Gary’s boys stun Crues at Seaview

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Glenavon produced the biggest shock of the day as they thumped Crusaders 4-1 at Seaview, their first ever win over Stephen Baxter’s side on the artificial pitch.

Kevin Braniff led the way with two goals while Eoin Bradley and Ciaran Caldwell made it a day to remember for the Lurgan Blues.

Eoin Bradley celebrates after putting Glenavon 2-1 up. Pic by Presseye

Eoin Bradley celebrates after putting Glenavon 2-1 up. Pic by Presseye

The visitors had the first effort on goal when Kevin Braniff went direct for goal from some way out and keeper O’Neill did well to boot the ball away at the base of the post on six minutes.

The home were stunned three minutes later as Glenavon took the lead. James Singleton won the ball in the middle of the park, slipped it to Kyle Neill who found Bradley on the right wing. He delivered a low cross which Neill got on the end of and the ball came off Braniff and over the line.

The lead only lasted five minutes with Caddell blasting home from close range after Owens nodded the ball down from McCutcheon’s corner.

Blayney came to Glenavon’s rescue on 22 minutes when he saved with his feet from McCutcheon and then minutes later there was a let-off for the visitors when Owens sliced wide when gifted the ball on the edge of the box.

The Crues grew in confidence after their goal and Glenavon had to work hard to keep them out.

Glenavon turned defence into a great counter attack when Braniff did well to win the ball and set Caldwell free, he spotted the run of Bradley who steadied and then picked his spot past O’Neill to make it 2-1.

Glenavon struck again with another excellent move with Marshall and Caldwell combining to slip the ball to Braniff who let it run on to his left foot and he easily beat O’Neill to complete a dream first half for the Lurgan Blues.

The Crues came out for the second half on the attack and Dillon did well to clear the ball with Caddell lurking unmarked in the box.

Glenavon had a chance to extend their lead on 55 minutes when a long throw by McKeown was missed by the keeper but Marshall scuffed his shot and the ball was cleared.

The home fans thought McCutcheon had scored but his shot flew into the side netting. On 74 minutes Blayney was booked for handling outside the box, the free from Hanley smashed into the wall.

Glenavon then sealed all three points on 76 minutes when Crusaders gave the ball away and Caldwell fired home from 25 yards out - his first goal for the Lurgan Blues.

Bradley had a great chance to make it five when sub Andy McGrory sent him through on goal but he failed to hit a gaping net.

Glenavon: Blayney, McKeown, Neill, Bradley, Dillon, Caldwell, Marshall, McNally, Braniff, McCabe, Singleton.

Subs: Murphy, Kilmartin, McGrory, Forsyth, Martyn.