Simon Kelly celebrates after putting Glenavon 2-0 up in the first half. Pic by Alan Weir.

Simon Kelly celebrates after putting Glenavon 2-0 up in the first half. Pic by Alan Weir.

Glenavon’s bid to finish in third spot was boosted on Tuesday night as they defeated Coleraine 3-0 at Mourneview Park.

The result, along with Cliftonville losing to Crusaders, puts Gary Hamilton’s side two points ahead of the Reds with just two games to go.

On three minutes Glenavon had the first shot on goal as Kevin Braniff spread the ball wide to Joel Cooper who went for goal but his effort sailed well wide.
Glenavon kept up the good work but they almost fell behind with Sammy Morrow having two chances inside a minute, first he drove straight at Johnny Tuffey and then was again left free in the box but blasted high over the bar.

The home side seemed to lose their way for a spell but they took the lead with a huge slice of luck as Cooper’s corner was punched off his own player by keeper Chris Johns and into the back of the net on 20 minutes.

Nine minutes later and Glenavon had their second goal. Cooper won a free kick, Hall curled the ball in and Simon Kelly rose high to power his header wide of Johns.

A solo run by Cooper almost set up a chance for a third but just as he tried to turn onto his right foot his way to goal was blocked.

A minute before the break another Hall free kick caused problems for Coleraine as Lindsay dived in but the ball rebouned to safety off the keeper.
Coleraine almost scored within minutes of the second half with Tuffey punching clear a shot from Ruairi Harkin.

The visitors were making the most of Glenavon’s sluggish start to the second half and enjoyed plenty of possession but again it was the home side who should have hit the target again on 64 minutes as Bradley’s header from Braniff’s cross clipped the top of the bar.

Coleraine battled hard to cut the deficit while Glenavon and Bradley in particular had chances to extend the lead in the latter stages. Then after a series of missed chances Braniff sealed a great night with a stunning free kick into the top corner. That goal came as a result of Cooper being felled on the edge of the box and Lyndon Kane was send off for a second bookable offence.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Patton, Braniff, Martyn.┬áSubs: O’Brien, Hamilton, Marron, McGrath, Burns.