Apologies for the lack of live updates during today’s match. This was due to non-functioning WiFi at Milltown.
Gary Hamilton’s response to players missing through injury, illness and suspension was to move Andy Hall to left wing and Mark Sykes from centre midfield to the right wing slot and start with himself up front. The performance and result showed the strength of his squad as Glenavon ran out worthy winners.
Hall once again was ‘Mr Assist’ as he provided the crosses for all three of Glenavon goals. Fabio O’Brien was the first to benefit when he rose in the six yard box direct a downward header past Stefan Graham in the ‘Point goal to give Glenavon a 21st minute lead from a Hall free kick on the right of the box.
Ciaran Martyn had seen an earlier volley glance off the top of the cross bar and the home side’s Stephen Murray had hit the post with a shot from inside the box under pressure from Conor Dillon.
Kris Lindsay was replaced by David Elebert at half time after the Glenavon centre half had been briefly knocked out by a powerful shot struck by Martin Murray just before the interval. Lindsay was left a little dazed for 15 minutes or so but was fully recovered when we spoke to him after the game.
It was same again from the Hall and O’Brien double act in the 59th minute with an almost identical headed finish from the Dubliner as he made it 2-0 from a left wing cross from Hall. The Glenavon winger provided another great cross for Gary Hamilton but the Lurgan Blues Manager’s header was well saved by Graham.
In the 77th minute the ‘Point pulled a goal back after good hold up play on the edge of the Glenavon box by Stephen Murray and he picked out the run into the box on the left by Liam Bagnall who managed to squeeze a shot past Johnny Tuffey from a tight angle.
Three minutes later Sykes was unlucky when his header crashed back off the post with Martyn’s follow-up shot being cleared off the line but the young midfielder, who had been rather harshly booked for a dive on the edge of the box moments earlier, was not to be denied in the 88th minute. His cross from the right came back off the top of the bar and Hall crossed it back into the far post where Sykes rose to power a downward header beyond Graham to seal the points and see Glenavon close the gap on Cliftonville to a single point.