Glenavon 1–0 Portadown
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Saturday 23rd April 2022
Match report by Calum Jones
Glenavon secured seventh spot and a place in the European play-offs as they defeated Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown 1-0 at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
Danny Wallace scored his first goal for Glenavon as he headed home from Peter Campbell’s 14th-minute corner, and that proved to be the winner.
Glenavon captain James Singleton saw his shot blocked by Ports skipper Michael Ruddy on four minutes.
Adam Salley battled well for the visitors all afternoon, and he came out on top in a tussle with Calum Birney in the ninth minute to create a shooting opportunity for himself, but the effort went well wide of Josh Clarke’s goal.
The Ports had another shot at goal three minutes later when a cross from the right found George Tipton. The young midfielder couldn’t keep his half-volley down, however.
The deadlock was broken on 14 minutes. Campbell swung over a corner from the right and Wallace rose to meet it. The left-back sent a thumping header into the net to put the Lurgan Blues a goal up.
Salley turned smartly in the 19th minute and got a low shot on target with his left foot, but Glenavon keeper Clarke dived down to make the save.
Matthew Snoddy and Michael O’Connor played a one-two on 35 minutes to create a shooting opportunity for the former, but the midfielder’s curling effort went harmlessly over the bar.
Two minutes after the break, Salley whipped in a vicious low cross from the right. Clarke got a hand to the ball, but he couldn’t gather it. Wallace defended brilliantly by blocking two shots in quick succession to snuff out the ensuing danger.
Snoddy had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Ross Dunlop on 56 minutes. Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton was so incensed by the decision that he was shown a yellow card for his protests.
Singleton and O’Connor played a smart one-two on the edge of the Portadown penalty area in the 71st minute to create a chance for Singleton to shoot, but the midfielder sliced his shot wide of the far post.
The nerviest moment of the closing stages for Glenavon came on 77 minutes when Mark Haughey miscontrolled the ball and it rolled back towards Clarke. The goalkeeper, worried that it may be construed as a back-pass, elected to kick the ball rather than gather and it struck Portadown substitute Harry Anderson. Thankfully for the Lurgan Blues, they managed to clear before Anderson could get a shot in.
Although there was just the one goal in it, Glenavon were comfortable for the remainder of the game, and they held on for the win they needed to seal seventh spot and a place in the European play-offs.
This was also the Lurgan Blues’ third victory from four games against Portadown this season, to go along with the opening weekend draw. With the Ports facing a relegation play-off, it remains to be seen if the two sides will be competing against each other next season.
Glenavon are at home again next Saturday (30th April) as their league campaign comes to a close with a fixture against Warrenpoint Town. Kick-off is at 5:30PM.
MATCH SPONSOR – Milne Funeral Services
BALL SPONSOR – Clippers Grooming Parlour, Donaghcloney
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Eddy Kerr
Glenavon: 32. Josh Clarke (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 5. Mark Haughey, 8. Michael O’Connor, 10. Peter Campbell, 14. Matthew Snoddy, 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 23. Daniel Wallace, 27. James Singleton (C), 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Sean Ward
Subs: 26. Josh Doyle (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 75’), 6. Andrew Doyle (for 4. Calum Birney, 90+3’); not used: 7. Andrew Waterworth, 20. Conor Scannell, 21. Jack O’Mahony, 46. Harry Norton, 59. Aaron Prendergast
Goals: 23. Daniel Wallace (14’)
Yellow cards: 19. Matthew Fitzpatrick (48’), 4. Calum Birney (51’), 28. Robert Garrett (90’)
Portadown: 19. Jethren Barr (GK), 2. Greg Hall, 3. Michael Ruddy (C), 4. Adam McCallum, 5. Paul Finnegan, 8. George Tipton, 9. Adam Salley, 14. Oisin Conaty, 37. Josh Doherty, 40. Billy Stedman, 41. Katlego Mashigo
Subs: 20. Stephen Teggart (for 8. George Tipton, 46’), 35. Jack Smith (for 41. Katlego Mashigo, 59’), 11. Harry Anderson (for 40. Billy Stedman, 65’), 33. Jamal Dupree (for 37. Josh Doherty, 73’); not used: 1. Harry Doherty (GK), 15. Nathan Kerr, 50. Harry Murphy
Yellow cards: 2. Greg Hall (27’), 8. George Tipton (36’), 9. Adam Salley (90+2’), 14. Oisin Conaty (90+4’)
Referee: Ross Dunlop