Glenavon 5-1 Portstewart
BetMcLean League Cup, Round 2
Mourneview Park, Tuesday 14th September 2021
Match report by Calum Jones
Substitute Kyle Beggs scored a superb second-half hat-trick as Glenavon eventually ran out 5-1 winners over Portstewart in Tuesday night’s BetMcLean League Cup second-round tie.
Jack O’Mahony gave the Lurgan Blues the lead on seven minutes when he tapped in following Josh Doyle’s low cross.
The Premier Intermediate League side dug in and made a real fist of things, as Glenavon didn’t add their second goal until the 70-minute mark, this time Doyle getting on the scoresheet when he took advantage of a rebounded James Singleton shot.
Beggs then scored three goals in the space of 12 minutes to take the game away from the visitors, although Portstewart did manage to find a consolation goal through substitute Chandler Douglas in the 79th minute.
O’Mahony opened the scoring on seven minutes. Josh Doyle sent a low cross in from the right, and when Portstewart goalkeeper Andrew Findlay couldn’t gather the ball, O’Mahony had the simple task of tapping into the net.
Matthew Fitzpatrick almost picked out Conor McCloskey with another low cross from the right in the 22nd minute, but the midfielder just failed to make contact with his attempted back-heel.
Nine minutes later O’Mahony teed up Robert Garrett to have a shot from the edge of the box, but his effort was blocked by a Portstewart defender.
The away side had a rare sight at goal in the 35th minute, but Karl Steele could only lash a half-volley well over the bar from distance.
On 38 minutes McCloskey played a one-two with Fitzpatrick before unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot, but Findlay was equal to the effort and made the save.
The game became increasingly frustrating for Glenavon as it entered the second half, with a run and shot from Aaron Harmon in the 49th minute the only real effort of note in the opening minutes of the second period.
Indeed, it wasn’t until the 70th minute before the Lurgan Blues’ second arrived. Singleton’s shot was saved by Findlay, but the goalkeeper couldn’t hold the ball, and Josh Doyle followed up to take full advantage.
Just two minutes later it was 3-0. Substitutes Ross Hunter and Beggs combined as the former sent the latter racing clear with a through-ball. Beggs made no mistake, slotting into the corner to grab his first.
Beggs drove home his second and Glenavon’s fourth on 77 minutes, before Portstewart grabbed a consolation goal which their performance deserved in the 79th minute. Glenavon goalkeeper James Taylor came off his line to try and deal with danger but only ended up being stranded out of his goal and Douglas capitalised, curling the ball into the net to make it 4-1.
Beggs saved the best for last as he scored a brilliant solo effort to complete his hat-trick and round off the scoring, bursting through the Portstewart defence and slotting the ball inside the left-hand post to score a goal that was reminiscent of the great Raymond McCoy.
The Lurgan Blues return to Premiership action on Saturday as they make the trip to the Warden Street Showgrounds to take on Ballymena United (kick-off 3pm).
MATCH SPONSORS – Andy Gilkinson, Kelsie and Carter Williamson, and Karlie and Isaac Gilkinson
BALL SPONSOR – Ian Hynes
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Barry Craig and Ethna Ferran
Glenavon: 18. James Taylor (GK), 6. Andrew Doyle, 14. Matthew Snoddy, 15. Aaron Harmon, 17. Conor McCloskey, 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 21. Jack O’Mahony, 23. Daniel Wallace, 26. Joshua Doyle, 27. James Singleton (C), 28. Robert Garrett
Subs: 12. Kyle Beggs (for 21. Jack O’Mahony, 58’), 2. Mark Stafford (for 23. Daniel Wallace, 71’), 25. Ross Hunter (for 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 71’), 24. Jamie Doran (for 14. Matthew Snoddy, 74’); not used: 8. Michael O’Connor, 11. Andrew Hall, 30. Sean Ward
Goals: 21. Jack O’Mahony (7’), 26. Joshua Doyle (70’), 12. Kyle Beggs (72’, 77’, 84’)
Yellow cards: 23. Daniel Wallace (47’)
Portstewart: 1. Andrew Findlay (GK), 2. Lee Forgrave, 3. Richard Vauls (C), 7. Joel Bradley, 9. Zach Barr, 11. Mark Edgar, 14. Jason-Lee Moorcroft, 15. Karl Steele, 17. Joseph Morgan, 18. Eoin Gillan, 21. Jake McNeill
Subs: 16. James Peden (for 3. Richard Vauls, 54’), 4. Chandler Douglas (for 21. Jake McNeill, 60’); not used: 5. Che Bradley, 10. Aaron Doherty, 13. Scott McDonald
Goals: 4. Chandler Douglas (79’)
Yellow cards: 17. Joseph Morgan (18’)
Referee: Glenn Buchanan