Larne 6-0 Glenavon
Danske Bank Premiership
Inver Park, Friday 4th October 2019
Match Report by Calum Jones
Photos by Maynard Collins
Glenavon suffered their second successive hammering on Friday night as Larne defeated them 6-0 at Inver Park.
The impressive Martin Donnelly opened the scoring on 10 minutes when he curled home from a free-kick, while Johnny McMurray doubled the home side’s lead five minutes later with an emphatic finish.
Donnelly grabbed his second and Larne’s third in the 24th minute when he took advantage of some poor defending by Paddy Burns to slot past Jonny Tuffey.
David McDaid then scored a second-half hat-trick, bagging goals in the 50th, 72nd and 85th minutes to condemn Glenavon to a second thumping on the bounce.
The Lurgan Blues will have set out determined not to let the game get away from them early on in the same fashion that it did against Linfield last weekend, but they failed to prevent history from repeating itself at Inver Park, as Larne went three goals ahead inside the opening 25 minutes.
Ben Tilney was fouled on the edge of the D on 10 minutes and Donnelly stepped up to strike the free-kick, curling his effort around the Glenavon wall, away from the dive of Tuffey and into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Larne doubled their lead just five minutes later. When Glenavon saw penalty appeals for a challenge on Rhys Marshall turned down, Larne keeper Conor Devlin wasted no time in gathering the ball and sending a long punt downfield for McMurray to run onto. The striker judged the bounce of the ball well, then brought it inside Eoin Wearen with his right foot before striking a left-foot shot which went in off the bar.
In the 24th minute Tilney played a ball in behind the Glenavon defence which Donnelly chased. Burns was in front of the former Cliftonville man, however, and he really should have dealt with the danger. When he failed to do so, Donnelly nicked the ball away from him and carried it into the box before slotting a low shot past Tuffey with his right foot which found the far bottom corner. At this point, less than half an hour into proceedings, the game was effectively over for Glenavon.
Donnelly might have completed a hat-trick on 37 minutes when yet another ball in behind picked him out, but Tuffey was alert and raced off his line to deny him.
Larne’s fourth goal was scored in the fifth minute of the second half. Donnelly turned provider, picking McDaid out on the edge of the penalty area with a superb pass inside from the right flank. McDaid took one touch with his right to set himself, then fired a brilliant left-footed shot into the near top corner.
McMurray and Donnelly both missed decent opportunities in quick succession to make it 5-0, while the closest Glenavon came to scoring was in the 56th minute when Andrew Mitchell got on the end of a low cross from Jordan Jenkins. The striker’s back-heeled flick deflected off a Larne defender and struck the base of the post.
Larne’s fifth goal eventually arrived on 72 minutes. Substitute Conor McKendry played the ball infield to Donnelly and he skipped past Robert Garrett. Just when it looked like Donnelly was going to fire the ball into the net himself, Caolan Marron slid in to make a timely interception, only for the ball to fall for McDaid on the right corner of the six-yard box. The striker thumped it into the roof of the net to grab his second of the evening.
The rout was completed five minutes from time. Substitute Sean Graham broke clear on the left flank and he squared the ball across the box for McDaid, who made no mistake from six yards, side-footing past Tuffey to complete his hat-trick and make the final score 6-0.
Let’s hope next Saturday’s (12th October) trip to Scotland to take on Raith Rovers in the fourth round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup can provide some much-needed respite from the Danske Bank Premiership for the Lurgan Blues. The match in Kircaldy kicks off at 3.00pm.
Larne: 1. Conor Devlin (GK), 2. Harry Flowers, 3. Graham Kelly, 4. Albert Watson, 7. Fuad Sule, 10. David McDaid, 11. Martin Donnelly, 15. Ben Tilney, 23. Tomas Cosgrove, 24. Jeff Hughes (C), 27. Johnny McMurray
Subs: 8. Mark Randall (for 3. Graham Kelly, 42’), 19. Conor McKendry (for 27. Johnny McMurray, 64’), 20. Sean Graham (for 15. Ben Tilney, 76’); not used: 6. Shane McEleny, 22. Pablo Andrade, 29. Cillin Gilmour, 31. McKenzie Pauley
Goals: 11. Martin Donnelly (10’, 24’), 27. Johnny McMurray (15’), 10. David McDaid (50’, 72’, 85’)
Yellow Cards: 3. Graham Kelly (34’), 8. Mark Randall (87’)
Glenavon: 1. Jonny Tuffey (GK) (C), 2. Daniel Larmour, 3. Paddy Burns, 4. Caolan Marron, 8. Rhys Marshall, 9. Andrew Mitchell, 24. Stephen Murray, 27. James Singleton, 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Jordan Jenkins, 45. Eoin Wearen
Subs: 15. Aaron Harmon (for 2. Daniel Larmour, 73’), 23. Kyle Beggs (for 30. Jordan Jenkins, 75’), 20. Conor McCloskey (for 27. James Singleton, 88’); not used: 11. Andrew Hall, 13. Oisin Barr, 18. James Taylor (GK), 25. Ross Hunter
Yellow Cards: 27. James Singleton (10’), 45. Eoin Wearen (45+1’)
Referee: Tony Clarke