Gary Hamilton rings the changes for this rearranged Danske Bank Premiership fixture. In from the start are Kyle Neill, Mark Patton, Greg Moorhouse, Ciaran Martyn and David Elebert.
Crusaders make two changes, Declan Caddell is suspended and Richard Clarke drops to the bench with Gavin Whyte and Jordan Forsythe making the starting line-up.
Martyn lasted only 9 minutes before he had to be replaced by Andrew Doyle, Rhys Marshall moving into centre midfield, the former Carrick Rangers defender taking his place at right back.
Paul Heatley scored for the visitors after 14 minutes when he was adjudged to have beaten the offside trap as he ran onto a flick on by Jordan Owens and found himself one on one with Jonny Tuffey. He made no mistake with a great finish.
Elebert equalised with a close range header from a Neill free kick in the 20th minute.
Kris Lindsay had to rescue Glenavon twice in quick succession when he cut out dangerous balls across the six yard area.
Glenavon went ahead four minutes from the break from another Kyle Neill set piece. This time it was a corner and Marshall was credited by the stadium PA with bundling the ball over the line after Sean O’Neill failed to deal with the cross.
At half time it’s deservedly 2-1 to the home side.
Elebert made it 3-1 five minutes into the second half when he appeared out of nowhere, it seemed, to run onto a cutback from Mark Sykes before smashing a shot in from 12 yards. An alert Sykes had intercepted a throw out by O’Neill and raced into the Crues box before laying the ball into the run of the centre half.
Crusaders pulled a goal back almost immediately when Heatley grabbed his second of the night with a back post header. The goal owed a little to luck as the ball looped up invitingly off the boot of Kris Lindsay when he got a touch to a shot from Gavin Whyte.
There were loud shouts for a Glenavon penalty when Moorhouse was barged over in the box but referee Hetherington ignored the appeals.
Two minutes later he did award a free kick for a similar challenge by Coates on Bradley but this time it was just outside the box, Coates picking up a caution.
Crusaders equalised in the 87th minute when Cushley’s free kick was headed goal wards by Howard Beverland but it hit Jordan Forsythe who was standing almost on the goal line. The rebound broke to Jordan Owens who stabbed home.
Andy Hall was clearly pulled back by a Beverland in the final minute as he was about to slot the ball into the Crues net – a blatant penalty for sure! How did the referee and his assistant both miss that?
In the protests that followed Kris Lindsay picked up a second yellow, possibly for an innocuous challenge on Cushley and coach Niall Donnelly was sent off for dissent.
The referee did award a penalty in stoppage time when Craig McClean tripped Bradley but the striker picked himself only to see his spot kick saved by O’Neill, Hall blasting the rebound well wide.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Lindsay, Elebert, Neill, McCourt, Martyn, Sykes, Patton, Bradley, Moorhouse. Subs: Kilmartin, Cooper (Patton 55), Hall (Neill 80), Doyle (Martyn 9), Braniff
Crusaders: O’Neill, Burns, Beverland, Coates, Mitchell, Whyte, Carvill, Forsythe, Heatley, Owens, Gault. Subs: Soares, Cushley (Carvill 68), Dougherty, McClean (Mitchell 75), Clarke (Gault 75)
Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)