GLENAVON PERFORMS MAGNIFICENTLY TO DEFEAT COLERAINE
Coleraine 2 Glenavon 3
BetMcLean League Cup, Quarter-final
The Showgrounds, Coleraine
Tuesday 5th December 2023
An understrength Glenavon team defeated Coleraine 3-2 at the Showgrounds to reach the BetMcLean League Cup semi-finals.
Jack Malone (31 mins), Aaron Prendergast (45 mins) and Cohen Henderson (88 mins) scored the visitors’ goals. Dean Jarvis (34 mins) and Conor McKendry (90+3 mins) replied for the home club.
The Lurgan Blues were without no fewer than five defenders – Danny Wallace (suspended), Sean Ward (suspended), Niall Quinn (injured), Aaron Rogers (injured) and Mark Haughey (injured). Stephen McDonnell brought Calum Birney into the team for his first start in two months and asked midfielder Tiernan Mulvenna to play in the left-back position.
Despite the unavailability of so many players, Glenavon acquitted itself superbly. The makeshift defence neutered Coleraine’s two dangermen, Jamie Glackin and Conor McKendry, the midfield secured a significant share of possession, and the forward-line ran the home defence ragged.
Coleraine centre-forward David McDaid shot wide in the opening minutes. At the other end Calum Birney headed Peter Campbell’s free kick past a post. Then Campbell himself volleyed over the crossbar from a corner-kick.
Jamie Glackin, the Bannsiders’ scorer when the clubs met at Mourneview Park on Saturday, directed a weak shot straight into Rory Brown’s arms.
In the 31st minute Glenavon took the lead. Conor McCloskey found Tiernan Mulvenna in a centre-field position and the former Crewe United man picked out Jack Malone with a defence-splitting pass. The one-time Derry City player beat Gareth Deane with a magnificent right foot shot which arrowed high into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later Coleraine equalised. Graham Kelly flicked on Lee Lynch’s free kick and Dean Jarvis beat Rory Brown with a low shot from inside the six-yard box.
In the 37th minute Glenavon squandered a gilt-edged chance to go back in front. Peter Campbell broke on the right and picked out Aaron Prendergast with a fabulous cross. The 19-year-old Belfast man made a clean connection from 12 yards, but his shot flew over the crossbar.
A minute later Jamie Glackin picked out Conor McKendry on the right. The talented winger, well shepherded by the excellent Tiernan Mulvenna, dribbled the ball into the penalty area but shot against the side-netting.
Just before the half time break Glenavon scored its second goal. Conor McCloskey found Campbell on the right with a pinpoint cross-field pass. The Richhill man made a surging run but was stopped by two defenders and appeared to have lost possession. However, the ball broke kindly into his path, and he unloaded an accurate left foot shot from 15 yards. Deane made a fine save, but Aaron Prendergast poked the rebound over the line.
The second half, like the first 45 minutes, started slowly. Peter Campbell, Glenavon’s best attacking player, broke on the right and crossed for Jack Malone to shoot straight into Deane’s arms.
Aaron Jarvis shot wildly over the crossbar.
Campbell almost dispossessed Graham Kelly inside the penalty area but the Coleraine defender managed to clear the ball.
When Lee Lynch’s goal attempt was deflected wide for a corner, the ball fell to Conor McKendry. The dangerous winger let fly from 10 yards but, with Brown beaten, Matthew Snoddy made a brilliant clearance.
In the 69th minute McKendry cut in from the right and shot narrowly wide.
With the play becoming increasingly frenetic, Peter Campbell shot wide.
Both sides made substitutions. When Stephen Teggart replaced Calum Birney, Isaac Baird moved into the middle of the back four. Cohen Henderson came on for the industrious Aaron Prendergast. Coleraine introduced Jack O’Mahony, a former Glenavon midfielder, and Lee McLaughlin, a summer trialist for the Lurgan men.
In the 88th minute the visitors scored a third goal. Stephen Teggart found Peter Campbell just inside the penalty area. The brilliant winger used his body to hold off a defender and then pushed the ball into the path of the onrushing Cohen Henderson. The 17-year-old beat Deane with a rising right-foot drive from 10 yards. A fabulous strike.
Coleraine regained a foothold in the game three minutes into added time. Conor McKendry hit a cross cum shot from the right which sailed over Rory Brown’s head into the top corner of the net.
Straight from the re-start the ball fell to Ciaran O’Hara. The Coleraine substitute let fly from the edge of the penalty area. Only a combination of Rory Brown’s right hand and the post kept the ball out.
Referee Chris Morrison blew the final whistle after six and a half minutes of added time.
Glenavon thoroughly deserved its victory. A combination of non-stop running, good football and excellent finishing delivered the club’s best result in a knock-out cup tie for over six seasons.
COLERAINE: Deane, Kane, D. Jarvis, Kelly, A. Jarvis, McKendry, McDaid, Farren, Lynch, Glackin, J. Wallace, SUBS: Gallagher (not used), Cole (not used), O’Mahony for McDaid (83 mins), McLaughlin for A. Jarvis (83 mins), Devine (not used), Gaston (not used), O’Hara for J. Wallace (75 mins).
Yellow Cards: Wallace (58’), Glackin (78’), Farren.
GLENAVON: Brown, Snoddy, Mulvenna, Kerr, Birney, Garrett, Baird, McCloskey, Prendergast, Campbell, Malone. SUBS: Purvis (not used), Shiel (not used), Mooney (not used), Teggart for Birney (70 mins), McDonagh for McCloskey (89 mins), Henderson for Prendergast (75 mins).
Yellow Cards: None.
REFEREE: Christopher Morrison.