Danske Bank Half Time Challenge

There will be a Danske Bank Half Time Challenge taking place throughout the season with the first one taking place at the Portadown v Glenavon game at Shamrock Park on 15 November.

There is £500 up for grabs for two fans (family members or friends) when they take part in a shooting competition at half time. Further details and the entry form can be found on the NIFL website here and is also being promoted in-branch by Danske Bank.

The successful applicants will be selected at random and notified on Thursday 13 November.

Result: Glentoran 2-4 Glenavon

Gary's definitely claiming this one! Photo by Alan Weir

Gary’s definitely claiming this one! Photo by Alan Weir

Shane McCabe sums up a great comeback win for Glenavon as he speaks to the Lurgan Mail’s Sports Editor Gary Ellis.Shane vid matchCurtis Allen put the hosts ahead in under 3 minutes when he beat Alan Blaney to the ball as he came in an attempt to collect Niall Henderson’s left wing free kick.

Shortly after Eoin Bradley and Gary Hamilton had failed to capitalise on good openings in the Glens box, a quick break from a Glenavon corner allowed Steven Gordon to play in Jordan Stewart and he finished with an excellent curling right foot shot past Blaney’s dive to make it 2-0.

It was looking bleak for the visitors at that stage but full credit to Glenavon as the players came storming back with what was initially credited as a hat trick from player-manager Hamilton to give the Lurgan Blues a 3-2 half-time lead. After the game Gary, with his customary honesty, credited the second goal to Rhys Marshall. “Rhys’s header was going in and I was about to tap it in to make sure when the defender got a touch and hit it into the roof of the net,”  the Glenavon striker told the press after the game.

There was no doubts about Hamilton’s first goal which came in the 34th minute when he smashed a right foot shot into the roof of the net after Kyle Neill had nodded Gareth McKeown’s deep cross on to Ciaran Caldwell. He laid the ball back to Hamilton to fire in an unstoppable shot from 8 yards.

Glenavon’s second goal was looking like a tap in for the boss from a yard out when Rhys Marshall appeared at the back post and nodded down a deep free kick from Neill but apparently the final touch was off a defender on the goal line.

Winkie Murphy rolls back the years as he out-jumps Stephen McAlorum.  Photo by Alan Weir

Winkie Murphy rolls back the years as he out-jumps Stephen McAlorum. Photo by Alan Weir

Caldwell went very close as he ran onto a chest down on the edge of the area from Winkie Murphy but his low shot flashed just wide of Morris’s left hand post.

Glenavon’s third goal came in first half stoppage time when the Glens defence failed to get the ball clear and Marshall got possession in the ‘D’ and slipped it to Hamilton on the right of the box. His shot took a deflection off Barry Holland that lifted it over Morris to take the visitors into the break 3-2 in front.

Glentoran were a shadow of the team that had stormed 2-0 in front inside 11 minutes of the first half and Glenavon could easily have extended the lead. Caldwell was unlucky on several occasions.

Kyle Neill scored the fourth goal to cap a great comeback win. Photo by Alan Weir

Kyle Neill scored the fourth goal to cap a great comeback win. Photo by Alan Weir

Kyle Neill made it 4-2 in the 72nd minute with an unstoppable left foot drive into the roof of the net as his run was picked out by a great ball over the top from Bradley. The former Glens player continued his run into the box and gave Elliott Morris no chance as he unleashed an unstoppable shot past the keeper at the near post.

Ciaran Caldwell was a powerhouse in the Glenavon midfield.  Photo by Alan Weir

Ciaran Caldwell was a powerhouse in the Glenavon midfield. Photo by Alan Weir

Morris made a great save to turn away a powerful free kick from Bradley in the 83rd minute and the Derry man had strong claims for a penalty denied a minute later when he was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Niall Henderson.

In the final minute Blaney came out to deny Allen a late consolation and in the end the visitors left The Oval with a well-deserved 3 points that brings them level on points with Crusaders and keeps them just a point behind next weeks opponents, second-placed  Portadown.

Eoin Bradley hurdles a challenge from Glens defender Johnny Addis.  Photo by Alan Weir

Eoin Bradley hurdles a challenge from Glens defender Johnny Addis. Photo by Alan Weir

Glentoran: Morris, Magee (Birney 25), Addis, Holland, Henderson, Gordon, McAlorum,  Stewart, O’Hanlon (McCaffrey 46), Allen, Nelson (Scullion 62). Subs not used: McKee, Hogg (GK)

Goals: Allen 3, Stewart 11

Cautions: Gordon 41

Glenavon: Blaney, McKeown, Murphy, Dillon, Singleton (McGrory 46), Marshall, McCabe, Caldwell, Neill (Martyn 74), Hamilton (Kilmartin 78), Bradley. Subs not used: McNally, Hoey.

Goals: Hamilton 34, 45+2, Marshall 36, Neill 72

Cautions: Singleton 29

Referee: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus)

Preview: Glentoran v Glenavon

For much of the week it looked like a striking crisis was looming for Glenavon with Kevin Braniff sent off late in the game against Linfield last Saturday, Darren Forsyth side-lined with a groin injury and Gary Hamilton having been sent to the stand by referee Mervyn Smyth. The Club however received confirmation by email from the IFA on Thursday that Gary will be given “a one match touchline suspension (effective from Monday 24 November) for an alleged breach of article 15.6 of the Disciplinary Code.  He will be available to play until the effective date of the suspension.”

This of course means Gary will be eligible to play against his old side at The Oval tomorrow but he will have to sit out the game away to Dungannon Swifts on Friday November 28th.

“We’re finalising the squad tonight and planning our strategy but we’ll be looking, as we always do, to pick up three points tomorrow,” Gary told us on Friday. “Losing Kevin will be a big blow for us – he’s scored seven goals and assisted six and he’s been in good from recently – but the good thing is we have decent replacements available to us this season and we can trust them to do a job for us.

“It’s an important match for us and we want to bounce back after last week’s loss. We’ve shown that we are now capable of going to the ‘big’ venues like Windsor and Seaview and getting results and, as I said, we’ll be looking to come away with the three points tomorrow from The Oval.”

Andy Hoey will be in the squad tomorrow after a string of good performances in the Reserves and the recent Mid-Ulster cup match in which he scored twice. “He’s been keeping his head down and working hard and, if he gets a chance tomorrow and seizes it, he knows that, at Glenavon, if you take your chance when you get it you keep the shirt,” Gary concluded.

Andy Hoey leaves his marker in his wake as he makes for goal. Photo by Alan Weir.

Andy Hoey leaves his marker in his wake as he makes for goal. Photo by Alan Weir.

Glenavon’s previous two visits to Glentoran, towards the end of last season, saw the Lurgan Blues triumph 2-1 on their way to their successful Irish Cup Final appearance and this was followed by a 4-0 post-split League win. The Glens have, however, already beaten Glenavon twice this season, both at Mourneview Park, a 2-1 victory in the League was followed three days later by a 5-1 win in the League Cup, though that score line was certainly influenced by the early dismissal of Conor Dillon and the award of a penalty for hand ball.

Match Officials

Referee Assistant 1 Assistant 2 4th Official
Ian McNabb Stephen Bell John Grealey Colin Burns

Glenavon supporters are asked to note that entrance to the ground will be by payment at the main gates at Park Gate Drive.