Jordan Stewart (70)

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Glentoran with the NI Hospice Charity Shield (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

GLENTORAN WIN NI HOSPICE CHARITY SHIELD

Glentoran claimed the first piece of silverware of the new season with a single goal victory over Crusaders in the NI Hospice Charity Shield at Solitude.

Although scoreless after half-an-hour both sides had their chances with Matthew Snoddy perhaps coming closest with a goalbound header which Marcus Kane did well to clear off the line.

Stephen Baxter's side went even closer on 36 minutes after Gavin Whyte had a go from some 25 yards only for the ball to crash back off the bar.

However, the Glens squandered the best chance of the first half on 40 minutes when they were awarded a spot-kick after Steven Gordon went tumbling just inside the area but Jay Magee stepped up to send the ball wide of the target.

Then, moments later, Sean O'Neill produced a superb stop to deny Steven McCullough as the game began to liven up.

Just before the hour Whyte struck the woodwork for a second time, on this occasion an 18-yard drive against an upright, moments after a Billy Joe Burns effort had been blocked.

But the deadlock was finally broken on 69 minutes when Glentoran substitute Jordan Stewart broke through to rifle an effort into the top right-hand corner of O'Neill's goal.

Crusaders continued to press in an attempt to salvage something for their efforts, almost managing to level with seven minutes remaining through a goalmouth scramble but twice Glentoran 'keeper Elliott Morris saved from point blank range to deny them.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Magowan, Robinson, McClean, Caddell, Snoddy, Clarke, O'Carroll, Owens, Whyte subs McKibbin (not used), Stewart (not used), Coates (not used), Mitchell (replaced Caddell 44), O'Flynn (replaced O'Carroll 83)

Glentoran: Morris, Birney, Magee, Garrett, Kane, McCullough, Gibson, McAlorum, Gordon, McKee, McCaffrey subs Hogg (not used), Allen (replaced Gibson 58), Scullion (replaced McCullough 75), Stewart (replaced McCaffrey 55), Addis (not used)

Referee: Tim Marshall

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Tags:  Crusaders  Glentoran