Glenavon 1 – 1 Glentoran
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Saturday September 1st 2018
Match Report by Calum Jones
Glenavon had to come from behind to earn a 1 – 1 draw with Glentoran at Mourneview Park on Saturday.
Former Glenavon striker Robbie McDaid opened the scoring for the visitors 15 minutes into the second half when he headed home a Ross Redman corner, but Glenavon hit back on 70 minutes when Stephen Murray converted from the penalty spot after Andrew Mitchell had been fouled by Willie Garrett.
Glentoran started the better of the two sides. John McGuigan whipped a dangerous corner into the six-yard box in the second minute of the match which somehow managed to avoid everybody.
McGuigan was involved again two minutes later when Dylan King did well to block his effort at goal, while on seven minutes Calum Birney curled a shot wide of the far post with his left foot.
At the other end Aaron Harmon turned smartly to fashion a shooting chance for himself but he could only send his shot over the bar in the 13th minute.
On 20 minutes another McGuigan corner was flicked on by the head of Garrett, with Birney narrowly failing to make contact with the ball at the back post.
On the half-hour mark Glenavon striker Mitchell headed over an Andrew Hall corner, while Man of the Match Caolan Marron produced an excellent block at the opposite end of the pitch a minute later to deny John Herron. The rebound fell for Glens captain Marcus Kane but his low shot was straight at Jonathan Tuffey.
Birney produced a moment of quality defending to match Marron’s in the 33rd minute when he cut out a wicked cross from Harmon while facing his own goal.
Mitchell then got on the end of a Singleton flick and squeezed a shot in from a narrow angle but Morris saved comfortably and the first half ended goalless.
Hall had the first real opportunity of the second period. Marron fed a ball forward into the feet of substitute Stephen Murray and he played it wide to Hall. The winger cut inside Redman and shot with his left foot but Garrett got across well to get in a covering block.
In the 57th minute Hall put in an excellent cross to the far post but fellow winger Josh Daniels couldn’t get his head to it.
The Glens broke the deadlock on the hour when McDaid outjumped Mark Sykes to meet a Redman corner and headed over the onrushing Tuffey and into the net.
The Lurgan Blues were only behind for 10 minutes, however. When Mitchell chased a pass into the penalty area and Garrett shoved him over while making no attempt to play the ball, referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the penalty spot. The taking of the spot-kick was delayed while Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris received treatment from the physio but Murray was nerveless when he stepped up, firmly striking his penalty into the bottom left-hand corner and sending Morris the wrong way to equalise.
In the 71st minute Birney was lucky not to see a second yellow card when he cynically took Sykes down. The ball broke for Mitchell but the striker blazed his shot over the bar.
On 77 minutes Glentoran broke well from a Glenavon corner and Allen teed up McDaid for a shot from just outside the penalty area which flew narrowly wide of Tuffey’s left-hand post.
Five minutes later it took an excellent last-gasp tackle from Rhys Marshall to deny McGuigan when he was clean through on goal.
In the 87th minute Sykes produced a moment of sublime skill to pirouette around Joe Crowe but Glenavon’s number 10 couldn’t get his subsequent curling shot on target.
A minute later Sykes surged forward on a trademark run but he was brilliantly halted by a Steven Gordon challenge just outside the box.
The Glens might have nicked the three points on two occasions in injury time. First substitutes Sam Byrne and Peter McMahon combined, with the latter racing in on goal, but his touch was heavy and Tuffey raced off his line to snuff out the danger. Then fellow substitute Dylan Davidson fired in a fierce shot from an acute angle right at the death which Tuffey had to dive to his left to keep out.
The draw was enough to keep Glenavon in second place in the Danske Bank Premiership table, just one point behind leaders Linfield who played out a goalless draw with Ards at Windsor Park.
Glenavon were scheduled to travel to the Bangor Fuels Arena to take on Ards next Friday night (September 7th). However, that match has been postponed until Tuesday September 25th due to international call-ups for Mark Sykes, Ben Doherty and Jordan Jenkins, meaning the Lurgan Blues will next be in action on Saturday September 15th when they visit the Brandywell to play Institute.
Glenavon: 1. Jonathan Tuffey (C), 3. Dylan King, 4. Caolan Marron, 7. Josh Daniels, 8. Rhys Marshall, 9. Andrew Mitchell, 10. Mark Sykes, 11. Andrew Hall, 12. Stephen Donnelly, 15. Aaron Harmon, 27. James Singleton
Subs: 24. Stephen Murray (for 12. Stephen Donnelly, 46 mins), 31. Ben Doherty (for 15. Aaron Harmon, 59 mins), 30. Jordan Jenkins (for 9. Andrew Mitchell); not used: 18. James Taylor, 19. Daniel Larmour, 23. Gary Muir, 80. Gary Hamilton
Goals: 24. Stephen Murray (70 mins, penalty)
Yellow Cards: 3. Dylan King (28 mins), 15. Aaron Harmon (53 mins), 9. Andrew Mitchell (57 mins), 11. Andrew Hall (90+5 mins)
Glentoran: 1. Elliott Morris, 2. Willie Garrett, 3. Marcus Kane (C), 5. Calum Birney, 8. John Herron, 9. Curtis Allen, 10. John McGuigan, 11. Robbie McDaid, 21. Joe Crowe, 22. Steven Gordon, 23. Ross Redman
Subs: 14. Dylan Davidson (for 8. John Herron, 61 mins), 27. Sam Byrne (for 9. Curtis Allen, 81 mins), 7. Peter McMahon (for 10. John McGuigan, 89 mins); not used: 15. Nathan Kerr, 18. Dwayne Nelson, 24. James Ferrin, 42. James McCarthy
Goals: 11. Robbie McDaid (60 mins)
Yellow Cards: 5. Calum Birney (26 mins), 3. Marcus Kane (52 mins), 21. Joe Crowe (78 mins)
Referee: Keith Kennedy