Loughgall 3-1 Glenavon

Sports Direct Premiership

Lakeview Park

Saturday 13th April 2024

Match report by Calum Jones

Glenavon were soundly beaten 3-1 by Loughgall at Lakeview Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Villagers grabbed the lead 15 minutes into the game when Ryan Waide converted after Caolan Loughran had headed Alberto Balde’s corner kick against the crossbar.

Loughgall doubled their lead three minutes before the half-time break when Andrew Hoey’s low shot took a wicked deflection off Glenavon full-back David Toure on its way past goalkeeper Gareth Deane and into the net.

Glenavon did manage to pull a goal back in the 81st minute when Loughran headed into his own net, and when the big defender was shown a straight red card seven minutes later for an incident involving Glenavon substitute Darren Clarke, it looked like the Lurgan Blues were in with a real shout of salvaging a point.

However, it was Loughgall who were to kill the game off when they scored a third goal through substitute Benji Magee in the second minute of injury time, sending them five points clear of the Lurgan Blues.

There was a lively start to the contest, and Glenavon did have a decent chance to get their noses in front in the eighth minute. Gavin Hodgins charged down an attempted clearance from Loughgall captain Ben Murdock to create a shooting opportunity for himself. The young striker’s low shot was saved by the boot of Berraat Turker.

Turker’s opposite number Deane made a super save at the other end of the pitch six minutes later, diving down to his right to push Hoey’s right-foot shot round the post.

The home side did take the lead from the resulting corner, however. Andrade sent over an inswinger from the left which Loughran met with his head. The centre-half’s effort crashed off the crossbar. The ball rebounded kindly for Waide, who lashed a left-foot shot into the net from six yards out.

Stephen Teggart might have responded for Glenavon on 17 minutes when Hodgins and Niall Quinn combined to tee up the midfielder for a shot from the right side of the penalty area. Teggart ultimately sliced his effort wide of the near post.

Nathaniel Ferris got in behind the Glenavon defence in the 27th minute. Deane was alert and came off his line quickly to smother the striker’s shot.

Just a couple of minutes later, Turker came sprinting out of his goal to get to the ball just ahead of Hodgins. The Loughgall goalkeeper was closer to the halfway line than his 18-yard line when he reached the ball, and if truth be told, Hodgins may well have got to the ball first if he’d shown a bit more courage.

Hodgins was involved again on 37 minutes. The forward couldn’t quite get on the end of a low cross which was driven in from the right by Teggart.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 42nd minute. Balde played a low pass into the feet of Ferris inside the box. The striker brought the ball under control before laying it off for Hoey. The former Glenavon man struck a low first-time shot from inside the ‘D’ which came off the leg of Toure, wrongfooting Deane and nestling in the bottom corner.

Loughgall might even have killed the game off in first-half injury time when Ferris got in again. He slid to hit a low shot which rolled wide of the left post.

Glenavon thought they had halved their deficit 10 minutes after the restart when Hodgins tapped in at the back post from a low Doona cross from the left, but the linesman raised his flag to signal that the number nine was offside.

Jordan Gibson saw his shot from 20 yards out drift wide of Deane’s right-hand post on 57 minutes.

The Villagers had a decent opportunity to add to their lead in the 64th minute when Murdock got on the end of a corner from the left, but the Loughgall captain couldn’t direct his header on target.

The Lurgan Blues finally got on the scoresheet with 80 minutes on the clock. A slick passing move involving Matthew Snoddy, substitute Lido Lotefa and Quinn resulted in Toure having the ball laid off to him on the right corner of the Loughgall penalty area. The right-back delivered a first-time cross with his right foot. Loughran got his head to the ball just inside the six-yard box, but he got the contact all wrong, and only succeeded in diverting into his own net.

In the 85th minute, Danny Wallace really should have tested Turker in the Loughgall goal when he met a Quinn corner with his head, but the defender sent his effort wide of the target.

Loughran was shown a straight red card in the 88th minute. He hacked down Glenavon substitute Clarke just a few yards outside the box, and when the two players had a disagreement in the aftermath of the free kick being awarded, Loughran pushed his head towards Clarke’s, giving referee Raymond Crangle little choice but to brandish the red card.

Seeing the home side go down to 10 men in the dying minutes of the game gave Glenavon hope that they might be able to find an equaliser, but instead it was the hosts who went on to seal the game by adding a third goal in the 92nd minute. Waide clipped a ball in behind the Glenavon defence for Magee to run onto. The substitute showed a cool head to slot past Deane and notch his 16th league goal of the season.

Dungannon Swifts’ 2-0 victory away to Newry City means Rodney McAree’s side move above Glenavon in the league standings. The Lurgan Blues now occupy fourth place in the bottom half of the table, 10th spot overall.

Tuesday night (16th April) will see Glenavon travel to the Warden Street Showgrounds to take on Ballymena United, who sit just one place, but 15 points, behind Stephen McDonnell’s side. Kick-off will be at 7:45pm.

Loughgall: 1. Berraat Turker (GK), 4. Ben Murdock (C), 6. Tiernan Kelly, 7. Pablo Andrade, 9. Nathaniel Ferris, 10. Andrew Hoey, 13. Jordan Gibson, 15. Luke Cartwright, 18. Alberto Balde Almanzar, 23. Caolan Loughran, 39. Ryan Waide

Subs: 21. Benjamin Magee (for 18. Alberto Balde Almanzar, 61’), 12. Robbie Norton (for 6. Tiernan Kelly, 79’), 8. Alan Teggart (for 13. Jordan Gibson, 79’), 5. Oran Brogan (for 10. Andrew Hoey, 79’), 2. Mark Carson (for 7. Pablo Andrade, 85’); not used: 20. Daniel Devine (GK), 11. Caolan McAleer

Goals: 39. Ryan Waide (15’), 10. Andrew Hoey (42’), 21. Benjamin Magee (90+2’)

Yellow cards: 6. Tiernan Kelly (24’), 13. Jordan Gibson (36’), 18. Alberto Balde Almanzar (54’), 9. Nathaniel Ferris (87’)

Red cards: 23. Caolan Loughran (88’)

Glenavon: 44. Gareth Deane (GK), 5. David Toure, 6. Mark Haughey (C), 7. Matthew Snoddy, 8. Jack Malone, 9. Gavin Hodgins, 11. Niall Quinn, 20. Stephen Teggart, 23. Daniel Wallace, 32. Len O’Sullivan, 39. James Doona

Subs: 28. Robert Garrett (for 8. Jack Malone, 69’), 2. Conor Kerr (for 6. Mark Haughey, 69’), 99. Lido Lotefa (for 39. James Doona, 75’), 25. Darren Clarke (for 9. Gavin Hodgins, 77’); not used: 13. Mark Byrne (GK), 24. Jamie Doran, 30. Sean Ward

Goals: Own goal (23. Caolan Loughgran, 82’)

Yellow cards: 11. Niall Quinn (80’), 32. Len O’Sullivan (90+7’)

Referee: Raymond Crangle