Glenavon 4-1 Portstewart
BetMcLean League Cup
Mourneview Park, Tuesday 27th August 2019
Match Report by Calum Jones
Glenavon booked their place in the third round of the BetMcLean League Cup with a 4-1 victory over Portstewart at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.
The Premier Intermediate League side took a shock early lead when Ryan Doherty opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the third minute.
However, Conor McCloskey and James Singleton both scored with headers before Andy Hall tapped in at the back post to ensure that Glenavon went into the half-time break 3-1 up.
All three of those goals were set up by the impressive Paddy Burns, and Burns himself rounded off the scoring in the 90th minute when he scored directly from a corner.
Referee Steven Gregg awarded a penalty to the away side just two minutes into the game as he adjudged Taylor to have fouled a Portstewart forward. The decision bemused the Glenavon supporters, who believed the big goalkeeper had played the ball fairly. Doherty stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent Taylor the wrong way to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Portstewart goalkeeper Lewis Vance made a good double save on the ten-minute mark, first keeping out Robert Garrett’s effort from distance before thwarting McCloskey’s rebound.
McCloskey wasn’t to be denied a minute later, though. Burns swung in a beauty of a cross from the left flank and the striker met it with his head, directing his effort into the bottom corner to draw Glenavon level.
In the 19th minute Josh Daniels cut in from the left and unleashed a shot towards Vance’s near post, but the keeper made another good save to deny the winger.
Glenavon grabbed the lead three minutes later. Burns took a corner-kick from the right, whipping it deep to the far post where Singleton met it with his head. The defender’s looping header dropped over Vance and into the net.
Glenavon almost grabbed a third goal on 24 minutes when Rhys Marshall’s cross/shot floated narrowly wide of the far post with Vance beaten.
On the half-hour mark Glenn Law had a pop at Taylor’s goal but his shot drifted harmlessly wide, while seconds later at the other end Jack O’Mahony shot straight at Vance.
The Portstewart keeper made a comfortable save six minutes later when Daniels curled a shot goalward.
Mark Edgar did well to fashion a shooting chance for himself in the 38th minute but although his low left-footed effort was on target it didn’t pose any problems for Taylor.
Hall thought he’d grabbed Glenavon’s third in the 39th minute but his header from a Burns corner was cleared off the line.
As it turned out, the winger was the man to grab Glenavon’s third goal just three minutes later. Burns drove over another excellent cross from the left, this time a low one to the back post, and Hall was on hand to tap in and double the hosts’ lead.
Hall might have grabbed another goal eight minutes into the second half. Daniels produced great wing play on the left, beating his man before finding Hall with a low cross, but he could only fire his effort over the bar as he was leaning back.
The game followed a similar pattern to the match against Warrenpoint Town a week and a half ago in that Glenavon’s tempo dropped markedly in the second half and they created fewer chances as a consequence.
Substitute Andrew Mitchell ran onto a long ball from Burns on 67 minutes and did well to squeeze a shot on target from an acute angle but Vance was equal to it.
Hall was named the sponsors’ Man of the Match and he saw another effort go close on 86 minutes when he fired narrowly over from 25 yards.
It was Burns who rounded off the scoring for Glenavon in the final minute of normal time as he notched the goal his performance so richly deserved. The young left-back swung a corner in from the right and it eluded everybody before finding the net, making the final score 4-1.
The Lurgan Blues are back to Premiership action on Friday night (August 30th) when they welcome Coleraine to Mourneview Park (kick-off 8pm).
Glenavon: 18. James Taylor (GK), 3. Paddy Burns, 7. Josh Daniels, 8. Rhys Marshall, 11. Andy Hall, 15. Aaron Harmon, 20. Conor McCloskey, 21. Jack O’Mahony, 27. James Singleton (C), 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Jordan Jenkins
Subs: 9. Andrew Mitchell (for 30. Jordan Jenkins, 53’), 24. Stephen Murray (for 7. Josh Daniels, 74’); not used: 1. Jonny Tuffey, 14. Matthew Ferguson, 25. Ross Hunter, 29. Leighton Jameson, 36. Jesse Carson
Goals: 20. Conor McCloskey (11’), 27. James Singleton (22’), 11. Andy Hall (43’), 3. Paddy Burns (90’)
Yellow Cards: None
Portstewart: 1. Lewis Vance, 2. Lee Forgrave, 3. Richard Vauls, 5. John Watt (C), 6. Nicky Hudson, 7. Joel Bradley, 8. Glenn Law, 10. Ryan Doherty, 11. Mark Edgar, 12. Luke Bradley, 18. Eoin Gillan
Subs: 15. Karl Steele (for 12. Luke Bradley, 52’), 9. Kieran Neill (for 11. Mark Edgar, 64’), 13. Scott McDonald (for 6. Nicky Hudson, 70’); not used: 16. Jason Lee Moorecroft, 19. Brandon McCready
Goals: 10. Ryan Doherty (3’, penalty)
Yellow Cards: 7. Joel Bradley (90+2’)
Referee: Steven Gregg