Belfast Telegraph

McAllister's own goal sends Glenavon to league summit

Glenavon 1-0 Ards

By Keith Bailie

Glenavon displaced Ards at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership with a 1-0 win at Mourneview Park.

Early pacesetters Ards gave a good account of themselves, but the home side responded to last week's humiliating 4-0 defeat to Linfield with a fine display.

Although the Lurgan Blues only managed one goal against newly-promoted Ards, they created numerous chances, demonstrating their Windsor meltdown was nothing more than a blip.

The only goal of the game came courtesy of the rather unfortunate David McAllister, who headed the ball into his own net in the 17th minute.

Glenavon had a chance within the first minute when Ards failed to deal with a Joel Cooper corner. The returning Simon Kelly powered a header against the crossbar, and Greg Moorhouse turned the rebound over.

A Glenavon set-piece did pay dividends in the 17th minute. Mark Patton's throw-in was flicked on by Moorhouse at the near post, in the direction of Eoin Bradley. Before the ball could reach the former Coleraine man, Ards winger McAllister diverted a defensive header into the top corner of the net, giving Aaron Hogg no chance.

There was some drama in the 36th minute when Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey handled the ball outside the area. McAllister's 20-yard free-kick deflected into the path of Carl McComb, who chipped an over-hit cross against the top of the crossbar.

Glenavon almost extended their lead in first-half stoppage time when Bradley skipped past Greg Hall, but his close-range effort was blocked by Hogg.

Ards had a chance to equalise just after the half-time break when Kyle Cherry broke through the Glenavon defence, but Tuffey forced the midfielder wide.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, the experienced combo of Bradley and Ciaran Martyn combined, with the latter crossing for the former Derry City midfielder, whose deflected close-range effort was held by Hogg.

Bradley should have put the game beyond doubt in the 80th minute when he stormed past Stuart McMullan to go clean through, but scuffed his effort.

Player/manager Gary Hamilton thought he had the better of Hogg in the 83rd minute, but his low 20-yard drive was held.

Again, Martyn had a chance to score the second in stoppage time, when Hogg's clearance went straight to the midfielder's feet, but the goalkeeper composed himself to block the effort.

Ards rarely looked like equalising, but they can be pleased with their first month back in the big time. If they continue this form they will keep their place in the Premiership, but Glenavon deservedly took top spot.

Glenavon: Tuffey, McGrory, Doyle, Kelly, Patton, Sykes, Martyn, Kilmartin, Cooper, Bradley, Moorhouse (Hamilton 57).

Subs not used: Lyndsey, Hall, Burns, Bates

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars (McMullan 68), Taylor, Ruddy, McMillen (Hughes 69), McCullough (Tommons 55), Cherry, McAllister, McComb, Keke.

Subs not used: McAuley, Arthurs.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington.

Belfast Telegraph


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