Glenavon won their penultimate warm-up game with this victory in a fast-paced and highly entertaining friendly at Lakeview Park.
Andy McGrory opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Andrew Mitchell was impeded as he was about to shoot. The big striker got on the score sheet himself five minutes later when he latched on to a through ball from Andy Hall and smashed a low shot beyond Gareth Buchanan in the Villagers’ net.
The hosts pulled a goal back with a flick header from a corner before conceding an own goal on the stroke of half-time when an unfortunate Loughgall defender turned a low driven cross from Mark Sykes into his own net.
Loughgall scored early in the second half from another corner to make it 2-3 but Glenavon responded again, Marc Griffin showing good composure after he found himself through on goal from another Hall assist.
After the usual raft of substitutions Sykes scored the goal of the night when he ran into the box onto Gary Hamilton’s measured pass before rifling a shot into the roof of the net. Buchanan then picked up an injury which forced him off, striker Connor Mullan donning the keeper’s jersey. The stand-in keeper pulled of a stunning save to deny Sykes a second goal when he pushed his fierce drive onto the bar.
The hosts scored a third goal with a last-minute deflected shot to leave the final score 3-5 to Glenavon.
Many thanks to Loughgall FC for the hospitality and best wishes to Dean Smith and his team for the coming season.
Starting team: Taylor, McGrory, Marron, Doyle, Singleton, Hall, Sykes, Trialist A, Burns, Mitchell, Griffin
Subs: Lindsay for Marron, Patton for Singleton, Young for McGrory, Marshall for Doyle, Trialist B for Trialist A, Hamilton for Griffin