Result: Cliftonville 1-3 Glenavon

Five changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday night’s defeat at Windsor Park: Jordan Jenkins and Guy Bates get the nod up front as Gary Hamilton searches for a solution to Glenavon’s lack of goals; Kyle Neill, Simon Kelly and Chris Turner also start with Greg Moorhouse, Caolan Marron, James Gray dropping to the bench. Joel Cooper and Aaron Canning are out after picking up knocks against Linfield.

Just one change to the Reds team that lost 4-1 to Ballymena on Tuesday, Aaron Donnelly replacing Martin Donnelly.

28: 0-1 Andy Hall scores with a header from Singleton’s cross

60: 0-2 Hall capitalises on a bad mistake by Reds keeper Burke

65: 1-2 Marty Donnelly scores direct from a 20 yard free kick.

83: 1-3 Andy McGrory volleys in after his free kick rebounds back to him off the wall

Andy Hall rises to meet James Singleton’s cross to make it 1-0 to Glenavon. Photo by Maynard Collins

Photo by Maynard Collins

Three minutes after Stephen Garrett broke clear and drew a good save from Johnny Tuffey, Andy Hall’s downwards header from James Singleton’s cross bounced up off the synthetic surface and over the outstretched arms of keeper Peter Burke to give Glenavon a 28th minute lead.

Five minutes later and Jonny Tuffey was called into action to make a superb tip-over save to deny Stephen Garrett’s well-struck shot from the left side of the box. The Glenavon keeper had to make another good save to keep out a low drive from Levi Ives in the 36th minute.

It was almost 2-0 in the 39th minute. Turner won the ball 35 yards out and played a great pass into Bates on the left of the Reds box. His low shot was saved by Burke but the rebound went to Jenkins and his shot from 12 yards was cleared off the line by Jamie McGovern.

Jordan Jenkins challeneges for a high ball. Photo by Maynard Collins

In first half stoppage time it looked like Bates had been bundled over two yards out as he looked favourite to tap in from a low Jenkins’ cross but the referee ignored his claims for a penalty.

It was 2-0 to the Lurgan Blues on the hour mark when a terrible mistake by Burke saw Hall nip in to grab his second of the match. The Reds keeper had come out of his area to clear a through ball  but he miskicked horribly and Hall kept his head to slot the ball into the empty net from the right corner of the box.

Andy Hall slots in goal number 2. Photo by Maynard Collins

Marty Donnelly pulled a goal back from a free kick just outside the area just five minutes later. Donnelly then rattled the bar from a back post volley off a cross by Ives in the 69th minute.

A goal by Andy McGrory seven minutes from time sealed the win for Glenavon after his free kick came back to him off the wall and he volleyed his follow-up shot beyond the reach of Burke.

Cliftonville: Burke, McGovern (c), Ives, Bonner, Curran, Garrett, Cosgrove, A Donnelly (M Donnelly 46), Finnegan (Lavery 61), Nelson, J Donnelly (Reynolds 73). Subs: Dunne, M Donnelly, Seydak, Lavery, Reynolds.

Glenavon: Tuffey (c), Neill, Kelly (Marron 46), Kilmartin, Hall, Doyle, McGrory, Turner (Norton 46), Singleton, Bates, Jenkins (Moorhouse 78) Subs: Marron, Moorhouse, Norton, Gray, Renato

Referee: Lee Tavinder

Commercial Group Meeting

Members of the club’s Commercial Group are asked to note that the next meeting of group takes place this Tuesday, 25th April, in the Bedeck Sports Bar at 7:30pm. With the forthcoming Golf Day and Concert coming up in May and June respectively a full attendance of current members is requested. Moreover, anyone who feels they could contribute to the planning and organisation of these events is also welcome to attend.

There are still sponsorship opportunities available for the Golf Day. Holes are £100 to sponsor, tees are £60 while both cost £150. There are also still some spaces left for Fourball teams; cost is £200 (including meal). Shotgun start at 2.30pm. Contact Eddie on 07866273306 for further information.

Preview: Cliftonville v Glenavon

Glenavon finishes the league campaign with the second of three trips to Belfast. Last Tuesday night saw the Lurgan Blues lose 3-0 to Linfield at Windsor Park and tomorrow it’s off to Solitude with the campaign finishing against the Champions at Seaview next Saturday.

Chris Turner is recovered from the injury he picked up in the 3-0 win against Ballymena United. Photo by Maynard Collins

Rhys Marshall completes his two game ban tomorrow but Gary Hamilton’s selection choices are still limited by injuries and potential bans for Mark Sykes and David Elebert who are both on 9 cautions and Ciaran Martyn who is on four cautions so a further booking for any of those three would rule them out of the play-off games. “On Tuesday night I literally only had 16 players available to me,” Gary explained. “Simon Kelly and Kris Lindsay were both injured from Saturday, Kyle Neill was at his brother’s wedding and I couldn’t risk the boys who are one booking away from a suspension.

“Obviously I was disappointed with the result the other night but for 20 minutes we were well in it and, looking back at the highlights, we should have had a penalty, the decision didn’t go our way, then we conceded a goal from a mistake which was so uncharacteristic of James. That gave Linfield the momentum and confidence that they needed and then we made another mistake a couple of minutes later and it’s 2-0 and unfortunately our heads went down.

“We played the players we had available but unfortunately it didn’t work out but the other night does show the importance of those players who are running the risk of suspension and injury and how much they’re needed. The last thing we can do is risk putting all these players out of the two important (play-off) games. I share the fans’ frustrations in terms of the result but unfortunately we’re at the stage of the season when there’s nothing we can do about it and needs must at the end of the day in terms of what we’re doing and trying to do.”

Aaron Canning and Joel Cooper join the injury list, the latter as a result of a poor challenge by Paul Smyth that somehow wasn’t punished by a red card on Tuesday night. There is some good news though with Simon Kelly and Chris Turner back from injury.

Glenavon and Cliftonville have met four times so far this season, three times in the league and once in the quarter final of the League Cup. Glenavon have the slight advantage with two wins and a draw; the one defeat was the only one of those four games at Solitude.

Supporters are reminded to check the important advice published yesterday.

Advice to Supporters for the Cliftonville Match

Advice to Supporters for the Cliftonville v Glenavon match on Saturday 22nd April 2017

Glenavon fans travelling by private car to Cliftonville Football Club for the Danske Bank Irish Premiership match on Saturday 22nd April 2017 are requested to park in the residential areas above Solitude i.e. Cardigan Drive and Knutsford Drive etc. Motorists should consider local resident and emergency vehicle access when deciding where and how to park.

Glenavon fans parking in the residential areas around Knutsford and Cardigan are requested to approach and leave the area via the Westland Road and avoid travelling city wards on the Cliftonville Road after the match to avoid traffic congestion.

Supporters travelling by Bus/Coach should be at Fortwilliam roundabout/M2 by 14.15pm at the latest where they will be met by PSNI who will advise Drivers/Clubs re the arrangements for both moving to Solitude and away from the ground at the end of the match.

Supporters are reminded that there are specific offences created by the Criminal Justice Act NI 2011 in relation to soccer matches:-

  • Possession of Fireworks/Flares etc.
  • Throwing articles capable of causing injury
  • Going onto the playing area
  • Sectarian chanting
  • Drinking on passenger carrying vehicles

Supporters are also reminded that the areas around the Stadium are “No Street Drinking” zones under Belfast City Council By-Laws.

We are confident that supporters will uphold the good name of Glenavon Football Club and ensure that the impact of the event on the local residents and business communities is minimised.