Good workout at Newforge for Glenavon

Kevin Braniff in action against PSNI. Pic by Philip Hawthorne
Kevin Braniff in action against PSNI. Pic by Philip Hawthorne
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Glenavon began their pre-season programme with a 1-1 draw at PSNI on Saturday.

Manager Gary Hamilton utilised his 21 strong squad by giving his players a half each in what proved to be a tough but rewarding work-out in very humid and energy sapping conditions.

Glenavon could have been three up at the break, twice the woodwork denied them an opening goal in a half which showed plenty of enterprise and energy.

The first chance fell to David Elebert who got on the end of a corner from Mark Patton but his well cushioned header rattled off the bar.

Then it was Patton’s turn to hit the post after he latched onto a cross from Eoin Bradley.

Goalkeeper James McGrath had little to do in the first half but he was alert to make a superb save five minutes before the break.

Hamilton carved out a great chance for Bradley with a teasing cross over to the far post but when the header came in it curled just over the upright.

Then Elebert was left unmarked in the box but his parting shot smashed into the keeper. There was still time for Bradley to go for goal in a spectacular fashion with a ferocious volley that flew wide.

The second half was a lot quieter for the visitors in terms of chances created and it was PSNI who broke the ice from the penalty spot after Kris Lindsay brought down Mark Anderson and Ryan Berry slotted the ball home.

Glenavon upped the pace and after James Singleton’s shot from distance failed to test the keeper Kevin Braniff had an effort rebound off the post. Andy McGrory had two chances close in but on both occasions his shots were blocked.

Lindsay made up for his earlier mistake when he came up to power home a nice header to level the scores with 8 minutes to go.

And he had another effort minutes later that just flew past the post with the keeper beaten.

Glenavon have two home games this week, on Tuesday night they face Welsh treble winners TNS and on Wednesday night they take on St. Johnstone. Both games kick-off at 7.45pm.

Team first half: McGrath, Marshall, Elebert, Kelly, Rea, Drylie, Dillon, Hamilton, Sykes, Patton, Bradley.

Team second half: Tuffey, Boyland, Lindsay, McKeown, Singleton, Caldwell, Kilmartin, Lynch, McGrory, Braniff, Hall.