Two enforced changes for Gary Hamilton with Shane McCabe unavailable due to work commitments and James Singleton out with a thigh strain; he brings Tiarnan Mulvenna and Andy McGrory in from the start.
Only Guy Bates escaped criticism by Gary Hamilton after the defeat to Dungannon Swifts in which his players “failed to carry out the instructions” they had been given. Gary Ellis got the Glenavon manager’s views after the game..
Yet again Dungannon got the first goal in a game between the two Mid-Ulster sides, ex-Glenavon striker Gary Liggett scoring with a 9th minute header from Josh Barton’s cross. Barton himself should have scored in the 3rd minute when he was clean through but fired horribly wide from the edge of the box.
Calamitous defending two minutes later with James McGrath coming way out of his area to try to cut out a through ball down Dungannon’s left saw the visitors double the lead as Liggett got to the ball first and cut it back to the edge of the box where Ryan Harpur had time and space to hit the back of the net with a right foot shot despite Kyle Neill’s attempt to block it on the line.
Andy McGrory had a shot turned away for a corner by Andy Coleman in the 17th minute and just after the half hour Bates played a neat pass inside the Swifts right back for the run of Bradley but he saw his shot well saved by Coleman.
On the stroke of half time McGrory wasted a great chance to pull a goal back when he fired over from 6 yards following a cutback from Mulvenna who had been picked out by a cross field pass from Guy Bates. In stoppage time Eoin Bradley broke clear but fired straight into the chest of Andy Coleman. There was still time for Harpur to force a great save by McGrath after he hit a swerving free kick from 25 yards.
Hamilton replaced Mulvenna for the start of the second half but even when Glenavon created an opening the final shot always seemed to go straight to the keeper. In fact Liggett and another ex-Glenavon striker Andrew Mitchell both contrived to fire over the bar from close range when it looked easier to score and extend the visitors’ lead.
Glenavon: McGrath, Marshall, Dillon, Lindsay (c), Neill, Bradley (Hoey 81), Kilmartin (Foley 69), McGrory, Mulvenna (Hamilton 45), Braniff, Bates. Subs not used: McCallion, Blackledge
Cautions: Hamilton 55, Lindsay 58, Dillon 65
Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, McCullough, McCaffrey, McCashin, Grieve, Barton (Hutchinson 48), Harpur, Fitzpatrick (Hazley 66), Sanusi (Mitchell 80), Glackin, Liggett Subs not used: Lowe, Tomelty
Cautions: Liggett 42, McCullough 49
Referee: Raymond Crangle