It’s becoming typical of Glenavon’s season – the result doesn’t match the performance.
Gary Hamilton’s men put in a very good shift against Cliftonville and looked set to take three points back down the road from Solitude thanks to Danny Purkis’ second half penalty.
However, they were to be denied by a great strike by Ryan Curran right at the death.
Hamilton handed a debut for Craig Hyland in goal, while Michael O’Connor dropped out with the manager opting not to risk him on the Solitude 4G pitch. Meanwhile new signings Gareth McCaffrey and Lee McNulty had a space each on the bench.
Cliftonville applied early pressure from a throw-in down the left. Ronan Doherty shoots from outside the box and warms Hyland’s gloves, with the keeper making a fine save to push it away after five minutes.
Later Doherty tried his luck from about 25 yards out but he lifted the ball over Hyland’s goal.
The first half produced very few chances for either side, with the best of the Glenavon opportunities coming with five minutes to the interval. Conor McCloskey conceded a free kick midway down the Cliftonville left. Hale took it and it was headed down before Matthew Snoddy could clears. Glenavon went on the counter attack, with Peter Campbell shooting from outside the box and forcing a fine save from Aaron McCarey down to his right.
Glenavon broke again just before the interval. On this occasion Purkis crossed from the right. McCarey left the ball, with it going for a goal kick – all it needed was for someone to be at the back post to turn it in.
The visitors started the second half brightly with Fitzpatrick skewing a shot wide on 49 minutes after good build-up play down the right. Just before that Purkis had a shot blocked on the edge of the box.
There was a good opportunity on the hour mark for the Reds when Daire O’Connor found Hale inside the box but his effort went over the bar.
The Lurgan Blues went in front on 62 minutes after Danny Purkis was brought down by Jamie Harney. The striker dusted himself down and struck the ball home, sending McCarey the wrong way in the process.
Gary Hamilton gave a debut to McNulty, who came on for the injured Colin Coates.
McCloskey had a chance to extend Glenavon’s lead with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after getting past Doherty but could only fire over.
Cliftonville thought they had levelled on 81 minutes when Thomas Maguire laid the ball off for Conor McMenamin, only for his sweeping finish to be ruled out offside.
However, the hosts did get a share of the spoils with a minute to go when Ryan Curran curled a shot from the edge of the box into the top right corner, putting the ball beyond Hyland’s reach.
Cliftonville: McCarey, Breen, Harney, C. Curran, O’Connor, R. Curran, McCrudden, Donnelly, Bagnall, Doherty, Hale. Subs: Dunne, McMenamin (C Curran 46), Casey, Maguire (McCrudden 70), O’Brien, Lowe (Breen 46), Teggart
Glenavon: Hyland, Coates, Doyle, Purkis, Campbell, Snoddy, Fitzpatrick, McCloskey, Singleton, Garrett, Ward. Subs: Tuffey, Harmon, O’Mahony (Campbell 86), Norton, McCaffrey (Fitzpatrick 84), McNulty (Coates 68)
Referee: Tim Marshall