Glenavon 1-1 Warrenpoint Town
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Saturday 28th December 2019
Match Report by Calum Jones
Photos by Maynard Collins and Alan Weir
Glenavon endured a frustrating 1-1 draw against basement club Warrenpoint Town in Saturday’s premiership fixture at Mourneview Park.
The visitors took the lead on 11 minutes when Brandon Doyle converted from Alan O’Sullivan’s cutback.
James Singleton headed home Kyle Beggs’ cross in the 52nd minute to equalise for Glenavon, but while the Lurgan Blues continued to heap the pressure on for the remainder of the match, they just couldn’t find that elusive second goal and had to settle for a point in their final fixture of 2019.
There was a scrappy enough start to the game, with no real chances of note for either side in the opening minutes. That all changed, however, on 11 minutes when the away side grabbed the lead. Captain Daniel Wallace clipped a ball down the left flank for O’Sullivan to chase. The striker dribbled past Caolan Marron before cutting the ball back for Doyle, who had the simple task of tapping in from inside the six-yard box.
Conor McCloskey tried to hit back for Glenavon 10 minutes later when he got on the end of Singleton’s flicked header. The striker got his shot away, but Warrenpoint goalkeeper Mark Byrne was off his line quickly to make the save.
Beggs delivered a great cross from the right wing with his left foot in the 25th minute which went just beyond the head of Rhys Marshall, while Sammy Clingan shot well over the bar nine minutes later.
Clingan had another effort on 42 minutes when he fizzed a free-kick at goal from the left. Byrne did well to punch the ball clear.
In stoppage time at the end of the first half Glenavon launched a counter-attack following a Warrenpoint corner. Beggs raced down the left before crossing for Mitchell. The striker controlled the ball and had a shot at goal, but it sailed well over the top.
McCloskey saw another shot saved by Byrne on 50 minutes. Singleton very nearly managed to latch onto the rebound, but Gavin Smith was able to clear.
Glenavon’s equaliser arrived two minutes later. Clingan did brilliantly to nutmeg Doyle on the left before sending in a low cross. The ball fell for Seamus Sharkey on the edge of the six-yard box and he drilled an effort at goal. Somehow Byrne managed to keep the shot out at point-blank range. The Point defence could only clear the ball as far as Beggs and he delivered a superb cross from the right flank to pick out Singleton, who headed home to draw the hosts level.
Clingan swung a free-kick in from the right on 68 minutes which Daniel Larmour got his head to. The defender’s header lacked power, though, and Byrne made a comfortable enough save.
Ten minutes from time, Singleton laid the ball off for Clingan just outside the ‘D’. The former Northern Ireland international struck a dipping shot with his right foot, but the ball wouldn’t come down quickly enough and drifted over the bar.
Try as they might, Glenavon just couldn’t find a second goal and had to settle for a point, which many will feel was a disappointing result after Boxing Day’s comprehensive victory over Dungannon Swifts.
Gary Hamilton’s side face a stern test on New Year’s Day when they travel to Solitude to take on league leaders Cliftonville. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Glenavon: 1. Jonny Tuffey (GK) (C), 2. Daniel Larmour, 4. Caolan Marron, 7. Josh Daniels, 8. Rhys Marshall, 9. Andrew Mitchell, 16. Sammy Clingan, 20. Conor McCloskey, 27. James Singleton, 55. Seamus Sharkey
Subs: 24. Stephen Murray (for 9. Andrew Mitchell, 73’), 30. Jordan Jenkins (for 7. Josh Daniels, 85’); not used: 3. Paddy Burns, 6. Andrew Doyle, 15. Aaron Harmon, 18. James Taylor (GK), 28. Robert Garrett
Goals: 27. James Singleton (52’)
Yellow Cards: 55. Seamus Sharkey (85’)
Warrenpoint Town: 27. Mark Byrne (GK), 3. Emmet Bennett, 4. Gavin Smith, 6. Dermot McVeigh, 9. Alan O’Sullivan, 11. Brandon Doyle, 12. Conall Young, 17. Dean Watters, 19. Eamon Scannell, 23. Daniel Wallace (C), 29. Ben Mullen
Subs: 15. Lorcan Forde (for 19. Eamon Scannell, 72’), 21. Ciaran McCann (for 9. Alan O’Sullivan, 28’); not used: 1. Berraat Turker, 18. Kris Cowan, 28. Ryan O’Kane, 35. Lorcan Murnaghan
Goals: 11. Brandon Doyle (11’)
Yellow Cards: 27. Mark Byrne (52’)
Referee: Ian McNabb