Glenavon progressed into the last 16 of the Wasp Solutions League Cup with a hard fought 3-1 win over Lisburn Distillery on Monday night.
It was a far from comfortable passage for the home side who had to dig deep and come from a goal down to a lively and battling Whites.
The home side made most of the early running but there was an early warning as Martin Jones ran onto a long clearance and hit a low shot which James McGrath smothered.
On 16 minutes the Whites stunned the home fans by taking the lead. Both McGrath and McKeown did well to block a shot, but the ball came into the box again and Darren Smyth was unmarked to head home.
Glenavon hit back right away with a series of chances with Braniff, Foley and Murphy all going close. Bates almost put Glenavon level but his shot was well saved by McBride.
Adam Foley thought he had scored when he connected with a pull back from McGrory but McBride made a brilliant one-handed save.
The pressure finally paid off on 26 minutes with Gary Hamilton drilling the ball home after Braniff’s initial shot came out to him off the keeper.
Distillery almost grabbed the lead three minutes after the restart as Smyth rounded McGrath but William Murphy got back to block his goalbound shot.
Glenavon began to raise the tempo and Marshall headed wide followed by a long range effort by Kilmartin which was well saved.
A lovely link up between Bates and Foley almost brought a second goal for the home side, Foley hitting the top of the bar with a rasping drive.
McGrath had little to do in the second half but he did well to hold onto a snapshot from Jones. Distillery’s rearguard was breached again on 77 minutes when a free kick from Hamilton was crashed home at the far post by Rhys Marshall.
On 90 minutes Bates brought another fine save out of McBride as Glenavon pressed for a third.
They were rewarded in added time when Bates dashed to the line and pulled the ball back for Andrew Hoey to tap in.
Glenavon: McGrath, McKeown, McCallion, Murphy, Kilmartin, Hamilton, Bates, McGrory, Marshall, Braniff, Foley.
Subs: Sykes, Dane, Hoey, Reynolds, Rea.