Sykes stunner seals draw with TNS

A stunning solo goal from Mark Sykes gave Glenavon a 3-3 draw against Welsh champions TNS at Mourneview Park on Monday night.

Sykes was given the unusual role of striker on the night by manager Gary Hamilton and the teenager did not disappoint capping a fine display with a delightful goal on 77 minutes as he beat two defenders with ease and ran on to plant a shot past TNS keeper Paul Harrison.

Glenavon's Ciaran Caldwell moves in to challenge for the ball against Chris Sergeant of TNS

Glenavon's Ciaran Caldwell moves in to challenge for the ball against Chris Sergeant of TNS

The night started brightly for the Lurgan Blues as they moved the ball about well against the full timers.

However the visitors took the lead after Sam Finley did well to create space and fire low into the bottom corner. A minute later and Hamilton superbly controlled a pass from Andy Hall before lifting a lovely chip over goalkeeper Harrrison.

Glenavon stopper James McGrath saved Greg Draper’s 40th minute penalty after Mark Boylan was adjudged to have tripped Aeron Edwards in the box.

The score remained 1-1 at the half time interval but Kai Edwards put the Welsh champions back in front in the 53rd minute when he fired home through a crowded box after Ciaran Caldwell cleared a shot off the line.

After Draper was denied after breaking into box by McGrath the TNS striker made it 3-1 and at that point it looked as if the visitors would canter to a win.

But Glenavon got a second wind and were rewarded on 73 minutes when they won a penalty after Sykes was brought down by Edwards. Ciaran Caldwell thumped home the spot kick.

Then came the goal of the night as Sykes showed his skills and it earned Glenavon a deserved draw.

Manager Hamilton was particularly delighted with the attitude and performance of his young players, which included two 15 year olds and a couple of 16 year olds.

Glenavon: McGrath, Boylan (Burns 75), Lindsay, McKeown (Wilson 75), Neill, Hall, Drylie (Deery 70), Caldwell, Rea (M Lynch), Hamilton (J Lynch 67), Sykes. Subs: Matty Lynch, Josh Lynch, Singelton, Marshall, Wilson, Burns, Deery

TNS: Harrison, Spender, Price, Kai Edwards, Evans, Seargeant, Finley (Fraughian 69), Aeron Edwards, Reed, Cieselwiclz (Hiajdari 78), Draper. Subs: Mullock, Wells, Jones, Fraughian, Kershaw, Hiajdari