Glenavon 1–2 Warrenpoint Town
Danske Bank Premiership
Mourneview Park, Saturday 30th April 2022
Match report by Calum Jones
A youthful Glenavon side were beaten 2-1 by Warrenpoint Town in the final league game of the season at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
Gary Hamilton made no bones about the fact that he was going to give a host of younger players an opportunity to test themselves at Premiership level before the game, and with Glenavon having already secured a European play-off spot and Warrenpoint’s relegation fate already sealed, the game did have a real end-of-season feel to it.
Jack O’Mahony almost broke through for Glenavon in the opening minute of the game before Warrenpoint managed to snuff out the danger.
Steven Ball headed wide for the visitors from a corner on 14 minutes, while his teammate Adam Wixted saw a shot deflected behind for a corner a minute later.
Glenavon’s Harry Lynch did well to get a block in on Luke Wade Slater’s shot to keep out the striker’s effort in the 18thminute.
Warrenpoint opened the scoring on 29 minutes through Josh Wilson. He battled his way past Andrew Doyle before selling Bobby Harvey a dummy and then clipping a cool finish beyond goalkeeper Josh Clarke and the sliding Lynch to find the net.
Clarke made two important saves in the space of four minutes at the end of the first half to ensure Glenavon didn’t find themselves further behind at the break. On each occasion he raced off his line to narrow the angle and smother opponents’ shots, denying Ball in the 41st minute, before subsequently keeping Wilson’s effort out on 44 minutes.
Andrew Doyle had a shot blocked on 59 minutes as Glenavon went in search of the equaliser in the second half, but his namesake Josh wasn’t to be denied just a minute later. Michael O’Connor slipped a pass into the Warrenpoint penalty area and a mix-up between Kealan Dillon and Dylan Hand gifted a shooting chance to Doyle. The young striker’s low side-foot shot was enough to find the net, but Point goalkeeper Conor Mitchell will be very disappointed not to have made the save.
As the game entered stoppage time it looked like the young Glenavon lads were going to secure a creditable point, but Alan O’Sullivan, one of five substitutes introduced by Warrenpoint manager Barry Gray in the closing stages of thegame, notched a late winner for the away side. O’Sullivan’s low shot from 20 yards may have taken a slight deflection off a defender on its way into the bottom corner, and substitute goalkeeper Massimo Schiavoni had no chance of saving it.
Glenavon’s young players deserve a lot of credit for how they coped with the pressure of playing in a Premiership fixture, and special mention must go to Bobby Harvey, who was awarded the sponsor’s man of the match award.
Attention now turns to the European play-offs for the Lurgan Blues, but of course Gary Hamilton’s men must await the outcome of next weekend’s Irish Cup final between Ballymena United and Crusaders before they find out who they will take on first in their quest to secure that European place.
MATCH SPONSOR – Lockton Insurance
BALL SPONSOR – Patience Rewarded Syndicate
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Mid-Ulster Youth League Academy
Glenavon: 32. Josh Clarke (GK), 6. Andrew Doyle (C), 8. Michael O’Connor, 20. Conor Scannell, 21. Jack O’Mahony,24. Jamie Doran, 26. Joshua Doyle, 44. Harry Lynch, 46. Harry Norton, 52. Bobby Harvey, 59. Aaron Prendergast
Subs: 37. Liam Corr (for 24. Jamie Doran, 46’), 99. Massimo Schiavoni (for 32. Josh Clarke, 46’), 53. Christopher Gill (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 66’), 49. Luca McGreevey Couchman(for 6. Andrew Doyle, 69’), 38. Bradley Ingram (for 49. Luca McGreevey Couchman, 79’); not used: 47. Conor Sullivan, 57. Dylan Sinnerton
Goals: 26. Joshua Doyle (59’)
Yellow cards: 52. Bobby Harvey (36’)
Warrenpoint Town: 1. Conor Mitchell (GK), 3. Steven Ball, 5. Dylan Hand, 7. Kealan Dillon, 12. Adam Wixted, 17. Luke Wade Slater, 23. Jonathan Leddy, 24. Daniel McKenna, 25. Daniel Byrne (C), 27. Ray O’Sullivan, 33. Joshua Wilson
Subs: 21. Andrew Coleman (for 1. Conor Mitchell, 78’), 9. Alan O’Sullivan (for 17. Luke Wade Slater, 78’), 11. Luke Gallagher (for 24. Daniel McKenna, 78’), 19. Gregory Moorhouse (for 33. Joshua Wilson, 78’), 32. Dauda Shotayo (for 12. Adam Wixted, 78’); not used: 10. Francis McCaffrey, 28. Dylan Quinn
Goals: 33. Joshua Wilson (29’), 9. Alan O’Sullivan (90+3’)
Yellow cards: 3. Steven Ball (82’)
Referee: Tony Clarke