GLENAVON 2 CARRICK RANGERS 0
Goals from Sammy Clingan and Andrew Mitchell sealed the win for Glenavon against a very game Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park last night.
Carrick battled from start to finish but a second half penalty from Clingan in the 65th minute before Mitchell made sure of the points near the death.
The Lurgan Blues will be glad to get back on track after losing to Coleraine last weekend - while Carrick boss Davy McAlinden will be pleased with his side's effort and commitment.
Mark Sykes could have given the home side the lead in the third minute but he blazed his shot over after an interchange of passes with Mitchell.
Carrick's Dale Malone was then shown a yellow card in the eighth minute after a poor tackle on Sykes.
Three minutes later Mitchell had a chance from a header. However he headed over when well placed.
Adam Foley was causing problems for the Carrick defence but his final delivery was slightly off.
After 20 minutes it was still scoreless and the visitors would have been happy enough with that.
In the 25th minute - A Rhys Marshall free-kick hit the bar and James Singleton blasted over when he should have opened his side's account.
Mitchell again went close for the home side in the 28th minute as the Lurgan Blues turned up the heat on the visitors.
Carrick to their credit dug in and were not going to go down without a struggle.
On 35 minutes Carrick keeper Harry Doherty got down well to stop a Josh Daniels effort.
A minute later Sykes had another good chance for the home side but the midfielder slide the ball wide of the target.
Four minutes before the break Glenavon's Foley tried his luck. His effort however flew just off target with keeper Doherty scrambling.
Glenavon went searching for the opening goal in the second half and put Carrick under all sorts of pressure - but the visitors were resilient.
The home side went close in the 50th minute as Andrew Hall's free-kick hit the crossbar. A lucky escape for Davy McAlinden's side.
The Carrick boss will have been pleased with his side's effort so far as they have stifled the Lurgan Blues and the home support are starting to get restless.
Then the game was turned on it's head as Glenavon were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute. Patrick McNally pulling down substitute Jordan Jenkins - much to the relief of the home support.
Up stepped former Northern Ireland international Sammy Clingan to hammer the ball home from the spot to give his side a 1-0 lead.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for a battling Carrick side - but no-one could argue that Glenavon deserved to take the lead.
Carrick had a chance to draw level in the 69th minute as Glenavon keeper Jonathan Tuffey saved an effort from Andrew Mooney.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton was not looking that impressed with his side's efforts as they lacked ideas in how to breakthrough the Carrick defence.
Carrick to their credit kept battling and kept pushing for an equaliser and Stuart McMullan headed just wide from a corner in the 82nd minute.
A minute later Doherty pulled off a great save from Glenavon's Jenkins. The ball fell to Daniels and his shot cannoned off the post with the keeper stranded.
Carrick had a shout for a penalty in the 84th minute as Martin Maybin appeared to be held back in the box.
It was 2-0 to the home side in the 87th minute, Mitchell picked up the ball on the edge of the Carrick box. He held off his marker before curling his effort past the stranded Doherty,
Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Daniels, Doyle, Marshall, Mitchell, Hall, Sykes, Clingan (Burns 78mins), Foley (Jenkins,57mins), Singleton.
Subs not used: Griffan, Marron, McGrory,.
Carrick Rangers: Doherty, McMullan, Edgar, McNally, Case, Malone, Clarke (Maybin 73mins) Taggart, McAllister (Suarez 76mins), Mooney, Smith (Roy, 64mins).
Subs not used:Morrow, Rice.
Ref: Keith Kennedy