Ballymena United 0
If you had asked Gary Hamilton what he would have liked out of tonight’s game, he would have probably said three points, closely followed by a clean sheet.
And, during their Tuesday night game at the Ballymena Showgrounds, Glenavon duly delivered.
A first half goal from Matthew Fitzpatrick and a late second from substitute Greg Moorhouse sent the Lurgan Blues back down the road with all three points.
Glenavon made two changes to Saturday’s starting line-up, with Matthew Snoddy coming in for Michael O’Connor and Daniel Larmour starting for Calum Birney.
The Lurgan Blues called Jordan Williamson into action early on when Conor McCloskey burst through the middle, with the ball eventually falling for Garrett with his shot from the edge of the box being saved by the goalkeeper.
The visitors were playing the better of the early football and took the lead on 13 minutes. The goal originated from a James Singleton throw with the ball eventually coming to Peter Campbell. He turned and found Matthew Fitzpatrick, with his low effort finishing up in the bottom right hand corner.
And they could have had a second a short time later when Fitzpatrick’s shot was rebounded into the path of Daniel Purkis, with Williamson again coming to the rescue for the Sky Blues.
Ballymena tried to get back on level terms through Jude Winchester but his 19th minute effort was well over the bar, while at the other end a move between Robbie Garrett, McCloskey and Matthew Snoddy ended with the latter shooting straight at the goalkeeper.
United almost got lucky on 33 minutes when Trai Hume’s excellent run allowed him to put a cross into the box, which came back off the post. A minute later Ryan Harpur was booked for the hosts following a tackle in the middle of the park.
David Jeffrey brought Joe McCready on at half time to add a bit of bite to the United attack, but Glenavon pushed on in the early stages to find a second. Robbie Garrett got onto the end of a well placed James Singleton cross but just could not connect properly with the ball.
Daniel Larmour was booked on 58 minutes for a challenge on Joe McCready, and a minute later Shea McCartan curled a free kick just over the bar from the edge of the box.
Still Glenavon looked for a second and Purkis could have found the net with his well crafted shot, jinking past a defender on his way to goal, but Williamson was there to deny the striker on 69 minutes.
Ballymena piled on the pressure in the final stages but were unable to produce anything to test Jonathan Tuffey in the Glenavon goal. And as they pushed and pushed McCloskey found substitute Greg Moorhouse, allowing him to slot home with virtually the last kick of the ball as the Lurgan Blues ended up 2-0 winners.
Ballymena United: Williamson, Redman (J Kelly 65), Addis, Winchester, Harpur (A Kane 81), McElroy, McCartan, Waide (McCready 46), Hume, Millar (c), C Kelly.
Subs not used: Glendenning, K Kane, Balmer, Ervin.
Yellow cards: Harpur 34
Glenavon: Tuffey, Larmour, Coates, Purkis, Campbell (O’Mahoney 90), Snoddy, Fitzpatrick (Moorhouse 71), McCloskey, Singleton, Garrett (O’Connor 83), Ward.
Subs not used: Birney, Byrne, Hall, Harmon.
Goals: Fitzpatrick 13, Moorhouse 90+3
Yellow cards: Larmour 58, Garrett 79
Referee: Jamie Robinson (Portadown).