Glenavon 3–0 Portadown
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Saturday 12th February 2022
Match report by Calum Jones
Glenavon comfortably defeated Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown 3-0 at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
All three goals came in the first half, with captain James Singleton breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes when he headed home from a Michael O’Connor corner.
Again it was a corner that led to the second goal, as Mark Haughey converted from Peter Campbell’s delivery in the 35thminute.
Conor McCloskey added a third just before half-time when his low shot from outside the box beat substitute goalkeeper Harry Doherty.
The visitors finished the game with 10 men after midfielder Katlego Mashigo was shown a straight red card following an incident involving Glenavon’s Robert Garrett in the 53rdminute.
Portadown goalkeeper Jethren Barr did well to deal with an O’Connor corner on four minutes when he punched the ball clear of the danger zone.
McCloskey whipped in a dangerous cross from the right in the 12th minute, but Matthew Fitzpatrick just couldn’t get the telling touch to the ball.
The Lurgan Blues grabbed the lead three minutes later through Singleton. O’Connor curled a corner in from the left and the Glenavon captain emphatically headed home from close range.
The home side came close to scoring a second goal on 24 minutes. Campbell did really well to dig out a cross from the left and Fitzpatrick got the faintest of touches before the ball fell to McCloskey. The winger appeared to be taken by surprise, as he couldn’t convert from close range.
Portadown changed their goalkeeper when Jethren Barr suffered a blow to the head, with Harry Doherty coming on to replace him on the half-hour mark. Doherty was called into action just three minutes later when he did well to save two McCloskey shots in quick succession after Campbell had picked out his fellow winger with a cross–field pass.
Glenavon got the second goal their dominance deserved on the 35th minute. Again it was a corner which undid the Portadown defence. Campbell whipped in an inswinger from the right to find Haughey, who had the simplest of tasks to tap the ball into the net from a couple of yards out.
McCloskey went close to adding a third for the rampant hosts on 37 minutes when his shot went narrowly over the bar.
The winger did manage to get his goal in the last minute of normal time in the first half. Fitzpatrick fed the ball through to McCloskey and he cut inside Ports defender Greg Hall before striking a low shot with his right foot from just outside the penalty area. Goalkeeper Doherty really should have saved the effort, but it somehow managed to squirm through his legs.
Things went from bad to worse for Portadown seven minutes into the second half when Mashigo was given his marching orders by referee Lee Tavinder following a late challenge on Garrett.
In truth, the Lurgan Blues took their foot off the gas in the second half when the home supporters were hoping their side might have gone on to really embarrass their bitter rivals, but Glenavon still might have scored a fourth on 66 minutes when Singleton found the net for the second time in the match, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
Campbell played a neat one-two with Fitzpatrick to fashion a shooting chance for himself in the 73rd minute, but the winger dragged his low left-foot shot wide of the goal.
The closest the sorry Ports came to grabbing a consolation goal was four minutes from time when young defender Harry Murphy headed just over the bar following a corner-kick.
Glenavon remain in eighth place following their victory, but the top six is a realistic target for the Lurgan Blues, who sit just two points behind seventh-placed Ballymena United and four points off Coleraine in sixth spot.
Gary Hamilton’s men are in action again on Tuesday night, as they travel to Seaview to take on fourth-placed Crusaders. The fact that they picked up three points on the Shore Road justtwo weekends ago should give Glenavon the belief that they can go and get another positive result. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – S.M Vint and Co
BALL SPONSOR – CDF Financial
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Diamond Elite Chauffeur Services
Glenavon: 18. James Taylor (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 5. Mark Haughey, 8. Michael O’Connor, 10. Peter Campbell, 14. Matthew Snoddy, 17. Conor McCloskey, 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 23. Daniel Wallace, 27. James Singleton (C), 28. Robert Garrett
Subs: 6. Andrew Doyle (for 4. Calum Birney, 61’), 30. Sean Ward (for 5. Mark Haughey, 61’), 21. Jack O’Mahony (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 70’), 20. Conor Scannell (for 17. Conor McCloskey, 80’), 26. Joshua Doyle (for 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 80’); not used: 7. Andrew Waterworth, 11. Andrew Hall
Goals: 27. James Singleton (15’), 5. Mark Haughey (35’), 17. Conor McCloskey (45’)
Yellow cards: None
Portadown: 19. Jethren Barr (GK), 2. Greg Hall, 3. Michael Ruddy (C), 5. Paul Finnegan, 6. Barney McKeown, 14. Oisin Conaty, 26. Harry Murphy, 35. Jack Smith, 37. Josh Doherty, 40. Billy Stedman, 41. Katlego Mashigo
Subs: 1. Harry Doherty (GK) (for 19. Jethren Barr (GK), 30’), 20. Stephen Teggart (for 6. Barney McKeown, 30’), 39. Elliot Dugan (for 35. Jack Smith, 46’), 42. Joshua Chatee (for 37. Josh Doherty, 46’), 4. Adam McCallum (for 5. Paul Finnegan, 75’); not used: 7. Christopher Lavery, 43. Gledis Cakaj
Yellow cards: 5. Paul Finnegan (42’), 14. Oisin Conaty (54’), 20. Stephen Teggart (65’)
Red cards: 41. Katlego Mashigo (53’)
Referee: Lee Tavinder