Braniff beauty earns a point

Kevin Braniff celebrates scoring against Coleraine. Pic by Presseye
Kevin Braniff celebrates scoring against Coleraine. Pic by Presseye

Glenavon kept their recent good run going with a point after a scrappy encounter with Coleraine at The Showgrounds on Tuesday night.

It may not have been pretty, but a point on road keeps the Lurgan Blues nine ahead of the Bannsiders.

The visitors struck the front on seven minutes in spectacular fashion with Kevin Braniff scoring with a lovely free kick from 25 yards out. It was his tenth goal of the season.

Coleraine’s first real attack of note came on 21 minutes when Matthew Snoddy directed a cross from Brad Lyons well wide.

On 30 minutes Eoin Bradley did well to shake off his marker and create the space for a shot but his effort did not trouble the home keeper.

A mix-up at the back between McGrath and Murphy allowed Joe McNeill to lob the ball to wards the goal but Murphy recovered to clear the danger.

The home side were enjoying their best spell of the half as they forced a series of corners, one which McGrath tipped onto the top of the bar.

The pressure eventually brought reward for Coleraine as Lyons put Parkhill clear and McGrath came out, clipped him and referee Colin Burns awarded a penalty and booked the Glenavon goalkeeper.

Neil McCafferty smashed the ball home to level the scores seconds before the break.

There was an early chance for the Blues in the second half as Bra niff’s free kick was met by Bradley but the ball went wide.

It took a brilliant last gap block by Dillon to deny Snoddy from putting the home side ahead and the Glenavon defender did well to deflect a Parkhill shot away from goal.

Glenavon brought on Mark Patton and Declan O’Brien to add some bite up front with 30 minutes to go. O’Brien was unlucky when he saw his cheeky chip shot beat the keeper but drop on top of the net.

Coleraine looked dangerous with McNeill and Snoddy constantly posing a threat.

With a few minutes to go sub Shane McGinty cut inside and drilled a firm shot which McGrath did well to tip over the bar.

The visitors did enjoy a couple of late breaks but could not get a clean shot on goal. In the end the point will suit Glenavon more in the race to finish in the top six.

Coleraine: Doherty, Higgins, Douglas, Ogilby, Snoddy, McCafferty, Canning, Mullan, Parkhill, McNeill, Lyons.

Subs: Browne, McGinty, Watt, Kane, McGonigle.

Glenavon: McGrath, Neill, Murphy, Kilmartin, Bradley, Dillon, Caldwell, Marshall, Braniff, Martyn, Singleton.

Subs: Kelly, Patton, Drylie, McGrory, O’Brien.

Ref: Colin Burns.