Irish Premiership: Freak own-goal gifts Glens draw with Coleraine

Carson's freak own goal as Glentoran draw with Coleraine

Glentoran and Coleraine missed the opportunity to significantly close the gap on leaders Linfield as they battled out a 2-2 draw at the Oval.

Jay Donnelly fired the Glens into an early lead with a fine strike.

Goals from Matthew Shevlin either side of half-time saw Coleraine fight back move 2-1 in front.

However, a freak own goal from Coleraine's Josh Carson - who lobbed the ball over his own keeper from 40 yards - meant the spoils were shared.

Second-placed Coleraine reduce Linfield's lead at the top of the table to nine points with Glentoran a further two points adrift in third place.

Glens go close

Glentoran made a bright start and almost went ahead inside four minutes when a cleverly-worked short corner was played to Gael Bigirimana and his whipped cross was inches away from being converted by Patrick McClean at the back-post.

But less than two minutes later, the home side were in front thanks to a superb strike from Donnelly.

Luke McCullough's 60-yard diagonal pass was knocked down by the head of Robbie McDaid to Donnelly, who chested it down before swivelling and firing a fierce strike beyond the grasp of Marty Gallagher.

Glentoran came close again on 19 minutes when a lung-bursting run from right-back Rhys Marshall took him into the right-hand side of the penalty area but his fierce strike was turned behind by Gallagher at the near-post.

From the resultant Hrvoje Plum corner, McCullough made a run to the near-post but his well-struck half-volley cannoned off the crossbar on its way over.

Glentoran and Coleraine share spoils at the Oval

And the Bannsiders breathed a huge sigh of relief when Plum went down under a challenge from the trailing leg of Stephen O'Donnell in the penalty area, but referee Raymond Crangle remained unmoved.

Coleraine equalised with their first meaningful effort on 29 minutes. Jamie Glackin delivered an inswinging free-kick from the left-hand side and Shevlin got in front of Glens keeper Rory Brown to glance home a header.

That goal certainly gave the Bannsiders a lift and Shevlin made good run in behind the home defence only to see his shot diverted behind by defender Patrick McClean and when the resultant corner was only half-cleared, Stephen Lowry saw a shot turned away by Brown.

Coleraine carried that improved form into the early stages of the second half with Ronan Wilson threading a through ball behind the Glentoran defence for Glackin, but he fired his effort over after taking the shot early.

Glentoran responded with Seanan Clucas breaking from midfield to latch onto a clever flick but defender Lyndon Kane did well to force Clucas wide and he could only put his effort off target.

But the decisive next goal went the way of the visitors on 70 minutes. A diagonal pass drifted in behind Rhys Marshall and Shevlin moved quickly to steer a low angled shot past Brown.

But Glentoran levelled in freak circumstances with 12 minutes left when Carson attempted to get to a loose ball in midfield ahead of Plum but made a heavy contact and only succeeded in lobbing the ball over his own goalkeeper from 40 yards as the game ended all-square.

The sides meet again this Friday evening, this time at the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds, in a game which will be streamed live on the BBC Sport NI website.

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