Glenavon 6–0 Dollingstown
BetMcLean League Cup, Round 1
Tuesday 13th September 2022
Match Report by Calum Jones
Glenavon defeated neighbours Dollingstown 6-0 in the first round of the BetMcLean League Cup at Mourneview Park on Tuesday evening in a game which saw Christopher Atherton set a record by becoming the youngest player ever to appear in a first-class football match in the UK at the age of 13 years and 329 days.
Josh Doyle opened the scoring for the Lurgan Blues when he headed home from a Michael O’Connor corner on 23 minutes, while the home side doubled their advantage just two minutes later through Conor Scannell, who finished after playing a delightful one-two with Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Scannell scored his second and Glenavon’s third in the 44thminute when he converted from a Conor Kerr cross, and Micheal Glynn ensured Glenavon took a four-goal lead into the break when he stroked a low shot into the net two minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Aaron Prendergast scored a fifth for Glenavon on 75 minutes, while fellow substitutes Atherton and Matthew Snoddy were involved in the Lurgan Blues’ sixth goal a minute later, with Snoddy pouncing to tap into the net after Atherton’s effort had been saved by Dollingstown goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan.
Sponsor’s man of the match Scannell threatened in the first minute of the game when he brought the ball down on his chest and fired a shot on target from outside the box, but Buchanan was able to make a routine save.
Five minutes later at the other end, James Walker’s shot with the outside of his boot looked to be destined for the top corner until Glenavon goalkeeper Marc Matthews dived up to his left to make an impressive save. From the resulting corner,Dollingstown captain Patrick Mooney saw his header cleared off the line.
Kerr picked Scannell out at the back post with a cross from the right on eight minutes, but the winger could only direct his header over the bar.
Scannell threatened again three minutes later when he cut in from the left wing. This time his shot was deflected and Buchanan was able to comfortably save.
Glynn crossed from the left in the 14th minute to find Mark Haughey. The Glenavon captain’s downward header went narrowly wide of Buchanan’s right-hand post.
Jack Malone hit a decent effort on 19 minutes from just outside the box, but his shot drifted wide of the far post.
Malone was at the heart of the action again four minutes later when he pulled the ball back to find Sean Carey, but Carey’ssubsequent shot was blocked by a Dollingstown defender and was diverted over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken from the resulting corner, which O’Connor took from the left. His inswinger was met by the head of Doyle, who nodded past Buchanan and into the net to open the scoring.
It took just two minutes for Glenavon to double their lead. Scannell fed the ball into the feet of Fitzpatrick on the edge of the penalty area. With his back to goal, the striker played a delightful return pass into the path of Scannell with a backheel and the winger calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
Scannell came close to grabbing another goal in the 36thminute. Carey crossed from the right and Scannell met the ball with a first-time volleyed effort that went narrowly over the crossbar.
Two former Glenavon players combined for Dollingstown on 38 minutes when Gary Liggett squared the ball for Dale Malone, but the midfielder dragged his low shot wide.
Glenavon’s third goal arrived in the 44th minute. Kerr sent a super cross to the back post and Scannell was on hand to convert from close range.
The game was effectively ended as a contest when Glenavon grabbed a fourth goal in first-half stoppage time, with full-back Glynn finding the net with a low shot to ensure the Lurgan Blues carried a commanding lead into the break.
Dollingstown’s Malone had an audacious effort with a free-kick from 35 yards out five minutes into the second half. His shot was well struck, and Matthews had to be alert in the Glenavon goal to tip the ball over the bar.
The second half was 30 minutes old before Glenavon found their fifth goal, with substitute Prendergast driving forward before converting with a low right-foot shot.
Atherton made his bow just after Prendergast had found the net, and statistician Marshall Gillespie confirmed on Twitter that the youngster, at 13 years and 329 days old, had set a record by becoming the youngest player ever to appear in a first-class match in UK football, breaking the previous record of 14 years and 323 days, which is how old Eamon Collins was when he made his debut for Blackpool in September 1980.
Atherton did not appear overawed at all by the occasion, andhe was immediately thrust into the action when he broke clear on the right and found the target with a low shot. Buchanan was able to make the save and deny Atherton a dream debut goal, but the ball fell for another Glenavon substitute, Matthew Snoddy, who was left with the simple task of tapping in the Lurgan Blues’ sixth goal.
Atherton’s and Snoddy’s roles were almost reversed on 83 minutes. Snoddy forced a fine save from Buchanan with an impressive overhead kick. Atherton latched onto the rebound and managed to squeeze a shot on target, but credit must go to Buchanan, who reacted well after the initial save to follow it up with another stop.
Glenavon might have rounded the night off with a seventh goal in the 89th minute, but another substitute, Jamie Doran, headed wide when in a good position, and so the game finished 6-0.
Saturday (17th September) sees Glenavon return to league action, and it is another home game for the Lurgan Blues, as they welcome Cliftonville to Mourneview Park. Kick-off is at 3pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – Allen Gamble Windows and Clifford Kidd Car Body Repairs
BALL SPONSOR – Stephen Brown
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Julia Evans
Glenavon: 18. Marc Matthews (GK), 2. Conor Kerr, 3. Micheal Glynn, 5. Mark Haughey (C), 8. Michael O’Connor,9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 20. Conor Scannell, 22. Sean Carey, 23. Daniel Wallace, 26. Joshua Doyle, 29. Jack Malone
Subs: 4. Calum Birney (for 5. Mark Haughey, 46’), 7. Matthew Snoddy (for 8. Michael O’Connor, 59’), 21. Aaron Prendergast (for 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 59’), 27. Christopher Atherton (for 29. Jack Malone, 75’), 24. Jamie Doran (for 22. Sean Carey, 75’); not used: 10. Peter Campbell, 16. Isaac Baird
Goals: 26. Joshua Doyle (23’), 20. Conor Scannell (25’, 44’), 3. Micheal Glynn (45+2), 21. Aaron Prendergast (75’), 7. Matthew Snoddy (76’)
Yellow cards: 3. Micheal Glynn (62’)
Dollingstown: 1. Gareth Buchanan (GK), 2. Daniel Neill, 4. Patrick Mooney (C), 5. Stephen Acheson, 7. James Walker, 9. Gary Liggett, 11. Mark McCabe, 16. Louis McKeown, 17. Liam Toman, 20. Matthew Robinson, 21. Dale Malone
Subs: 10. Callum Ferris (for 9. Gary Liggett, 60’), 19. Jonathan Ewart (for 17. Liam Toman, 60’), 22. Christopher Gill (for 11. Mark McCabe, 70’), 23. Thomas Roscoe (for 20. Matthew Robinson, 70’); not used: 3. Nathan McConnell, 12. James Mitchell, 15. Cameron Purdy
Yellow cards: None
Referee: Christopher Morrison