Hoops recover to earn draw at Glenavon

The friendly between Glenavon and Lurgan Celtic finished 2-2.

The friendly between Glenavon and Lurgan Celtic finished 2-2.

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Glenavon were held to a 2-2 draw in their friendly with Lurgan Celtic at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.

The home side built up a two goal lead, but Celtic battled back to earn a deserved draw in what was a keenly contested encounter.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton used the game to give some of his first team players much needed game time and also brought in some of the younger players who are knocking on the first team door.

Celtic manager Colin Malone had Stephen Hutchinson on trial and the Dundalk man impressed enough to sign for the Hoops after the game.

The first quarter of the game was fairly even with Shayne Lavery and Mark Patton bringing good saves out of Celtic keeper Michael Goff.

Glenavon took the lead from the penalty spot after Declan O’Brien was felled in the box and Andy McGrory drove in the spot kick.

The home side looked the more likely to score but they had to wait until the second half before added to their tally. It was a spectacular goal from Lavery as he ran onto a fine ball over the defence by Andy Kilmartin and as Goff came out the Glenavon teenager stuck out his left boot to curl a delightful lob over the keeper.

Full credit to Celtic they did not drop their heads and were back in the game soon after when Ryan Henderson rose to meet a teasing cross from Aaron Haire and his powerful header gave Alan Blayney no chance.

Not long after the impressive Chris Lavery ran onto a through ball and he kept his cool to drill a shot hard and low into the corner of the net.

Glenavon pressed for the winner with Patton, McGrory, Conor McKendry and Lavery all going close but in the end a draw was a fair outcome and a good work out for both teams.

Glenavon: Blayney, McKeown, Lindsay, Kelly, Patton, Sykes, Drylie, Kilmartin, McGrory, Lavery, O’Brien. Subs: McKendry, Lynch, Deery.

Lurgan Celtic: Goff, Rooney, McConnell, Hutchinson, Cochrane, Rogers, Lavery, Barton, Hagan, Henderson, Haire.

Subs: McVeigh, Malone, Ryan, McCorry, McCarron.