Glenavon 2 Dergview 1

BetMcLean League Cup, 1st Round

Mourneview Park, Lurgan

Tuesday 3rd October 2023

Glenavon advanced to the second round of the BetMcLean League Cup after a remarkable extra-time comeback against Dergview.

Centre-half Sean Ward scored in the 120th and 123rd minutes to cancel out Marc Kirk’s 111th minute opener. It was a frenetic finish to a match which never rose above the mediocre.

New Glenavon boss Stephen McDonnell selected a strong starting eleven. Although Peter Campbell was absent with flu, both Niall Quinn and Jamie McDonagh returned. Andy Mooney was replaced, in the centre forward position by Stephen Teggart. Conor Kerr, usually a right back, played on the left.

Glenavon dominated possession for long periods but lacked penetration. Dergview which defended in numbers, threatened from set piece situations.

The home side breached the visitors’ defence in only the eighth minute when Jamie McDonagh found Teggart with a brilliant through ball. The former Portadown midfielder forced goalkeeper Shane O’Gara to make a diving save only for the referee to halt the play for a handling offence.

Jack Malone found space behind the Dergview defence but shot narrowly wide after he had been released by Niall Quinn.

Glenavon continued to push forward. Conor Kerr’s weak effort was saved; McCloskey shot straight at O’Gara; Quinn’s longrange attempt was easily gathered; and McCloskey’s free kick attempt was deflected wide.

Despite being forced to defend for the first 36 minutes, Dergview almost took the lead when the impressive Jack Parke crossed from the right and Padraig Lynch headed narrowly wide.

Jamie McDonagh might have done better when he found space 10 yards out. His right foot shot was just off target.

Dergview offered more of an attacking threat during the second half. Niall McGinley dribbled the ball for 20 yards before shooting narrowly wide of an upright.

At the other end Stephen Teggart drilled the ball across the edge of the sixyard box but Jamie McDonagh failed to get a touch. When Dergview attempted to clear the danger McDonagh latched onto a misplaced pass only to shoot narrowly wide.

Dergview’s Jamie Browne got his head to Niall Fielding’s corner but directed the ball to the wrong side of the post.

Browne found Lynch on the edge of the sixyard area, but Sean Ward blocked the striker’s goal bound shot.

In the 77th minute Glenavon looked to have broken the deadlock when Isaac Baird let fly from 30 yards. However, the ball hit the angle of post and crossbar and was cleared.

As the second half entered added time, Stephen Teggart tested O’Gara with a shot from an acute angle whilst, at the other end, Shane McMonagle shot over the crossbar from point blank range following another penetrating Fielding corner-kick.

Early in extra-time, following good work by substitute Cohen Henderson, Teggart shot high and wide.

Dergview substitute Ethan Nethery had two reasonable opportunities within sixty seconds. First, he shot over the crossbar and second, he hit the target but was denied by a diving Rory Brown.

The deadlock was broken in the second period of extra-time. Niall Fielding tested the home defence with another excellent corner. Rory Brown saved on the line following a melee. When the ball broke loose, Marc Kirk, standing inside the six-yard box, drilled a right foot shot high into the net. Kirk and his team-mates celebrated enmasse in front of the main grandstand.

Glenavon responded by pushing extra bodies forward but continued to struggle to create clear cut chances. At the other end, Kirk almost snatched a second when he shot wide.

In the 119th minute, the home side was awarded a corner-kick. Goalkeeper Rory Brown went forward in the hope of snatching a dramatic equaliser. When the ball was played along the edge of the penalty-area, Sean Ward let fly with his right foot. The speculative volley somehow evaded a posse of defenders and flew low past O’Gara into the net. It was a fabulous strike.

As extra-time entered a third minute of injury-time, Sean Ward took centre stage once again. This time the veteran defender cut in from the right and unloaded a sweet left foot shot which nestled in the opposite corner of the net. O’Gara was so taken by surprise that he did not even attempt a save. Cue exaggerated celebrations on the half-way line as the entire Glenavon team surrounded the unlikely hero. It had been a hugely dramatic finish to a drab cup tie.

GLENAVON: Brown, Quinn, Wallace, Ward, Kerr, Snoddy, Malone, Baird, Teggart, C. McCloskey, J. McDonagh, SUBS: Purvis (not used), Prendergast for McDonagh (82 mins), Mulvenna for Baird (82 mins), Davidson (not used), Nesbitt for McCloskey (65 mins), Henderson for Quinn (91 mins).

Yellow Cards: McDonagh (35’), Snoddy (119’)

DERGVIEW: O’Gara, Parke, Falconer, Corrigan, Burns, Fielding, McGinley, Browne, S. McDonagh, McMonagle, Lynch, SUBS: Groogan (not used), McLaughlin (not used), Kirk for Gibson (106 mins), Gibson for S. McDonagh (73 mins), Nethery for McGinley (82 mins), Devlin for Gibson (96 mins), D. McCloskey (not used).

Yellow Cards: Fielding (90+2’), Parke (102’)

REFEREE: Ben McMaster

Thanks to our match sponsors
Match: Bluebell Cottage: Holywood and Moira
Ball: PIPS Hope & Support, donate
MoM: Sean Ward sponsored by Kris Lindsay