Irish Premiership: Jay Donnelly scores and sees red as Glentoran beat Carrick

Glentoran celebrate Jay Donnelly's opener
Jay Donnelly has scored seven league goals for Glentoran since his arrival at the Oval

Jay Donnelly scored but was sent off as 10-man Glentoran beat Carrick Rangers 2-0 at the Oval.

Donnelly made the breakthrough on 40 minutes after heading the ball beyond Aaron Hogg from Marcus Kane's deflected cross.

However the forward was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Mark Surgenor on 59 minutes.

Despite plenty of Carrick pressure, Robbie McDaid sealed the win with an excellent finish on 78 minutes.

The Oval pitch passed an inspection due to the weather and clear-cut opportunities were hard to come by in the first half as Patrick McClean and Jordan Gibson spurned half chances at either end.

Carrick did have the ball in the net midway through the first half when Lloyd Anderson and debutant Jordan Jenkins linked up well on the edge of the area. The latter fired the ball beyond Dayle Coleing into the Glentoran net however the on-loan Glenavon forward had strayed beyond the defence and was correctly flagged for offside.

Hrvoje Plum saw his low shot easily gathered by Hogg and Donnelly's blushes were spared by the linesman's flag after scuffing a guilt-edged opportunity from 10 yards when he was played through by Rhys Marshall.

Carrick's best chance fell to Chris Rodgers on 37 minutes when the defender's powerful header from Kyle Cherry's corner was cleared off the line by Ciaran O'Connor. The smallest of margins kept the visitors out but it was Glentoran who made the breakthrough just three minutes later.

Marcus Kane's cross from the left was deflected into Donnelly's path by Cherry and the forward kept his composure to head the ball past Hogg from close range to open the scoring in east Belfast.

Donnelly sees red for poor challenge

Luke McCullough arrowed an effort wide of the post from 20 yards after the restart and Rory Donnelly's shot from range was dragged off target, however the game changed when Donnelly was sent off after a late challenge on Carrick captain Surgenor.

With the ball wide outside the Carrick area, Donnelly dived in on the defender as he passed the ball back to Hogg and referee Jamie Robinson was straight over to show a red card for the tackle.

Carrick, sensing the chance to get back into the game, pushed for an equaliser. Marshall had to be alert to clear the ball off the line and Gibson couldn't get a proper connection on Anderson's teasing cross before hitting a long-range effort over the top from 20 yards.

Jamie McDonagh's effort was well saved by Hogg in a rare respite for Mick McDermott's side before Caolan Loughran's 35-yard free kick was well saved by Coleing and McCullough hacked Jenkins' rebound off the line.

However on the resulting counter attack McDaid produced a solo run from the right wing before beating Hogg with a powerful near-post strike to secure the three points with 12 minutes remaining. There was one final scare for the Glens as Coleing pulled off an excellent save to keep out Gibson to keep his clean sheet intact.

Glentoran remain in seventh position and Carrick stay rooted to the bottom of the table despite a spirited performance in east Belfast.

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