Coleraine 1-0 Glenavon

Sports Direct Premiership

Coleraine Showgrounds

Saturday 27th January 2024

Match report by Calum Jones

Glenavon slipped down to ninth place in the Premiership standings after they were beaten 1-0 at the Coleraine Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Jamie McGonigle scored a late winner for the Bannsiders to end their seven-game losing streak.

McGonigle threatened early on for the hosts when he was slipped in on the right side of the box by Conor McKendry. The striker hit the target with a low shot from a tight angle. Glenavon goalkeeper Gareth Deane was able to make the save.

The Lurgan Blues then had three half-hearted penalty appeals in the space of a few minutes. Referee Shane Andrews wasn’t interested in any of them.

Darren Clarke cut inside from the right flank on 15 minutes. The Glenavon winger’s left-foot shot from distance went wide of the far post.

At the other end, McGonigle found the target with a low shot in the 22nd minute, but it was tamely struck, and Deane made a comfortable save.

Clarke produced some great play down the Glenavon right a minute later. Eventually the ball fell to Gavin Hodgins, but the young striker could only send his volley well over the crossbar.

The home side won a free kick in a dangerous position on 25 minutes. Josh Carson struck the shot, curling a left-foot effort which didn’t go too far off target.

James Doona got more involved in the game as the first half wore on. The Glenavon winger saw a shot deflected behind for a corner on the half-hour mark, then he found Jack Malone with a low cross from the left three minutes later. Malone’s volley went wide of the near post. Doona had another effort in the 34th minute, but this one went well off target.

McGonigle got his head to a cross from the left and glanced a header goalward in the 36th minute. Deane had to stretch, but he managed to make the save.

Peter Campbell hit the target with a well-struck shot from just outside the ‘D’ on 38 minutes. Brown got down to make the save, and so it remained scoreless at the break.

McGonigle had a great chance to open the scoring for the hosts four minutes after the restart when he got in behind the Glenavon defence, but his left-foot shot ended up going narrowly over the crossbar.

Glenavon gifted the ball to McKendry and sent him through on goal in the 52nd minute. Deane did well to deny the forward.

Malone released Doona down the left flank with a superb diagonal ball on 64 minutes. The Glenavon winger fizzed a ball across the six-yard box, but Hodgins couldn’t manage to get on the end of it.

Two substitutes combined for the Lurgan Blues to almost break the deadlock in the 76th minute when Jamie Doran found Lido Lotefa with a low cross from the right. Lotefa hit the target with his shot, but Brown was equal to the effort, diving to his left to palm the ball away from goal.

Another Glenavon substitute, Conor Kerr, did well at the other end of the pitch seven minutes later when he cut out a dangerous low cross from the Coleraine right.

It looked as though the game was destined to end in a draw, which probably would have been a fair result, only for the Bannsiders to snatch victory in the 89th minute. McGonigle got to the ball just ahead of David Toure close to the halfway line and played a one-two with substitute Lee Lynch. This sent McGonigle racing clear on the left flank, and the forward carried the ball into the penalty area before hitting a side-foot shot with his right foot. Deane did manage to get something on the ball, but the Glenavon goalkeeper couldn’t prevent it from crossing the line.

Glenavon’s defeat by Coleraine, coupled with Loughgall’s win over Ballymena United, means that the Lurgan Blues have fallen to ninth place in the league table.

Attention turns to the Irish Cup next weekend, as Glenavon travel to Inver Park to take on Larne on Saturday (3rd February) in a sixth-round tie. Kick-off will be at 3pm.

Coleraine: 13. Rory Brown (GK), 3. Dean Jarvis, 5. Graham Kelly, 7. Conor McKendry, 8. Stephen Lowry, 9. Matthew Shevlin, 11. Joshua Carson, 14. Kieran Farren, 15. Stephen O’Donnell (C), 18. Jack Scott, 19. Jamie McGonigle

Subs: 16. Lee Lynch (for 14. Kieran Farren, 67’), 6. Aaron Jarvis (for 8. Stephen Lowry, 77’), 29. Andrew Scott (for 7. Conor McKendry, 77’); not used: 51. Cathair Donnelly (GK), 10. David McDaid, 21. Jack O’Mahony, 31. Senan Devine

Goals: 19. Jamie McGonigle (89’)

Yellow cards: N/A

Glenavon: 44. Gareth Deane (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 5. David Toure, 8. Jack Malone, 9. Gavin Hodgins, 10. Peter Campbell, 11. Niall Quinn (C), 16. Isaac Baird, 25. Darren Clarke, 28. Robert Garrett, 39. James Doona

Subs: 2. Conor Kerr (for 4. Calum Birney, 59’), 99. Lido Lotefa (for 9. Gavin Hodgins, 66’), 7. Matthew Snoddy (for 28. Robert Garrett, 72’), 24. Jamie Doran (for 25. Darren Clarke, 72’); not used: 13. Mark Byrne (GK), 6. Mark Haughey, 20. Stephen Teggart

Goals: N/A

Yellow cards: N/A

Referee: Shane Andrews