Supersub Gordon denies Glenavon

Pacemaker Belfast 13/09/2016
Glentoran v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership 
 Glentoran's Jonathan Smith scores  during this evenings game at the Oval in Belfast.
Photo Colm Lenaghan:Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 13/09/2016 Glentoran v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership Glentoran's Jonathan Smith scores during this evenings game at the Oval in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan:Pacemaker Press

Substitute Stevie Gordon last night hit a last gasp equaliser to salvage a crucial point for crisis club Glentoran at the Oval.

The managerless East Belfast club appeared to be stumbling to their fifth Danske Premiership defeat of the campaign - and deep into the relegation zone - until Gordon’s 88th minute party piece.

Jonathan Smith fired the home team first half lead, which was cancelled out by a Eoin Bradley strike.

Joel Cooper looked to have stolen show with a stunning winner early in the second half, but Gordon ultimately had the last laugh.

Glentoran’s hopes suffered a blow as new signing Nacho Novo hobbled off after only seven minutes, replaced by Moldovan international Alex Leu.

It was the Glens who asked the early questions with Chris Lavery shooting narrowly wide before Bradley missed a great chance at the other end when he failed to covert a Mark Sykes Header.

Leu provided the cross for Smith to fire the home team into the lead on 20 minutes - the young striker giving Johnny Tuffey no chance from six yards.

In fact, Lavery thought he had nicked a, but his joy was soured by a linesman’s raised flag.

And, the impressive midfielder held his head in frustration on 32 minutes when he blasted another low drive inches past the post, following another clever assist from Leu.

But after all their pressure, the Glens were caught napping at the back and were ultimately punished by Bradley on 35 minutes.

He was first to react to Andy Doyle’s long punt forward and his finish was emphatic, the ball thundering past Deayne Nelson, who was making his Glens debut.

Temporary boss Roy Coyle’s half-time team talk appeared to have the desired affect as the Glens threatened right form the off with Aaron Harmon forcing Tuffey into a smart save. Young Smith then flashed Lavery’s corner kick just over.

But the best was yet to come with that Cooper strike. He wriggled free of two defenders before curling a wonderful shot over the head of Nelson.

The Glens attempted to respond with Ciaran Caldwell sending Lavery clear inside the box, but one again he shamefully fired wide.

However, there was one final sting in the tail when Gordon, who had replaced Caldwell 10 minutes earlier, got in behind the Glenavon defend and his low drive gave Tuffey no chance.

Glentoran: Nelson, McAuley, Magee, Birney, Redman, Caldwell (Gordon 78), Foley, Harmon, Lavery, Novo (Leu 9), Smith.

Unused subs: Cafolla, Delaney, McAlorum.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper (Hamilton 83), Bradley, Hall, Sykes, Doyle, McCourt (Burnbs 78), Elebert, Bates (Braniff 74).

Unused subs: Lindsay, Martyn.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbbey).