Ciaran Martyn’s second half strike was enough to secure a 2-1 hard fought win over Institute at Mourneview Park on Friday night.
Bottom placed Institute always looked dangerous and while there were some nervous moments in the home defence Glenavon fully deserved the three points.
Glenavon had the first effort on goal on 13 minutes when Kevin Braniff played a lovely ball over the defence for Eoin Bradley but just as he was about to connect Peter Bradley got in to concede a corner.
The home side should have scored on 17 minutes when Braniff and Ciaran Caldwell combined to set up Ciaran Martyn but his shot flew inches wide of the post.
At the other end Stephen Curry’s snapshot took a deflection on the way to goalkeeper James McGrath.
Midway through the half a quick break by Glenavon saw Martyn slip the ball to Bradley but his shot lacked power. After Caldwell had a shot saved the home side took the lead on 33 minutes. Braniff hurled over a great cross and the inrushing Caldwell made no mistake with a far post header.
Ten minutes before the break McGrath did well to direct a shot from Darren McFadden round the post.
Just when Glenavon thought they would carry their lead into the break they were rocked in first half stoppage time when Robbie Hume’s well struck shot from 18 yards out beat McGrath and it was all square.
The first chance of the second half fell to Institute as Hume raced down the flank but luckily for Glenavon his cross was poor.
Then Bradley spotted the run of Kyle Neill and he beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with the keeper who blocked his shot.
Institute almost took the lead when Duwayne McManus found space in the box but McGrath made a good save and the ball was cleared.
Glenavon hit the front again on 55 minutes and it was a neatly worked goal as a deep free kick from William Murphy was headed on by Kris Lindsay and Martyn nipped in to fire home from close range.
Gary Hamilton’s side went searching for a third and it almost came from a Braniff corner as McLaughlin cleared off the line and then a Lindsay shot was deflected inches past the post.
Braniff had two chances to ease Glenavon over the line, first when Bradley sent him clear but he failed to hit the target and then a pass from Caldwell set him up again but after beating the last defender the keeper raced out to deny him.
Institute still posed a threat and should have levelled on 79 minutes when Hume skied the ball over the bar from a few yards out.
Mark Patton and Declan O’Brien came off the bench to keep the pressure up and O’Brien set up Caldwell in the middle but his shot was brilliantly tipped away from goal.
The final whistle brought relief for those anxious home fans on a night Glenavon produced a battling and dogged performance.
Glenavon: McGrath, Neill, Murphy, Lindsay, Bradley, Caldwell, Marshall, Braniff, McCabe, Martyn, Singleton.
Subs: McKeown, Kelly, Patton, McGrory, O’Brien.