Glenavon 5–0 Dungannon Swifts
Danske Bank Premiership
Saturday 8th October 2022
Match report by Calum Jones
Glenavon bounced back from their midweek League Cup disappointment in style by thrashing Dungannon Swifts 5-0 at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon.
After a feisty first half, in which referee Jamie Robinson brandished no fewer than six yellow cards, including one for Swifts manager Dean Shiels, had finished scoreless, the goals began to flow in the second period, with substitute Conor McCloskey breaking the deadlock on 50 minutes.
Eoin Bradley doubled the lead for the Lurgan Blues four minutes later, before man of the match Isaac Baird scored a screamer of a third a minute after the hour mark.
Matthew Fitzpatrick grabbed a fourth for the home side in the 67th minute, while young Aaron Prendergast wrapped up a commanding victory by firing home a fifth goal on 83 minutes.
The first half-chance of the afternoon fell the way of Dungannon’s Joe McCready on three minutes. He was picked out with a cross from the right flank by Caolin Coyle, but the big striker could only head over the crossbar.
Fitzpatrick thought he had put Glenavon ahead in the sixth minute when he found the net following a low Jack Malone cross, only for the referee’s assistant to raise her flag and rule the effort out for offside.
Former Glenavon defender Caolan Marron did well to head clear a dangerous Peter Campbell cross on 15 minutes.
Campbell was involved again 10 minutes later when he went down in the box under a challenge from Garry Breen, but referee Robinson was uninterested in the penalty appeals.
Rory Brown, who was awarded the Glenavon player of the month award for September following the final whistle, was forced into action in the 38th minute when John Scott got his effort on target at the back post, but the goalkeeper was equal to the shot.
Brown had to make a trickier save four minutes later when Swifts captain Ryan Mayseconnected with a half-volley close to the penalty spot following a cross from the right from Rhyss Campbell. The Glenavon keeper dived down to his left to make the stop.
The final effort of the first half came from McCloskey, who was introduced as a substitute when Micheal Glynn picked up an injury. The winger’s shot was straight at Dungannongoalkeeper Declan Dunne, who made a routine save, and so the game remained scoreless at the break.
McCloskey wasn’t to be denied five minutes after the restart. Conor Scannell delivered a freekick from deep and Eoin Bradley jumped to challenge with Dunne. The Swifts goalkeeper failed to catch the ball and it fell to McCloskey, who was left with the simple task of finding the net from just outside the six-yard box.
Glenavon’s second arrived just four minutes later. Malone sent a ball over the top for Bradley to run onto. When the veteran striker didn’t elect to head directly for goal some Glenavon supporters thought the chance had gone, but Bradley calmly stepped inside Marron and curled a low finish into the far bottom corner with his left foot to double the advantage.
The away side tried to respond on 59 minutes. Mayse picked Campbell out with a cross, but the forward’s header was straight at Brown in the Glenavon goal.
Baird was rightfully named sponsors’ man of the match, and he scored the goal his all-round performance deserved in the 61st minute. Fitzpatrick came within a whisker of scoring when his point-blank header crashed back off the crossbar following Scannell’s cross from the right. Breen headed clear of his own penalty area, but it fell to Baird some 20 yards from goal and he met the bouncing ball with a thumping left-foot strike that flew into the top corner, giving Dunne absolutely no chance.
Fitzpatrick did manage to add his name to the scoresheet six minutes after Baird’s goal. Scannell played a pass back to Conor Kerr on the right flank and the full-back curled a cross into the box. Dunne, Breen and Fitzpatrick all jumped to challenge for the ball, and when it bounced Fitzpatrick was quickest to react, turning it into the net to grab Glenavon’s fourth goal of the afternoon.
By this stage the Lurgan Blues were rampant, and Scannell almost forced home a fifth goal a minute later. After Fitzpatrick had slipped him through, Scannell found the target with a low shot, but Dunne managed to deny the young forward by diving to his left and palming the ball away.
There was still time for a fifth to be scored, however. Substitute Prendergast battled his way past Breen in the 83rd minute and raced towards goal before striking a fierce shot with his right foot from the edge of the box. Dunne managed to get fingertips to the ball, but he couldn’t prevent it from finding the back of the net, and so a commanding and much-needed victory was sealed for Glenavon.
On Tuesday night (11th October) Gary Hamilton’s men will have an opportunity to avenge their League Cup defeat to Loughgall, as they welcome the Villagers to Mourneview Park for the second successive week, this time for a Mid Ulster Cup quarter-final tie. Kick-off will be at 7.45pm.
MATCH SPONSOR – Portadown Foot Clinic, Church St./City of Armagh GSC
BALL SPONSOR – Carla Lockhart
MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Brownlow House
Glenavon: 1. Rory Brown, 2. Conor Kerr, 3. Micheal Glynn, 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 10. Peter Campbell, 16. Isaac Baird, 20. Conor Scannell, 23. Daniel Wallace (C), 29. JackMalone, 30. Sean Ward, 80. Eoin Bradley
Subs: 17. Conor McCloskey (for 3. Micheal Glynn, 43’), 26. Joshua Doyle (for 80. Eoin Bradley, 70’), 21. Aaron Prendergast (for 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick, 70’), 7. Matthew Snoddy(for 16. Isaac Baird, 80’), 28. Robert Garrett (for 29. Jack Malone, 80’); not used: 22. Sean Carey, 24. Jamie Doran
Goals: 17. Conor McCloskey (50’), 80. Eoin Bradley (54’), 16. Isaac Baird (61’), 9. Matthew Fitzpatrick (67’), 21. Aaron Prendergast (83’)
Yellow cards: 23. Daniel Wallace (21’), 10. Peter Campbell (29’)
Dungannon Swifts: 1. Declan Dunne (GK), 2. Caolin Coyle, 3. John Scott, 4. Garry Breen, 5. Caolan Marron, 6. James Knowles, 8. Ryan Mayse (C), 9. Joseph McCready, 11. RhyssCampbell, 17. Cahal McGinty, 27. Ethan McGee
Subs: 15. Ben Gallagher (for 9. Joseph McCready, 65’), 19. Marc Walsh (for 27. Ethan McGee, 65’), 22. Ben Cushnie (for 8. Ryan Mayse, 65’), 35. Mayowa Animasahun (for 3. John Scott, 83’), 42. Steven Scott (for 6. James Knowles, 83’); not used: 13. Adam Groogan(GK), 10. Michael O’Connor
Yellow cards: 4. Garry Breen (22’), 2. Caolin Coyle (28’), 17. Cahal McGinty (45’), 27. Ethan McGee (48’), 6. James Knowles (71’)
Referee: Jamie Robinson