Two wins on the bounce

Gary Hamilton welcomes new signing Darren Forsyth to Mourneview Park. Photo by Philip Hawthorne
Gary Hamilton welcomes new signing Darren Forsyth to Mourneview Park. Photo by Philip Hawthorne

Gary Hamilton knew this would be a tough game with Whitey Anderson’s Ballinamallard side still looking for their first league win of the season and so it proved.

After the game Anderson said he felt his side had done enough to earn at least a point.

Glenavon coach Nigel Law said: “I thought we defended superbly. That’s the one thing we’ve talked about this season - to cut down the number of goals we concede and keep more clean sheets. That’s our second in six league games, it’s not great but it’s a big improvement. As a team we look harder to beat.”

Kevin Braniff went close to opening the scoring in the ninth minute when he capitalised on a defensive error as Andy McGrory pressed the defender but he curled his shot just wide from 25 yards. Ciaran Martyn then tried his luck with an 18 yard shot but Fergal Murphy pulled off a simple save.

Only a timely block on the line by Mallards right back Liam McMenamin denied the home side an opening goal when he cleared off the line from Martyn.

In the 24th minute a Braniff corner was flicked on at the near post and it took another goal line clearance to keep the score at 0-0.

McGrory forced a good save from Murphy before Alan Blayney was called into action at the other end after Kris Lindsay’s clearance rebounded off Hutchinson’s chest and set him up with a close range shooting chance.

Seven minutes from the break Ciaran Caldwell went close with a shot from the edge of the box.

The goal finally arrived, five minutes into the second half courtesy of Braniff who drilled in a low shot from 12 yards after Lindsay had flicked on a long throw from Gareth McKeown.

Martyn then met Eoin Bradley’s cross with a perfect volley only to see his effort blocked by a defender in the 59th minute and seconds later Murphy spilled Braniff’s long 35 yard free kick but his defenders cleared the danger.

Lafferty then called Blayney into action as he dived to his left to hold the striker’s 25 yard free kick, one for the cameras there by the former Linfield keeper. His next save was a vital one as he beat away a fierce shot from Lafferty from close range.

Ryan Campbell saw his 77th minute shot comfortably saved by Blayney before McGrory and Martyn had shots blocked as the visitors’ defenders bravely put their bodies on the line. Campbell had the ball in the net after he headed in a flick on from his goalkeeper’s kick out but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

Glenavon: Blayney, McKeown, Lindsay, Marshall, Neill (Murphy 52), Caldwell, Kilmartin, Martyn, McGrory, Bradley, Braniff (Hamilton 87). Subs not used: McCallion, Foley, McNamee