Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon's chance of booking Euro spot in their hands after Coleraine win

Glenavon 3-0 Coleraine

By Bill Steele

Glenavon are back in the hotseat for Europe after a facile 3-0 win over Coleraine.

They are now two points ahead of Cliftonville and could seal their Europa League place if they beat Glentoran on Saturday and the Reds drop points against Linfield.

The hosts enjoyed the early pressure and went in front on 23 minutes in bizarre circumstances. Coleraine goalkeeper Chris Johns attempted to punch away a Joel Cooper corner, but it ended up going in off the unfortunate Neil McCafferty.

Coleraine were almost level just minutes later when a scramble in the Glenavon box was cleared by Mark Patton.

However, Glenavon doubled their lead just before the half hour mark. Andy Hall swung in a free-kick after Cooper had been fouled, and big Simon Kelly lept highest to head home.

And they could have extended their lead after the break when Eoin Bradley set up Kevin Braniff, but his volley was just wide.

Bradley was unfortunate not to add a third when, unmarked on the penalty spot, he headed a Braniff cross towards goal, only to see it go over after hitting the bar.

Kelly then missed out on scoring his second with a header at the back post.

Coleraine, meanwhile, were limited to half chances and a Ruairi Harkin free-kick barely warmed the hands of Jonathan Tuffey.

Bradley raced to the byline before pulling the ball back for Ciaran Martyn, but Johns pulled out two stops to deny the midfielder and Cooper's follow-up.

Lyndon Kane was sent off with two minutes to go after picking up his second yellow card for fouling Cooper on the edge of the box. Braniff stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and whipped the ball past Johns for 3-0.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Kelly, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Patton, Braniff, Marshall. Subs: O'Brien (Bradley 87), Hamilton (Kilmartin 89), Marron (Marshall 90), McGrath, Burns.

COLERAINE: Johns, Beverland, Mullan, Douglas, McCafferty, Morrow, Harkin, Brown, Parkhill, Lyons, Kane. Subs: Doherty, Higgins, Ogilby, McGonigle (Brown 56), Law.

REFEREE: Evan Boyce.


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