THERE was a case of De ja Vu for Glenavon on Saturday.
The Blues lost to Ballinamallard, had a goal contentiously disallowed, just like when the sides met back in September.
On that occasion Marc Brown’s 45th minute header was ruled out by Mark Courtney after the referee had originally appeared to have given a goal.
This time around Andy McGrory nodded the ball into the bottom corner shortly after the break only to see the linesman’s flag raised and his seventh goal of the season chalked off.
That left the path open for David Kee to curl in the eventual winner midway through the second half and condemn a rather unfortunate Glenavon to defeat.
The Blues had their fair share of chances to get something from the game but squandered opportunities and an inspired display from goalkeeper Alvin Rouse saw the Mallards to a victory that kept them above Coleraine in third spot.
Ciaran Doherty and young Jason Greenaway, making his debut, came into Glenavon’s line-up at the expense of Sean McCashin and the injured Marc Brown but it was the visitors who started the brighter at Mourneview Park.
Andy Coleman had to be on top form to stop the Mallards taking the lead as he was at full stretch to tip Ryan Campbell’s effort round the post. The goalkeeper, however, then gifted Campbell a chance as he threw the ball straight to the striker’s feet. Thankfully for Coleman, his effort went harmlessly wide of goal before Leon Carters also failed to find the target from Jason McCartney’s free kick.
McCartney himself was the next to trouble Coleman as he burst clear of the Glenavon defence but the goalkeeper rushed out to make a great save.
Towards the end of the half, the Blues finally hauled themselves into the game and put together a few nice passing moves. They pushed closer and closer to scoring as the half drew to a close and it was the boss Gary Hamilton who gave Rouse the biggest sweat.
A nice exchange between Ciaran Doherty and Guy Bates teed up Hamilton on the left side of the box and his neat chip with the outside of his boot looped past the Mallards’ keeper but came back off the crossbar.
Centre-back Mark Haughey then came close to nodding in a header from Hamilton’s corner but his effort flew narrowly wide of the back post.
The Blues started the second half as strongly as they had finished the first and even put the ball in the net. Hamilton nodded down Mark Haughey’s free kick and when McGrory popped up to head home, the linesman’s flag was raised.
Then, 14 minutes later, the visitors took advantage of that call by claiming the lead. Midfielder David Kee cut inside onto his favoured left foot and curled a perfect effort into the bottom corner – not a bad way to notch his first goal of the season.
Glenavon immediately set about getting themselves back into the reckoning and Guy Bates delivered two troublesome right wing crosses. However, the first of those was flicked inches wide by Andy McGrory while the second just evaded Ciaran Martyn and had to be palmed to safety by the in-form Rouse.
Glenavon poured forward and, just as it had done at the end of the first half, it seemed only a matter of time until the net rippled.
However, chances came and went and it proved to be a day of frustration at Mourneview Park. Ciaran Doherty raced clear of the defence but had to stretch to get in an effort at goal and that allowed Rouse to close him down and stop the shot.
Hamilton was next to be denied by the former Dungannon stopper as his close range header was well saved after Martyn had flicked on impressive youngster Jason Greenaway’s threatening cross.
That was to be that for the home side as Andy Coleman had to be alert to stop Chris Curran making it 2-0 and a Glenavon triple-substitution failed to increase their attacking threat towards the end of the game.
It was an undeserved defeat but one that ends their run of three games unbeaten. Yet again a disallowed goal proved to affect the game but the Blues had more than enough reasons to be positive after another decent display.
GLENAVON: Coleman, Neill, Haughey, Kilmartin (Mitchell 83), Doherty (Henderson 83), Bates, Lindsay (c), McGrory, Martyn, Greenaway (McCashin 83), Hamilton.
Unused Subs: Burrows, Turkington.
BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Rouse, McConkey, Keohane, Carters, Stafford (c), Kee, Curran, Hutchinson (McKenna 61), Feeney (Crawford 77), McCartney, Campbell (Martin 68).
Unused Subs: Liggett, McGrath.
Referee: R Tarajev (Estonia).