Some good fortune with the visitors’ opening goal, the ball rebounding off David McDaid into the net after Jonny Tuffey had blocked a fierce shot from Jay Donnelly as the Reds broke quickly when Glenavon lost possession in their attacking third. In the end it was a deserved victory for Cliftonville with Johnny Tuffey named by the sponsors as Glenavon’s man of the match. The Lurgan Blues keeper made good saves to keep out shots from Marty Donnelly and Chris Curran and was unfortunate with the opening goal.
Rhys Marshall had an effort cleared off the line and Kevin Braniff saw a wonderful first time shot tipped over the bar by Cliftonville’s debutant goal keeper Peter Burke. Joel Cooper looked good when he came on to replace Mark Sykes in the 64th minute and he went close to grabbing an equaliser in the 85th minute when he collided with the post as he tried to get his head onto Gary Hamilton’s cross.
Gary Hamilton’s, as always, honest opinion after the final whistle was that Glenavon didn’t deserve anything from the game as too many of his players under performed and he’s looking for a good reaction in Wednesday’s trip to Ballymena United for the next Dankse Bank Premiership game.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Kelly, Lindsay (c), Neill (Kilmartin 46), Dillon, Patton, Sykes (Cooper 64), Caldwell, Bradley (Hamilton 64), Braniff. Subs not used: Hall, Burns
Cliftonville: Burke, Bonner, Flynn, Cosgrove, Seydak, M Donnelly (Garrett 76), McMullan, Knowles, Curran, McDaid, J Donnelly (Murray 76). Subs not used: Brennan, Morgan, McGrandles
Cautions: Knowles 12, Neill 18, Braniff 42, McMullan 53, Patton 61, Murray 78, Kilmartin 90+3
Referee: Ian McNabb