Glentoran 1-1 Saints

Saints drew 1-1 with Glentoran last night in the first of two matches in the pre-season trip to Northern Ireland.

The competitve friendly saw Saints name effectively two different teams of XI in each half to help as many of Tommy Wright's squad get minutes under their belts to coincide with the more intensive pre-season sessions.

Three trialists featured for Saints - one in the first-half and two in the second - with the first-half trialist netting Saints' only goal of the match.

Things started quiet although there was bad news for Saints after around 15 minutes when Matty Kennedy limped off with an injury sustained during a challenge in the box. Although there were appeals for a penalty the referee waved them away but the force of the tackle left Matty unable to continue.

Things would improve just a few minutes later though as Saints opened the scoring.

Chris Kane managed to get in behind for the first time in the match before squaring the ball to David Wotherspoon in the box. The Saints number 10 was unable to get his shot on goal but the ball broke kindly for Saints' Trialist striker who had a simple tap in to get himself on the scoresheet.

And just a minute later it could've been two when the trialist this time got himself into the box joined by Chris Kane and David Wotherspoon again but the defender just managed to get enough on the ball to deny Kane.

Saints were on top but there was a scary moment for Saints 'keeper Zander when what appeared to look like the ball sticking in the grass almost gave Glentoran's striker the chance of an easy tap in but Zander did enough to deny the home side.

Four minutes later and Zander denied the homeside once again when Paul O'Neill broke through on goal but the 27-year-old was down quickly to make the stop.

There wasn't much he could do about Glentoran's next effort on goal though.

The ball bounced up favourably from Saints' efforts to clear at the edge of the area and it teed up Curtis Allen who rifled one straight into the top corner to level proceedings before the break.

At half-time, Saints replaced every player on the field with the exception of Michael O'Halloran who replaced the injured Matty Kennedy earlier in the game.

That meant debuts for two summer recruits - Elliott Parish and Wallace Duffy - but also two new trialists trying to impress.

In a quiet start to the half the pick of the chances came for David McMillan. The striker linked well with Callum Hendry in the box before firing agonisingly wide of the 'keeper's post.

Saints tried to break the home side down and dominated much of the second half trying a number of different set plays and moves to get back in front.

Glentoran were holding on towards the end and can have their 'keeper to thank for two big saves late on.

Great play from Ali McCann saw the midfielder drive into the box but was denied by the trialist 'keeper.

And he was at it again when he denied a long range effort from Saints' trialist central defender which looked destined for the top corner right at the death.

Saints couldn't find a winner in the end but the match was an important exercise in Manager Tommy Wright's pre-season plans seeing all almost of all of his first-team players for the coming season get important minutes on the pitch.

Next up for Saints is Linfield this Saturday kick-off at 2PM.


SAINTS FIRST HALF XI: Clark, Foster, Tanser, Gordon, Anderson, Kennedy (O'Halloran 15), Wotherspoon, Davidson, McClean, Kane, Trialist

SAINTS SECOND HALF XI: Parish, Duffy, Trialist, Kerr, Trialist, O'Halloran (Kane 60), Craig, McCann, Callachan, Hendry, McMillan