Stephen Murray’s double delight as Glenavon see off sorry Cliftonville
There was just no stopping Stephen Murray at Mourneview Park.
The big striker regained his goal touch, grabbing a glorious double, as Glenavon steamed to a runaway 4-0 win against Paddy McLaughlin’s Cliftonville, who have now conceded a staggering nine goals over two games.
Had it been a boxing match, referee Tony Clarke would have been in his right to stop it long before the interval. The Reds were out-thought and out-fought in every department.
And, to make matters worse, former skipper Ryan Catney was ordered off in what was probably his last game in a red shirt, following his horrendous challenge on Jordan Jenkins.
Glenavon forged ahead on 13 minutes with a wonderfully crafted goal.
The impressive Eoin Wearen sent Jenkins hurtling down the right and, when he delivered the most devilish of crosses, Murray seized on the opportunity - cleverly turning Jamie Harney to plant a low shot past Richard Brush.
The Reds were left totally embarrassed on the half-hour when Andy Hall’s swirling corner-kick from the left evaded everyone before inching in at the back post.
The inevitable third goal arrived just before the interval. This time defender Aaron Harmon made ground on the right and, when he drilled over a low cross, Murray simply stabbed home with his outstretched boot.
Murray blotted his copybook on 62 minutes when he was gifted the chance of a hat-trick. He was sent clear off a delicious pass by Jenkins and, after cutting inside, his shot was brilliantly saved by Brush.
Cliftonville’s horrible afternoon was complete on 67 minutes when Catney was dismissed, shown a straight red card following a reckless challenge on the lively Jenkins.
And, the misery continued right to the finish when substitute Dylan Whiteway had his pocket picked on 88 minutes by Hall, who crossed for Ross Hunter to ram home the closing goal of the regular Premiership campaign.
GLENAVON: J.Taylor, Doyle (Barr, 59), Hall, Harmon, Norton, Murray, Garrett (Hunter, 68), Jenkins (O.Taylor, 74), Wearen, Sharkey.
Subs (not used): Daniels, Jameson, Bassett, Hamilton.
CLIFTONVILLE: Brush, Breen, Harney (Whiteway, 81), C.Curran, R.Curran, Bagnall, Catney, McConnell (Rocks, 62), Maguire, McMenamin, A.Donnelly.
Subs (not used): Neeson, McGovern, R.Donnelly, Lavery, Gorman.
REFEREE: Tony Clarke.