Glenavon run ends as Glens romp to victory

Glenavon's Daniel Kearns with Glentoran's Stevie McCullough.
Glenavon's Daniel Kearns with Glentoran's Stevie McCullough.

Glenavon’s recent good run ended on Monday night as Glentoran exacted revenge for their Irish Cup defeat with a 3-1 win at Mourneview Park.

The Lurgan Blues were well below their best and the Glens took full advantage.

The early pressure was coming all from Glenavon as Kevin Braniff switched a pass inside to Daniel Kearns and his shot was blocked.

A free kick from Andy Hall caused panic as Kris Lindsay got up but he failed to hit the target. The good work continued with Joel Cooper’s corner just taken off the head of Rhys Marshall by keeper Elliott Morris.

For all their good start Glenavon almost fell behind on 16 minutes when a mistimed header by Conor Dillon allowed Chris Lavery in, he skipped wide of Jonny Tuffey but Dillon made up for his mistake by getting back to clear the shot away from goal.

After Callum Birney glanced a header wide of the home goal the Glens took the lead thanks to a superb strike by Curtis Allen on 19 minutes.

Glenavon tried to get back quickly with Hall’s free kick meet at the back post by Braniff but his shot deflected away from goal. Then Conor Dillon crossed for Kearns to head goalwards but Birney again was in the way.

Near the end of the half Braniff cut a ball out to Cooper who sent Kearns clear but his cross was hacked away by the Glens defence.

With no changes at the break Glenavon pressed hard on the restart with a series of corners and then Kearns saw his shot blocked in a scramble.

Ten minutes in and the home side finally got some joy when Cooper’s corner was nodded down by Kelly and Braniff hooked the ball home from a few yards out.

A poor header back from Kris Lindsay allowed Lavery to ghost in but he lifted his shot over the bar.

Tuffey then produced a superb save to get in the way of a piledriver from Jonathan Smith.

The Glens grabbed the lead again on 68 minutes and it was Allen again with another clinical finish as he latched onto a pass from Chris Morrow and fired low into the left hand corner.

As Glenavon tried to level for a second time they were exposed at the back but the Glens failed to make the most of several counter attacks.

Gary Hamilton and Andy Kilmartin came on for Kearns and Sykes on 73 minutes. A great chance came to level the game as Cooper tried to pick out the unmarked Hamilton in the centre but Birney got a vital touch to take the ball away from the Glenavon player manager.

As the game went into added time a solo run from midfield by Marshall saw him get into the box but his final pass to Martyn ran to the keeper.

In added time Jonathan Smith nipped in to kill off any hope of a late equaliser when he beat Tuffey to make it 3-1.

Then Kilmartin conceded a penalty when he tripped up Smith but Allen blasted the spot-kick over the bar. It hardly mattered, the points were well and truly in the bag.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Dillon, Lindsay, Marshall, Cooper, Hall, Sykes, Braniff, Kearns, Martyn.

Subs: Kilmartin, Patton, McGrory, O’Brien, Hamilton.