Warrenpoint Town 1-3 Glenavon

Danske Bank Premiership

Milltown, Saturday 19th October 2019

Match Report by Calum Jones

Photos by Brian Bain and Maynard Collins

Glenavon got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Warrenpoint Town at Milltown on Saturday afternoon.

Rhys Marshall opened the scoring for the Lurgan Blues in the 52nd minute, only for the home side to draw level three minutes later through captain Danny Wallace.

Glenavon regained the lead just four minutes later through Eoin Wearen, and Andrew Mitchell then wrapped up the three points on 78 minutes with an assured finish.

Mitchell nearly put Glenavon in front in the third minute. The impressive Kyle Beggs pulled the ball back from the by-line on the right, but Mitchell’s low shot went narrowly wide of Berraat Turker’s left-hand post.

Six minutes later at the other end, James Taylor, deputising in goal for the injured Jonny Tuffey, presented Alan O’Sullivan with a free shot at goal when his miss-hit free-kick went straight to the feet of the Warrenpoint striker. O’Sullivan couldn’t direct his shot from distance on target, however.

Glenavon survived again on the quarter-hour mark when they managed to clear the ball following a frantic scramble in their penalty area.

A minute later, Wearen turned smartly in the Warrenpoint penalty area to create space for himself, but he couldn’t find a Glenavon player with his attempted cut-back.

Beggs was a constant menace for the Point defence all afternoon. On 28 minutes the ball fell for him at the back post following a cross from Glenavon captain James Singleton, but the winger couldn’t keep his shot down and it went harmlessly over the bar.

Three minutes later, Robert Garrett spread the ball out to Beggs on the right. The former Ballyclare Comrades man cut inside and fired a wicked left-footed shot not too far wide of the far post.

O’Sullivan very nearly broke through on goal for the home side in the 36th minute, but Daniel Larmour did really well to get back and dispossess the striker.

As the first half drew to a close Glenavon applied plenty of pressure on the Town backline without creating any clear goal scoring opportunities.

That all changed in the early part of the second period, with Marshall continuing his recent run of goal scoring form to break the deadlock on 52 minutes. Jack O’Mahony flicked a header in behind the Warrenpoint defence and Marshall raced onto the ball. Turker managed to get something on the midfielder’s shot but he was unable to keep the ball out of the net and Glenavon went 1-0 up.

That lead was short-lived, however, as Point captain Wallace took advantage of an error from Taylor just three minutes later. The Glenavon goalkeeper failed to hold an Eamon Scannell corner and Wallace was there to nod the ball goalward. Despite Singleton’s frantic attempts to clear it, the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line and the sides were level.

The Lurgan Blues regained the lead on 59 minutes. Aaron Harmon, who had a good game at right-back for Glenavon, swung a corner over from the left and Wearen rose to meet it. The midfielder headed the ball down off the turf and it bounced up and beyond Turker to find the net.

Substitute Lorcan Forde had an opportunity to draw Warrenpoint level for a second time in the 61st minute, but he dragged a low shot wide of the far post with his right foot.

Wallace very nearly scored an own goal in the 65th minute when he headed against his own crossbar following a Mitchell corner. The ball fell to Beggs and he hit a well-struck shot on target, but Turker produced a good save to keep it out.

Marshall led a Glenavon counter attack after a Warrenpoint corner in the 74th minute, only to be tackled when trying to beat the last defender when the better option would have been to try and slip it to Beggs on the right.

Taylor made a smart save on 76 minutes when he raced off his line and dived at the feet of O’Sullivan to deny the Point striker a goalscoring opportunity. The Glenavon goalkeeper then proceeded to launch a long kick upfield. Wallace sliced his attempted clearance and the ball fell to Mitchell. The Glenavon striker produced a great first touch to control it before coolly slotting past Turker with his left foot to make it 3-1 to the visitors.

It looked certain that Beggs would get the goal his performance so richly deserved in the 78th minute when Marshall squared the ball to him following good build-up play, but Turker pulled off a great save to deny the Glenavon winger.

Defender Andrew Doyle nearly scored a fourth goal for Glenavon four minutes later, only for Eamon Scannell to clear the ball off the line.

Conor McCloskey was introduced as a late substitute for the Lurgan Blues and he almost scored a spectacular fourth four minutes from time when he cut in from the right and fired a left-footed effort narrowly over the bar.

McCloskey was involved again in the last meaningful passage of play on 88 minutes when he picked out fellow substitute Stephen Murray. The former Warrenpoint striker opted to shoot from a tight angle when he should have squared it for Beggs instead, and Turker made the save.

This was a much-needed three points for Gary Hamilton’s men, who face a stern test in next Saturday’s (26th October) Danske Bank Premiership match at home to second-placed Crusaders (kick-off 5pm). The Lurgan Blues are in action before then, however, as they host Championship side Newry City in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday night (23rd October; kick-off 7.45pm).

Warrenpoint Town: 1. Berraat Turker (GK), 3. Emmet Bennett, 5. Anto Reilly, 9. Alan O’Sullivan, 12. Conall Young, 14. James Prendergast, 16. Matthew Lynch, 17. Dean Watters, 19. Eamon Scannell, 20. Ciaran O’Connor, 23. Danny Wallace (C)

Subs: 4. Gavin Smith (for 12. Conall Young, 27’), 15. Lorcan Forde (for 16. Matthew Lynch, 56’), 11. Brandon Doyle (for 3. Emmet Bennett, 66’); not used: 6. Dermot McVeigh, 30. Evan Moran

Goals: 23. Danny Wallace (55’)

Yellow Cards: 17. Dean Watters (89’)

Glenavon: 18. James Taylor (GK), 2. Daniel Larmour, 5. Andrew Doyle, 8. Rhys Marshall, 9. Andrew Mitchell, 15. Aaron Harmon, 21. Jack O’Mahony, 23. Kyle Beggs, 27. James Singleton (C), 28. Robert Garrett, 45. Eoin Wearen

Subs: 3. Paddy Burns (for 28. Robert Garrett, 68’), 20. Conor McCloskey (for 45. Eoin Wearen, 79’), 24. Stephen Murray (for 9. Andrew Mitchell, 81’); not used: 11. Andrew Hall, 13. Oisin Barr, 30. Jordan Jenkins, 40. Mark Matthews (GK)

Goals: 8. Rhys Marshall (52’), 45. Eoin Wearen (59’), 9. Andrew Mitchell (78’)

Yellow Cards: None

Referee: Evan Boyce