IF there’s an ideal way to secure your Premiership survival, a 7-0 victory must be right up there.
That’s exactly what happened for Glenavon as they picked up their second 7-0 win in seven weeks on Saturday afternoon and in doing so, made certain sure they weren’t going to be involved in a promotion/relegation play-off.
Guy Bates and Mark Farren led the way, bagging a goal each in the first period to begin what was a thoroughly impressive performance in front of their home support.
The returning Andy Coleman did have to make the first save of the game as he pushed Owain Beggs’ effort over the bar but after that, there was only ever going to be one winner.
Bates placed a neat finish beyond Lee Windrum to open the scoring on 26 minutes after his strike-partner Farren had been set clear on the left and squared the ball to the Geordie.
Just eight minutes later, Farren showed his own clinical edge as he lashed home a finish, pouncing on a defensive error that allowed him to bundle through the Distillery back line and find the net.
After the break, it was all Glenavon as they really turned up the heat on a Lisburn Distillery side who look resigned to their seemingly inevitable fate of relegation to Championship One.
Ciaran Martyn picked up his 10th goal of the season 10 minutes after the re-start, finishing off a superb Glenavon move.
Guy Bates nipped in to take advantage of a slack Distillery pass and played a fantastic reverse pass that flummoxed the basement side’s back-line. That set Martyn into the penalty area where he jinked past the covering defender and rounded it all off with a clinical finish.
Gary Hamilton must have thought it all looked like good fun and brought himself on after 76 minutes. He proved the catalyst for a flurry of late goals that put the icing, the cherry and the wrapper on the cake for his side.
Just two minutes after coming on, he smashed home the pick of the goals himself. The former Blackburn forward picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, took one glance at his target and looped a superb effort perfectly into a top corner – a strike to hark back to his prime.
Another two minutes after that, he turned provider. First it was his dummy that unsettled Distillery’s defence, he then continued his run, latched onto Andy Kilmartin’s through ball before cutting it back to Mark Farren, who didn’t need another invitation to crash home his eighth goal in just 13 games.
Kilmartin and Hamilton again combined for the sixth, this time the midfielder’s inch-perfect long ball playing in the boss. He strode forward and put another well-taken finish across the typically exposed Windrum.
Substitute Kyle Neill even got in on the act, rounding off the scoring with no doubt the simplest goal of his, or anyone’s, career.
An unfortunate deflection off a Distillery midfielder played in Ciaran Martyn but he unselfishly offloaded the ball to Neill, who had all the time in the world to stroll across the line with the ball at his feet.
It was all so easy for Glenavon, who have now netted seven goals at home to both Distillery and Ballymena this year. Now the task for the Blues must be to become more consistent in order to move up the league table.
GLENAVON: Coleman, Shannon (Hagan 58), McCallion, Haughey, Kilmartin, Bates (Hamilton 76), Farren, Lindsay, Turkington, Martyn, Gardiner (Neill 67).
Unused Subs: Mitchell, Henderson.
LISBURN DISTILLERY: Windrum, Smyth, Harkness, Simpson (Withers 78), McCullough (Gordon 60), Davidson, McCann, Halliday, Ferguson, Boyd, Beggs (Forsythe 54).
Unused Subs: Garrett, Traynor. Cautions: Beggs.