-1 away yesterday, ending a six-game losing streak in the league.

New signing Niall McGinn got them running seven minutes after Bobby Burns beat Ryan McGivern before Jay Donnelly scored a wonderful goal by going past Steven Maguire from 40 yards.

Newry appeared to come back strongly early in the second half as James Teelan reduced the deficit before Patrick McClean was shown a red card for fouling John McGovern when he cleaned on target.

However, Glentoran – in their first game since Mick McDermott left as manager – did not let up and a second goal from Donnelly with just over half an hour left was the icing on the cake.

“It’s a great feeling,” McAree said. “Especially after the result and performance run, it worked. I thought we were exceptional in the first half on a very difficult, difficult-to-play surface. I thought we played some good things, created a few chances and deservedly took a 2-0 lead at half-time.”

While the Glens were clearly the better team in the first half, things weren’t looking so good when Newry pulled back a goal and the visitors lost a man. However, they were able to respond in style.

“I’m very happy with the character of the players,” said McAree.

“Her character was undeniable. They played for the jersey, fought for each other, for every ball and they deserved those three points.”

In the midst of such poor form, Glentoran needed their players to stand up and they certainly did. Burns was instrumental in his hard work resulting in turnovers for the first two goals before providing a third assist and setting up Donnelly.

In defense, Luke McCullough was rock solid while Aaron McCarey made a number of key saves, none better than late when he fingertiped Donal Rocks’ volley and turned it over.

As for the two goalscorers, both were remarkable. It was McGinn’s first signing for the club in January, and for Donnelly, his braces came just a day after the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death.

“I’m happy for the Donnellys because it’s been a tough week for both of those guys,” said McAree. “Jay had obviously been watching Jordan Forsythe’s goal last week (for Crusaders vs Newry) because it was very similar. It was a sweet strike.

“I think he (McGinn) has settled in really well. I thought he hit his goal really, really well and I thought every time he picked up the ball he wanted to run at people.

Darren Mullen’s Newry have not won in the league since 12 November (apart from awarding three points against Portadown) and have reduced their gap to the relegation zone to just one point.

“The story of the game was they took their chances and we didn’t,” Mullen said. “You also have to give credit to our boys; It’s a bad form based on the results, but our recent performances have been really good.”

NEWRY CITY: Maguire 5, King 6, N Healy 6, McGivern 5 Lockhart 6 (Carville, 80 mins, 6), Teelan 6, McGovern 6, Moan 6, Scullion 6, Montgomery 6 (Rocks, 71 mins, 6) , Lusty 5 (Hughes, 61 minutes, 5).

Subs not used: Brady, Martin, B. Healy, Kwelele.

GLENTORAN: McCarey 8, Kane 7, McCullough 8, Burns 9 (R Donnelly, 71 mins, 7), McCartan 7 (Crowe, 55 mins, 7), Marshall 7, J Donnelly 9 (Smith, 80 mins, 6), McClean 5, Devlin 7, Wightman 7 (Plum, 80mins, 6), McGinn 8 (Purkis, 80mins, 6).

Subs not used: Webber, O’Connor.

Referee: Lee Tavinder 8. Rodney McAree praises Glentoran’s character as post-Mick McDermott era begins in promising manner with win over Newry City

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