Glenavon must be wondering when their bad fortune will turn as they came away from Solitude on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat on Saturday.
Cliftonville is never an easy place to go at the best of times but the Lurgan Blues certainly deserved something more than just a goal to show for their hard work.
There was controvery too over the second Cliftonville goal with Glenavon claiming the ball had gone out of play before being crossed for Joe Gormley to score. To make matters worse Eddie McCallion was sent off for dissent over the incident.
Kris Lindsay was replaced to the starting line-up but lasted only 14 minutes before having to go off injured with Gareth McKeown coming off the bench.
Cliftonville created a lot of chances in the first 20 minutes but Andy Coleman did well and made one superb save to scoop the ball away from under the bar after Joe Gormley’s shot was deflected by Kyle Neill. He also turned Ryan Catney’s low shot round the post, kept out a Gormley header and denied Liam Boyce after he slid in at the back post to make contact with Gormley’s low cross-shot.
In a rare Glenavon raid a good block by Jamie McGovern denied Mark Patton from teeing up a shot on goal but four minutes later the Reds forged ahead. Coleman saved the initial shot from Gormley but he could do stop Boyce from snapping up the loose ball.
Things got much better for the visitors on the attacking front after the restart with Early Guy Bates fired just over from McKeown’s through ball and Kyle Neill was unlucky to see his effort saved by Conor Devlin.
Mark Patton then rattled the woodwork with a fierce shot after he got on the end of Andy McGrory’s cross. Glenavon had a big shout for a penalty after Bates was brought down in the box but referee Ross Dunlop waved play on.
The came the hotly disputed second Cliftonville goal as the ball appeared to go out of play, Glenavon expected a throw-in, but the flag stayed down and Murray ran on to cross for Gormley to fire home.
McCallion protested and saw red for his complaints.
Despite going down to ten men Glenavon did pull a goal back with six minutes to go as Ciaran Martyn tapped in after Rhys Marshall provided the cross.
CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, R Scannell, Donnelly, Seydak, Smyth, Catney, Gormley, Murray, Doherty, Boyce. Subs: McNally, McMullan, McNeill, O’Carroll (for Murray, 73 mins), Cosgrove (for Gormley, 82 mins).
GLENAVON: Coleman, Neill, McCallion, Murphy, Lindsay, Bates, Patton, McGrory, Marshall, McCabe, Martyn. Subs: Kilmartin (for McCabe, 65 mins), Hamilton (for Bates, 69 mins), McDaid, McKeown (for Lindsay, 13 mins), McIlveen.
REFEREE: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus)