Glenavon 1-2 Loughgall
BetMcLean League Cup, Round 2
Tuesday 4th October 2022
Match Report by Calum Jones
Glenavon suffered a second-round defeat in the BetMcLean League Cup as they lost to Championship leaders Loughgall 2-1 at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.
Pablo Andrade opened the scoring for Loughgall in the second minute of the second half when his low shot found the bottom corner, while the Villagers doubled their advantage through former Glenavon player Mark Patton, who followed up after Nedas Maciulaitis’ initial shot had been saved by Rory Brown.
Glenavon eventually managed to find the net in the third minute of injury time through substitute Jack Malone, but by that stage it was simply a case of too little too late.
Eoin Bradley had the ball in the net for the Lurgan Blues on five minutes following Matthew Fitzpatrick’s pass, but the linesman had raised his flag to rule the effort out for offside.
Fitzpatrick had an attempt on goal himself three minutes later when he showed a good turn of pace to burst into the box, but Loughgall goalkeeper Declan Devine did really well to get off his line quickly and smother the Glenavon striker’s shot.
Again Fitzpatrick was to be frustrated in the 17th minute. Bradley found him with a pass and Fitzpatrick got a shot off, but this time he was denied by Aaron Walsh, who threw himself in front of the ball to make the block.
Bradley was in the thick of the action again on 21 minutes. He sent over a cross from the left to find Conor Scannell at the far post. The young forward couldn’t quite manage to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle, with his shot coming back off the post.
At the other end, former Glenavon midfielder Robbie Norton had a go from distance in the 27th minute. For a split second it looked as though the effort was going to catch out Brown, but the goalkeeper managed to gather the ball at the second attempt.
The best effort of the first half arrived on 34 minutes courtesy of Loughgall number 10 Andrew Hoey. His low left-foot shot from distance looked to be destined for the bottom corner, only for Brown to make a top save, diving at full stretch to his left to push the ball round the post.
Robbie Garrett had a go from distance with a half volley for the home side two minutes later, but he sliced wide of the target.
Scannell sent a free-kick into the Loughgall penalty area from deep on the left flank in the 42nd minute. The ball found former Loughgall full-back Conor Kerr at the back post. Kerr made a good connection with his left-foot volleyed effort and sent the ball back across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far corner.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to grab the lead on the stroke of half-time. Following a period of pressure, the ball broke kindly to Ryan Masterson on the edge of the six-yard box, but he could only shoot harmlessly over the crossbar when he should have at least tested Brown in the Glenavon goal, and so it remained scoreless at the break.
The away side did grab the lead just two minutes after the restart. Andrade’s low shot with his right foot was very accurate and carried enough pace to beat the dive of Brown and nestle in the bottom corner.
Fitzpatrick might have hit back for Glenavon on 56 minutes when he was picked out by Scannell with a cross from the left, but the number nine’s header went over the top.
The Lurgan Blues came even closer to equalising three minutes later. When Devine came off his line and failed to hold a cross, he was left stranded, and Kerr latched onto the loose ball and fired a shot goalward. Loughgall had their captain Ben Murdock to thank for preserving their lead, as he got back to his own goal line and cleared Kerr’s effort.
Scannell wasted a glorious opportunity to draw Glenavon level in the 68th minute. Bradley played a pass out to Fitzpatrick on the right, and he in turn picked Scannell out with a cross. The Northern Ireland U19 international looked certain to score, but in the end he sent his shot over the crossbar from point-blank range.
Andrade found himself in a great position for Loughgall on 75 minutes on the right side of the Glenavon box. He appeared to miss-hit the ball, sending it straight into the arms of Brown when he could have squared it for a teammate.
Fitzpatrick again went close for Glenavon a minute later, this time sending a diving header narrowly wide of the target.
Two Loughgall substitutes were involved in an attack on 77 minutes. Nathaniel Ferris saw his effort saved by Brown. Patton followed up but couldn’t direct his shot on goal.
Patton was to make no mistake nine minutes later when presented with another opportunity on the rebound, however. This time it was Maciulaitis who had the initial shot. Brown did well to save it, and he almost made it a stunning double stop by getting something on Patton’s follow-up, but the ball just squirmed under the goalkeeper’s body and into the net, doubling the Championship side’s lead in the process.
Garrett looked to pull one back for Glenavon in the final minute of normal time when he cleverly evaded a couple of tackles to create space for a shot from just outside the box, but his right-foot effort went over the bar.
Glenavon finally did get on the scoresheet in the third minute of injury time when substitute Malone found the net from close range, but by that stage it was clear that the goal would be nothing more than a consolation, and referee Ross Dunlop blew his whistle moments later to confirm Loughgall’s victory.
Glenavon will look to get over the bitter disappointment of this cup exit by bouncing back against Dungannon Swifts in a Premiership match at Mourneview Park on Saturday (8th October) afternoon. The Lurgan Blues currently occupy eighth place in the table, three spots above the Swifts, but with only three points separating the sides, it’s vitally important for Gary Hamilton’s men to secure all three points. Kick-off will be at 3pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – John Mairs
BALL SPONSOR – The Aiken Family in Memory of Henry Aiken
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Kyle Savage
Glenavon: 1. Rory Brown (GK), 2. Conor Kerr, 3. Micheal Glynn, 7. Matthew Snoddy, 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 17. Conor McCloskey, 20. Conor Scannell, 23. Daniel Wallace (C), 28. Robert Garrett, 30. Sean Ward, 80. Eoin Bradley
Subs: 29. Jack Malone (for 17. Conor McCloskey, 55’), 26. Joshua Doyle (for 80. Eoin Bradley, 71’), 22. Sean Carey (for 2. Conor Kerr, 71’), 21. Aaron Prendergast (for 14. Matthew Snoddy, 81’); not used: 8. Michael O’Connor, 15. Harry Lynch, 16. Isaac Baird
Goals: 29. Jack Malone (90+3’)
Yellow cards: 2. Conor Kerr (60’)
Loughgall: 20. Daniel Devine (GK), 3. Jamie Rea, 4. Ben Murdock (C), 7. Pablo Andrade, 8. Alan Teggart, 10. Andrew Hoey, 11. Nedas Maciulaitis, 12. Robbie Norton, 15. Luke Cartwright, 19. Aaron Walsh, 22. Ryan Masterson
Subs: 17. Jackson Holmes (for 12. Robbie Norton, 69’), 9. Nathaniel Ferris (for 22. Ryan Masterson, 69’), 14. Mark Patton (for 10. Andrew Hoey, 73’), 6. Tiernan Kelly (for 7. Pablo Andrade, 83’); not used: 1. Berraat Turker (GK), 5. Jordan Lyttle, 18. Eoin Teggart
Goals: 7. Pablo Andrade (47’), 14. Mark Patton (86’)
Yellow cards: 12. Robbie Norton (45+1’), 11. Nedas Maciulaitis
Referee: Ross Dunlop