Glenavon 5-0 Dungannon Swifts
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Thursday 26th December 2019

Match Report by Calum Jones

Photos by Alan Weir and Maynard Collins

Glenavon thrashed ten-man Dungannon Swifts 5-0 at Mourneview Park on Boxing Day to record their biggest league win of the season to date.

Man of the match Conor McCloskey, who had a hand in all five of Glenavon’s goals, opened the scoring after just 15 seconds when he smashed a shot past Conner Byrne.

McCloskey then turned provider on 30 minutes as his strike partner Jordan Jenkins made it 2-0 with an excellent low shot from outside the area, while Swifts player Terry Fitzpatrick was given his marching orders in the 34th minute after picking up two yellow cards in the space of seven minutes.

Jenkins returned the favour as he squared the ball for McCloskey to grab his second and Glenavon’s third in the 64th minute.

Josh Daniels headed in McCloskey’s corner to score Glenavon’s fourth goal on 77 minutes, before Robert Garrett completed the rout when his half-volley deflected off Dungannon substitute Rhyss Campbell and went in off the post in the 88th minute.

The Lurgan Blues made the perfect start to the game by taking the lead after just 15 seconds. Daniels played a clever through-ball with the outside of his right foot for McCloskey to run onto. The striker carried the ball into the penalty area and composed himself before thumping a shot past Byrne at the near post to open the scoring.

The visitors very nearly equalised in the eighth minute. Former Glenavon winger Mark Patton crossed from the right and Callum Byers headed the ball towards the far corner. Jonny Tuffey dived down to his right to make the save, but the Glenavon keeper couldn’t push the ball behind for a corner. Instead, Caomhan McGuinness picked up the loose ball and managed to get a shot in. Fortunately for Glenavon, the ball cannoned off the post and went safely behind.

McCloskey had the ball in the net again on 23 minutes, but referee Steven Gregg ruled the strike out, presumably for a foul on goalkeeper Byrne.

Caolan Marron did very well to thwart Michael Carvill three minutes later. Ross Redman pulled the ball back from the left for the former Linfield and Crusaders forward, but just when it looked like Carvill was going to get a shot at goal, Marron rushed out to him to get in a timely block.

Glenavon doubled their lead on the half-hour mark. Tuffey picked Jenkins out with a goal-kick and he cushioned the ball for McCloskey, who then immediately headed it back to Jenkins. The young striker hit a low first-time shot with his right foot which evaded the dive of Byrne and found the bottom corner.

Fitzpatrick picked up his second yellow card for a lunge on Daniels on 34 minutes, meaning the Swifts would end the first half with only 10 men on the pitch.

It took Glenavon a while to make their numerical advantage count in the second period. The third goal eventually arrived in the 64th minute. Jenkins skinned McGuinness on the left before pulling the ball back for McCloskey, who was stood between the penalty spot and six-yard line. He side-footed into the far corner with his right foot to grab his second of the game.

Tuffey was rarely troubled in the Glenavon goal in the second half, although he did make a good save to deny substitute Ryan Waide on 76 minutes.

Glenavon added their fourth goal just a minute later. McCloskey delivered an outswinging corner from the right and Daniels rose to meet it, directing his header inside the near post.

The rout was completed two minutes from time. Again it was McCloskey who sent over a corner from the right. This time the ball was headed clear by Alan Teggart, but it fell for Garrett just outside the box and the midfielder struck a sweet shot on the half-volley with his left foot. Campbell stuck a boot out to try and block the shot, but only succeeded instead in diverting the ball off the inside of the post and into the net to leave the final score Glenavon 5-0 Dungannon Swifts.

Gary Hamilton’s men remain in eighth place in the Premiership table, but this victory did move them back level on points with seventh-placed Ballymena United, and the Lurgan Blues still have a game in hand on the Braidmen.

Festive football continues on Saturday (28th December), as Glenavon take on bottom side Warrenpoint Town at Mourneview Park. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Glenavon: 1. Jonny Tuffey (GK) (C), 3. Paddy Burns, 4. Caolan Marron, 6. Andrew Doyle, 7. Josh Daniels, 8. Rhys Marshall, 16. Sammy Clingan, 20. Conor McCloskey, 27. James Singleton, 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Jordan Jenkins

Subs: 45. Eoin Wearen (for 16. Sammy Clingan, 66’), 23. Kyle Beggs (for 3. Paddy Burns, 70’), 2. Daniel Larmour (for 6. Andrew Doyle, 76’); not used: 9. Andrew Mitchell, 15. Aaron Harmon, 18. James Taylor (GK), 24. Stephen Murray

Goals: 20. Conor McCloskey (1’, 64’), 30. Jordan Jenkins (30’), 7. Josh Daniels (77’), 28. Robert Garrett (88’)

Yellow Cards: None

Dungannon Swifts: 13. Conner Byrne (GK), 2. Callum Byers, 3. Ross Redman, 10. Oisin Smyth, 11. Alan Teggart, 14. Mark Patton, 15. Kris Lowe (C), 16. Michael Carvill, 20. Caomhan McGuinness, 25. Ben Gallagher, 66. Terry Fitzpatrick

Subs: 21. Ryan Waide (for 25. Ben Gallagher, 60’), 34. Terry Devlin (for 14. Mark Patton, 60’), 27. Rhyss Campbell (for 16. Michael Carvill, 85’); not used: 15. Dylan King, 12. Craig Taylor, 19. Sean Noble, 22. Caolin Coyle

Goals: None

Yellow Cards: 66. Terry Fitzpatrick (27’, 34’), 10. Oisin Smyth (57’)

Red Cards: 66. Terry Fitzpatrick (34’)

Referee: Steven Gregg