Blues bounce back in style

GLENAVON bounced back from their League Cup defeat to record their second consecutive 4-1 league win last Saturday with Kris Lindsay scoring his first goal for the club.

The Blues smashed Ballymena United at Mourneview Park just a week after thrashing Lisburn Distillery by the same scoreline.

Two strikes from the fantastic Guy Bates either side of goals from Lindsay and Ciaran Martyn were enough to secure an impressive victory for Gary Hamilton’s men.

Andrew Mitchell and Conor Hagan came into the starting line-up with the injured Eddie McCallion and Ciaran Doherty dropping out.

The game couldn’t have started much better for the home side when the unfortunate Aaron Stewart helped them to the opener. The United defender fouled Kris Lindsay outside the box and when Bates thumped the resulting free-kick, it deflected wickedly off Stewart and past Stuart Addis.

It could even have been two for Glenavon on seven minutes when Andy McGrory tried to lob Addis but the keeper made a good save before Ciaran Martyn failed to convert the rebound.

That miss was soon punished in a blistering start to the game as the in-form Jamie Davidson managed to hold off Kris Lindsay and finished superbly into the bottom corner to level the scores.

That didn’t deter Gary Hamilton’s men as they immediately set about regaining their advantage. Young forward Andrew Mitchell went close as he rifled a shot across goal and narrowly wide of the far post before he headed Mark Turkington’s corner agonisingly off the post.

Ciaran Martyn was next to go close as he got his head onto another corner kick but this time it was cleared off the line. Then Guy Bates looked to restore Glenavon’s lead in spectacular fashion as he dazzled Marcus Kane, skipping past the winger on the left flank before smashing an effort that flew narrowly over the bar.

The goal surely looked like coming for the home side and six minutes before the break, it duly arrived.

It came from another set-piece, this time Niall Henderson’s crossed free-kick that was powered into the net by a bullet header from skipper Kris Lindsay.

The Sky Blues almost hit back again at the start of the second half when David Cushley’s well struck free-kick had to be turned round the post by Andy Coleman.

Glenavon took full advantage of that stop as Ciaran Martyn made it 3-1 on 51 minutes. Guy Bates’ back-heel set Andy McGrory away into the box on the right side and he slid the ball across goal where Martyn popped up to poke the ball over the line.

Andy Coleman was then called on to ensure his side maintained their two goal lead as he had to tip Allen Jenkins effort over the bar before also having to put Cushley’s long range effort behind for a corner kick.

From the resulting set-piece, substitute James Costello tried to force the ball into the net but his effort was cleared before it could cross the line.

Then on 85 minutes, Glenavon added the icing on the cake and it was fitting that the final goal came from Bates, who had tortured the Ballymena defence throughout the game.

Niall Henderson found the big striker and he turned defender Aaron Stewart before firing a shot low into the bottom corner of the net.

It was a fantastic way to secure the win, cap off a brilliant display at Mourneview Park and lead the Blues into the festive period well on form.