Glenavon 2-2 Carrick Rangers
Danske Bank Premiership
Saturday 3rd September 2022
Match report by Calum Jones
Ten-man Glenavon were held to a 2-2 draw by Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park in an entertaining game on Saturday afternoon.
Matthew Fitzpatrick opened the scoring for the Lurgan Blues in the 10th minute when he latched onto a long ball and rounded goalkeeper Ross Glendinning before firing into the empty net.
The visitors drew level in spectacular circumstances eight minutes later when Andrew Mitchell scored a stunning half volley from all of 30 yards.
Glenavon restored their lead through Eoin Bradley on 23 minutes when he tapped the ball over the line after Conor McCloskey’s cross had been flicked on by Fitzpatrick.
The home side found themselves down to 10 men when Robert Garrett received a straight red card on the hour mark for fouling Lloyd Anderson when the Carrick player was bearing down on goal.
Rangers levelled the scoreline for the second time just four minutes after Garrett’s dismissal, and it was another goal of real quality, this time Curtis Allen with a stunning overhead kick.
It was Bradley who had the first meaningful effort of the game on five minutes. His left-foot shot flashed wide of Glendinning’s right-hand post.
Five minutes later Glenavon broke the deadlock. Goalkeeper Rory Brown launched a goal kick forward and Bradley may have got a faint touch on it before Fitzpatrick rounded Glendinning with his first touch and slammed the ball into the net with his second.
The Lurgan Blues came close to doubling their lead two minutes later when Micheal Glynn had a go from a free kick. The full-back’s effort went just inches over the bar.
The away side equalised in the 18th minute. Calum Birney headed the ball away from the Glenavon goal following a Carrick throw-in and Isaac Baird tried to complete the clearance, but the ball fell to Mitchell some 30 yards from goal. The midfielder controlled it on his chest before striking a beautiful half volley with the outside of his right boot that soared over Brown and into the net.
Glenavon grabbed the lead again on 23 minutes. Sponsors’ man of the match Sean Ward slipped a pass down the right for McCloskey and the winger steered a first-time cross into the box. Fitzpatrick flicked the ball on with his head to the back post and Bradley was there to tap over the line.
Ward was involved again at the other end when he produced two superb goal-denying tackles in the 31st and 33rd minutes, thwarting Anderson on both occasions.
Glenavon might have scored a third goal five minutes before the break. Glynn played a brilliant long pass forward for Fitzpatrick from the left-back position, but Glendinning came off his line and just managed to get to the ball before the striker
After the interval Glynn found the target with a decent shot from just outside the box, but Glendinning was equal to it, diving down to his left to make the save.
The momentum of the game shifted on 60 minutes when Garrett was sent for an early bath. When Anderson broke clear and was heading for goal, Garrett felt he had no choice but to haul him down. Referee Lee Tavinder had no choice but to brandish the red card to the Glenavon midfielder.
It didn’t take long for Carrick to make their numerical advantage count. Four minutes after Garrett’s dismissal Allen scored the visitors’ second, and it was another spectacular goal. Substitute Alex Gawne crossed from the left. It looked as if his delivery might have been a bit too deep, but Allen adjusted his body well and made a superb connection with a left-footed overhead kick which flew past Brown and into the net from six yards.
Allen might have grabbed a second goal in the 71st minute. Ben Tilney produced a great first touch to control a long pass and drove into the penalty area before finding Allen, but this time the striker sent his shot wide of the target.
On 78 minutes the ball fell invitingly for Mitchell to have another go from distance. Thankfully for Glenavon he couldn’t repeat his earlier heroics, and on this occasion the ball cleared Brown’s crossbar.
Two minutes later a slick passing move from the home side fashioned a shooting chance for Matthew Snoddy. The substitute tried to place a shot into the net when the better option might have been to put his boot through it and go for power. Glendinning made the save.
Brown’s reflexes didn’t let him down in the Glenavon goal in the 82nd minute when he managed to keep out a flicked header from a few yards.
In the dying minutes Glenavon had half chances through O’Connor and Snoddy, but the former blazed a free-kick over the bar, whilst the latter sliced a shot well wide.
Carrick’s final opportunity arrived in the third minute of stoppage time when Emmett McGuckin was picked out with a cross from the right, but the big striker could only send his header over the bar, and so it finished all square at 2-2.
The Lurgan Blues are in Mid-Ulster Cup action on Tuesday night as they welcome Rathfriland Rangers to Mourneview Park for a first-round tie. Kick-off will be at 7.45pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – Ex-Directors
BALL SPONSOR – Roy McStea
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Richard Johnson and Ian Henderson
Glenavon: 1. Rory Brown, 3. Micheal Glynn, 4. Calum Birney, 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 10. Peter Campbell, 16. Isaac Baird, 17. Conor McCloskey, 23. Daniel Wallace (C), 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Sean Ward, 80. Eoin Bradley
Subs: 22. Sean Carey (for 10. Peter Campbell, 32’), 7. Matthew Snoddy (for 80. Eoin Bradley, 67’), 6. Andrew Doyle (for 3. Micheal Glynn, 67’), 26. Joshua Doyle (for 22. Sean Carey, 75’), 8. Michael O’Connor (for 17. Conor McCloskey, 75’); not used: 2. Conor Kerr, 20. Conor Scannell
Goals: 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick (10’), 80. Eoin Bradley (23’)
Yellow cards: 3. Micheal Glynn (9’), 16. Isaac Baird (50’)
Red cards: 28. Robert Garrett (60’)
Carrick Rangers: 1. Ross Glendinning (GK), 2. Kurtis Forsythe, 5. James Ervin, 6. Steven Gordon, 7. David Cushley (C), 8. Andrew Mitchell, 9. Emmett McGuckin, 10. Curtis Allen, 23. Reece Glendinning, 39. Ben Tilney, 42. Lloyd Anderson
Subs: 11. Alexander Gawne (for 23. Reece Glendinning, 62’), 20. Kyle Cherry (for 7. David Cushley, 78’); not used: 18. Aaron Hogg (GK), 14. Ronan Kalla. 20. Kyle Cherry, 24. Peter McKiernan, 27. Paul Waite, 29. Aodhan Gillen
Goals: 8. Andrew Mitchell (18’), 10. Curtis Allen (64’)
Yellow cards: 5. James Ervin (56’), 7. David Cushley (67’)
Referee: Lee Tavinder