Glenavon 3-2 Newry City

Sports Direct Premiership

Mourneview Park

Saturday 6th April 2024

Match report by Calum Jones

Stephen Teggart’s 90th-minute goal saw Glenavon come out on top against Newry City in a thrilling game which was played in stormy conditions.

The substitute found the bottom corner with a left-foot shot which beat the dive of goalkeeper Conor Mitchell to deny bottom club Newry what might have been a precious point.

The Lurgan Blues took the lead in the 25th minute when sponsors’ man of the match James Doona caught Mitchell out with a stunning free kick from 30 yards.

The away side’s equaliser shortly after the hour mark was another super strike, Adam Salley lashing into the net from 25 yards out.

The high standard of goals continued when substitute Gavin Hodgins restored Glenavon’s lead on 69 minutes with an excellent finish across Mitchell.

Newry drew themselves level for a second time in the 77th minute. Gareth Deane produced a superb save to keep out Darren King’s acrobatic effort, but the goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Barney McKeown from heading in the rebound.

As the game entered the dying minutes, Newry looked set to secure a draw, until Teggart’s late heroics snatched victory for Glenavon.

The first meaningful effort on goal came on eight minutes when Salley shot from a narrow angle after breaking through on the right side of the penalty area. Deane was able to make the save.

Jack Malone hit the target with a curling effort from 20 yards three minutes later. Mitchell made a brilliant save to deny the Glenavon midfielder, diving up to his left to get a hand to the ball and push it behind for a corner.

Glenavon captain Mark Haughey came even closer to breaking the deadlock for the Lurgan Blues from the resulting Niall Quinn corner when his header beat Mitchell in the Newry goal, only for the ball to be cleared off the line by a City defender.

The opening goal did arrive 10 minutes later, and it was an absolute cracker. With a free kick having been awarded some 30 yards from goal, Quinn put his hand on the ball to steady it for Doona in the blustery conditions. Mitchell didn’t seem to be quite set in his goal when Doona suddenly whipped a sensational shot inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.

At the other end of the pitch in the 33rd minute, Calum Birney made a last-gasp block to deny Ciaran O’Connor. When Deane gathered the ball, he immediately launched a counterattack by releasing Doona on the left flank. The winger tried to pick out Hodgins with a low cross, but the ball was played just behind the young forward.

There was a moment of controversy in the 42nd minute when Salley got in behind Birney and went down under a challenge from Deane. Glenavon supporters feared that Keith Kennedy was going to point to the penalty spot. Instead, the referee produced his yellow card to book Salley for diving.

The scoreline remained 1-0 at half-time, and for the first quarter of an hour in the second half, despite their lead being a slender one, Glenavon looked comfortable. The complexion of the game changed when the Lurgan Blues made a triple substitution, however, with Mark Haughey, Robert Garrett and Matthew Snoddy making way for Sean Ward, Jamie Doran and Teggart.

Newry found themselves level just a few minutes later. Salley battled his way past David Toure on the left and carried the ball infield before unleashing a thumping shot from 20 yards which left Deane rooted to the spot as it flashed into the net.

Two Glenavon substitutes combined to devastating effect to put the home side back in front in the 70th minute. Teggart played a pass over the top from deep on the right to release Hodgins. The 18-year-old striker took one touch to carry the ball into the right corner of the box before striking a brilliant shot with his second touch across the dive of Mitchell and into the far corner.

The lead lasted for just seven minutes. Newry substitute Jamie McDonagh delivered a free kick from a central area. Captain King connected with a spectacular first-time acrobatic volley which looked to be destined for the net until Deane sprung up to his right to pull off a fantastic save. The Glenavon ‘keeper was helpless, however, as the ball dropped, and McKeown pounced to head in a second leveller for the visitors.

City might even have got their noses in front on 81 minutes when Salley got a shot away following a McDonagh cross from the right. Toure did well to block Salley’s strike.

Toure was involved again four minutes later at the other end of the pitch. The defender had a pop at goal from outside the area, but his shot cleared the crossbar by some distance.

The winning goal was scored in the final minute of normal time. In a reverse of the combination which produced Glenavon’s second goal, this time Hodgins was the provider for Teggart. Ward tried to clip a pass over the top to find Doona, but McDonagh cut it out with his head. When the ball fell in the penalty area, Hodgins latched onto it before cleverly turning Adam Carroll and slipping a pass out to Teggart on the right. Teggart drove a first-time shot with his left foot towards the far corner. Mitchell managed to get fingertips to the ball, but he couldn’t prevent it from finding the bottom corner.

There was one final threat from Newry in stoppage time when McDonagh drove over a dangerous delivery from a free kick on the left, but Deane did well to catch the ball and ensure Glenavon collected all three points.

Next Saturday (13th April) sees the Lurgan Blues travel to Lakeview Park to take on Loughgall. The Villagers are currently in seventh spot, two places and just two points above Glenavon in ninth. Kick-off at Lakeview will be at 3pm.

MATCH SPONSOR – The Top Team Syndicate

BALL SPONSOR – Philip Hawthorne

MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Spirit of 2014 Glenavon Supporters Club

Glenavon: 44. Gareth Deane (GK), 4. Calum Birney, 5. David Toure, 6. Mark Haughey (C), 7. Matthew Snoddy, 8. Jack Malone, 11. Niall Quinn, 21. Aaron Prendergast, 28. Robert Garrett, 32. Len O’Sullivan, 39. James Doona

Subs: 9. Gavin Hodgins (for 21. Aaron Prendergast, 14’), 20. Stephen Teggart (for 7. Matthew Snoddy, 57’), 30. Sean Ward (for 6. Mark Haughey, 57’), 24. Jamie Doran (for 28. Robert Garrett, 57’), 23. Daniel Wallace (for 4. Calum Birney, 82’); not used: 13. Mark Byrne (GK), 17. Conor McCloskey

Goals: 39. James Doona (25’), 9. Gavin Hodgins (70’), 20. Stephen Teggart (90’)

Yellow cards: 4. Calum Birney (67’), 30. Sean Ward (88’)

Newry City: 12. Conor Mitchell (GK), 2. Darren King (C), 3. Noel Healy, 5. Barney McKeown, 6. Francis McCaffrey, 7. Ciaran O’Connor, 8. Adam Carroll, 11. John McGovern, 14. Adam Salley, 27. Alex O’Brien, 38. Georgie Poynton

Subs: 42. Jamie McDonagh (for 11. John McGovern, 59’), 44. Brandon Doyle (for 7. Ciaran O’Connor, 59’), 16. Liam Bagnall (for 6. Francis McCaffrey, 74’); not used: 1. Steven Maguire (GK), 18. Stephen Moan, 36. Jordan Mooney, 49. Paul McGovern

Goals: 14. Adam Salley (62’), 5. Barney McKeown (77’)

Yellow cards: 8. Adam Carroll (30’), 14. Adam Salley (42’), 6. Francis McCaffrey (45+1’)

Referee: Keith Kennedy