Battling Glenavon earn a point against Institute
Glenavon 2, Institute 2
A late goal from substitute Conor McCloskey earned Glenavon a deserved share the spoils, against Institute.
The Drumahoe side thanks to goals from Joe McCready and Alex Pomeroy raced into a 2-0 lead before the Lurgan Blues pulled a goal back thanks to debutant Daniel Purkis and then McCloskey scrambled home the equaliser nine minutes from time.
The home side made five changes to their team which loss to Coleraine in the Irish Cup, with Daniel Larmour, Caolan Marron, Greg Moorhouse, Daniel Purkis and Matthew Snoddy all in the starting line-up, with Andrew Doyle and Robert Garrett dropping to the bench, while Gary Hamilton and Andy Mitchell both missed out completely and Rhys Marshall has moved onto Shamrock Rovers.
As for the visitors they made three changes to their side which were knock out of the cup by Dungannon Swifts, with goalkeeper Rory Brown, Evan Tweed and Shaun Leppard all starting.
Sean Connor was forced into another change just before kick-off as Shaun Leppard was injury in the warm-up with Ryan Morrow replacing the youngster.
Glenavon should have taken a seventh minute lead as Josh Daniels' found Dylan Davidson break clear down the left, but the winger's low drive was saved by a diving Rory Brown.
After that early scare the Waterside men took the lead on 13 minutes from the penalty spot after Alex Pomeroy was brought down inside the box by a sliding Seamus Sharkey, leaving referee Christopher Morrison with the easy decision to award the spot-kick.
Striker Joe McCready stepped up again from 12 yards and calmly side footed low into the bottom right hand corner sending Johnny Tuffey the wrong way.
Glenavon pushed forward in search of a leveller minutes later as Daniels' right wing cross found Moorhouse at the back post, but the former Shelbourne man, saw his close range strike hit the side netting.
The home side went close again on 24 minutes but Brown instinctively kept out Matthew Snoddy's well hit drive, after Daniels' pass had picked out the midfielder inside the box.
Just after the half-hour mark Sharkey went close to making up for giving away the penalty, but the ex-Sligo Rovers man's shot from just inside the six yard box, was saved by a combination of Rory Brown and McCready.
The Lurgan Blues went close to levelling things just before the break, by after a scramble James Singleton's header was nodded over the bar by 'Stute skipper Dean Curry.
The home side should have levelled things on 55 minutes as Sharkey’s close range header flew off target, after Sammy Clingan’s corner had picked out the centre-back.
Institute should have doubled their advantage two minutes later after McCready released Pomeroy, but the young striker’s side footed strike from close range was saved by Tuffey.
The ex-Limavady United front man made up for the miss soon after as he waltzed through the home side’s defence, before cooly side footing home past Tuffey.
With their tails up the visitors should have added a third just after the hour mark, but after a super turn inside the box Gareth Brown was denied by Tuffey.
Glenavon did pull a goal back on 69 minutes as Caolan Marron’s right wing cross into the near post was superbly turned home by Daniel Purkis.
Conor McCloskey levelled things on 81 minutes as Clingan’s corner is headed goalward by James Singleton and it was the substitute who eventually scrambled the ball over the line.
Deep into stoppage time Daniels, should have won it, but after getting free inside the box the winger fired just wide.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Larmour, Marron, Daniels, Moorhouse (Jenkins 72), Clingan, Purkis, Snoddy, Singleton, Davidson (Byrne 65), Sharkey (McCloskey 76).
Institute: R Brown, Brogan, D Curry, McLaughlin, R Morrow; G Brown, Crown, Tweed, Burke (Bradley 69), Pomeroy (Obhakhan 61), McCready (Hume 84).
Referee: Christopher Morrison