Cooper goal moves Glenavon into top four

Joel Cooper’s second half winner saw Glenavon defeat Dungannon Swifts 1-0 at Stangmore Park on Saturday.

The victory sees Gary Hamilton’s side move into fourth spot, just ahead of Coleraine on goal difference.

Joel Cooper of Glenavon and Dale Montgomery of Dungannon 'in action at Stangmore.

Joel Cooper of Glenavon and Dale Montgomery of Dungannon 'in action at Stangmore.

The visitors were quick into their attacking mode, forcing successive corners and then two chances fell to Rhys Marshall, his initial header was cleared back to him and the follow up shot was blocked on the line. Then Eoin Bradley got in behind the Dungannon defence but dragged his left foot shot wide.

Having soaked up the pressure Dungannon almost took the lead with Ryan Harper nipping in unmarked to flash a shot inches wide.

Successive corners from Andy Hall was kept out by Coleman before the Dungannon keeper made a crucial save on 13 minutes when Mark Sykes broke with Daniel Kearns and Bradley in support iin a 3 on 1 situation with the Swifts stopper making a save with his legs.

It was a more even game at this stage as Dungannon looked more comfortable and they carved out another chance for Jamie Glackin but Jonny Tuffey touched his shot away for a corner.

On 35 minutes Sykes clipped over a delightful pass to Bradley who was onside, he dinked ball onto his left but his shot was blocked.

Just like the first half Glenavon had a great chance at the start of the second with Bradley denied by the boot of Coleman.

The Lurgan Blues got back on top and worked hard to find that clean shot on goal with Hall seeing his shot take a deflection away from goal.

The breakthough finally came on 52 minutes as Kilmartin did well to break up a Dungannon counter, he fed Hall on the left who squared the ball to Cooper who took a touch before drilling a left foot shot inside the left post.

Glenavon went looking for a second with Hall and Kearns both going close as the home side offered little up front.

With time running out Gary Hamilton replaced the injured Hall and from a Bradley nod down Kearns had a shot blocked.

Dungannon did make Glenavon sweat with a couple of half chances but the Lurgan Blues held on for a hard fought but deserved win.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Dillon, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Sykes, Kearns.

Subs: Patton, McGrory, Hamilton, Braniff, Martyn,