Glenavon 2–1 Rathfriland Rangers
Mid Ulster Cup, Round 1
Tuesday 6th September 2022
Match Report by Calum Jones
Glenavon came from behind to defeat Rathfriland Rangers 2-1 in the first round of the Mid Ulster Cup at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.
The visitors took the lead on six minutes when Josh Doyle turned the ball into his own net following a Ruairi Fitzpatrick corner.
Glenavon drew level in the 37th minute when Doyle scored at the other end by glancing in a header from a Conor Scannell cross.
Scannell turned goalscorer in the second half when he headed in a rebound on 55 minutes after Conor Kerr’s cross nearly caught out Rathfriland goalkeeper Bryan McMullan, and that proved to be the winning goal.
The visitors took a surprise lead just six minutes into the game. Fitzpatrick delivered a corner from the right and the ball was bundled into the net, with the final touch coming off the unfortunate Doyle for an own goal.
Jack Malone tried to strike back for Glenavon on 15 minutes,but his shot from outside the box was deflected narrowly wide.
Sean Carey had a pop from distance two minutes later. His effort went just over the crossbar.
A minute after that, Glenavon captain Danny Wallace sent over a low cross from the left. Scannell did well to get his boot to it and turn the ball towards goal with the outside of his foot, but his attempt went just wide of the near post.
The Lurgan Blues eventually found the equaliser in the 37thminute, and it was Doyle who made amends for his earlier own goal. Scannell crossed from the left and Doyle sent a glancing header inside the far post to make it one apiece.
Glenavon survived a scare five minutes into the second half when a ball over the top sent Rathfriland forward Brian Newell clear. Goalkeeper Marc Matthews raced off his line, but Newell beat him to the ball and headed towards goal. Thankfully for Matthews the ball drifted wide of the post, but the Glenavon keeper still picked up a yellow card after he hadclattered into the Rathfriland striker.
Rathfriland’s Jordan Hayes found the target with a well struck shot on 53 minutes, but it was straight down the throat of Matthews.
At the other end two minutes later, Malone had a go for Glenavon, with McMullan diving down to his right to make the save.
Moments after that Glenavon did grab the second goal. It appeared as though Kerr tried to deliver a cross from the right, but instead the ball ended up heading towards the far top corner. McMullan was able to make the initial save when it looked like he might get caught out, but in the end the goalkeeper only succeeded in palming the ball out to Scannell, who gobbled up the chance by heading in what proved to be the winning goal.
The home side had penalty appeals for handball waved away by referee Mark Dillon on the hour mark, while McMullan made a superb double save to deny Doyle a second goal in the 67th minute. The striker was picked out with a cross from the right by Carey. Doyle made a good connection with his first-time volley, but McMullan was equal to the effort. When the rebound fell to Doyle just a few yards out he looked certain to score, but somehow McMullan was able to get his body in the way again and make another save.
Scannell came agonisingly close to scoring his second of the night five minutes later. Again it was a great cross from Carey on the right to create the chance, picking out Scannell at the far post. The winger’s looping header had McMullan beaten but struck the crossbar.
The game petered out in the closing stages and in the end Glenavon held on fairly comfortably to book their place in the next round.
Saturday (10th September) sees the Lurgan Blues return to Premiership action as they travel to Windsor Park to take on champions Linfield. Kick-off is at 3pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – Gary McCullough & Son Painter and Decorators
BALL SPONSOR – Tina Moore, Andy Smith and Gene O’Neill
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – J.M. Martinez Arts and Crafts
Glenavon: 18. Marc Matthews, 2. Conor Kerr, 6. Andrew Doyle, 8. Michael O’Connor, 15. Harry Lynch, 20. Conor Scannell, 22. Sean Carey, 23. Daniel Wallace (C), 24. Jamie Doran, 26. Joshua Doyle, 29. Jack Malone
Subs: 21. Aaron Prendergast (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 46’), 11. Corr (for 21. Aaron Prendergast, 77’); not used: 4. Daniel Brown, 14. Harry Norton, 32. Jack Harvey
Goals: 26. Joshua Doyle (37’), 20. Conor Scannell (55’)
Yellow cards: 8. Michael O’Connor (27’), 18. Marc Matthews (50’), 6. Andrew Doyle (81’), 2. Conor Kerr (90’)
Rathfriland Rangers: 1. Bryan McMullan (GK), 3. JonathanBlack, 4. Dalton Tate, 6. Jonathan Scannell, 7. Ruairi Fitzpatrick, 8. Andrew Kilmartin (C), 9. Brian Newell, 12. Jordan Hayes, 13. Matthew Holloway, 14. Harry Campbell, 15. Jesse Carson
Subs: 16. Andrew Wilson (for 12. Jordan Hayes, 61’), 17. James Costello (for 15. Jesse Carson, 83); not used: 20. Mark Gracey (GK), 5. Stephen Greene, 10. Alastair Wilson, 11. Jack Chambers, 18. Caolan Teer
Yellow cards: 9. Brian Newell (86’)
Referee: Mark Dillon