Hat-trick hero Bradley rescues point for Glenavon

Eoin Bradley’s second hat-trick of the season saw Glenavon overturn a two goal deficit to earn a point in a 3-3 draw with Cliftonville at Mourneview Park on Saturday.

This was a feast for the fans, superb football, six goals and plenty of excitement right to the end.

Kris Lindsay wins this header for Glenavon.

Kris Lindsay wins this header for Glenavon.

With just two minutes on the clock Glenavon had a chance to take an early lead when Joel Cooper’s corner fell to Simon Kelly but his downward header flew wide.

Both sides moved the ball quickly in a bid to carve out a quick counter attack and James Knowles say his way to the Glenavon goal blocked by Kelly.

Then at the other end a neat pass from Rhys Marshall gave Daniel Kearns a chance to go for goal but his effort flew over the target.

Another chance came a few moments later when Andy Hall did well to rob defender Levi Ives but his cross into Bradley was cut out.

Marshall then nipped in to win the ball and feed Hall but his quick cross found Bradley offside.

Glenavon kept up the good work constantly winning back possession in midfield but could not thread that final pass through for a clean shot on goal.

On 22 minutes Kearns did well to shake off his marker and poke the ball into Bradley who managed to lay it off to Hall but his shot was cleared by Jamie McGovern.

Within seconds Cliftonville had the ball in the net as Chris Curran spotted Knowles who ran on to fire an angled shot past the advancing Tuffey. That was tough on the home side who up to that point had looked the most likely to score.

Conceding the goal did not deter Glenavon and they were level on 32 minutes and what a well worked goal it was. Kilmartin fed Hall who turned brilliantly and curled the ball into the centre for Bradley to come charging in and head past Devlin.

But having got back into the game again Glenavon found themselves behind again when a shot from Jamie McGovern took a deflection to beat Tuffey on 37 minutes.

Again the home side battled back gamely and Kearns was next to go close as he dashed in to reach a lob from Hall but Devlin beat him to the ball. In the next attack Hall was twice denied the equaliser, first his drive was blocked by the keeper and from the rebound his effort was cleared off the line.

The job got even tougher for Glenavon as they were hit again with a bit of ill fortune on 51 minutes when another deflection off Kelly saw the ball fall on a plate for Knowles and he drilled the ball home.

With a two goal cushion the Reds began to take control but on 63 minutes a deep Hall free kick was won by Lindsay but his downward header was well held by the keeper. Then Kelly had no luck as his header was cleared off the line and then minutes later he rose to met a Hall free kick but could not find the net.

Finally Glenavon did find the net on 79 minutes to set up a grandstand finish and full marks to Bradley who battled his way into the box and from a tight angle he managed to curl the ball into the net.

The home fans didn’t have long to wait for the equaliser, two minutes later and Bradley bagged his second hat-trick of the season, he dashed clear from Kelly’s through ball and drove a firm shot past Devlin.

The visitors should have added a fourth when they broke three on one but Kelly managed to get a vital block in and after Tuffey raced out to clear the ball fell to Catney who went for the gaping goal but his effort sailed wide.

Tuffey then produced a superb save to push away a free kick by Knowles on 86 minutes.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Dillion, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Sykes, Kearns.

Subs: Patton, McGrory, O’Brien, Hamilton, Braniff.