Donegal Celtic 1 Glenavon 4: A Gary Hamilton-inspired Glenavon moved Marty Quinn’s men ever closer to the top six and pushed a hapless Donegal Celtic further towards the trapdoor at Suffolk Road last night.
The former Northern International tortured the Hoops, capping off a virtuoso display with a cheekily chipped penalty in the 57th minute to help the Lurgan Blues cruise to a 4-1 win.
He had a hand in all that was good about Glenavon’s display during his 77 minutes on the pitch, starting in the 18th minute when he set up Mark Miskimmin to put the visitors in front.
Glenavon were pegged back in the 36th minute when top scorer Paul McVeigh converted a penalty after Ciaran Muir was clattered by Andrew Plummer.
But just when the home side thought they had done enough to stem the tide, they were caught dithering in defence in the 43rd minute.
A watching backline failed to close down Miskimmin, who was given time to cross to the unmarked Trevor Molloy, and he had the simple task of nodding the ball into Brown’s exposed net.
There looked to be more misery to come when Hamilton netted in the 45th minute but his effort was cancelled out after referee David Malcolm spotted a foul in the build-up.
But that didn’t matter because soon after the break Glenavon — and Hamilton in particular — ran amok.
He bagged the third from the spot 12 minutes after the restart and Gareth Walsh put the seal on victory when he made it 4-1 in the 65th minute, the midfielder stealing in to nick the ball from the advancing Declan Brown.
This allowed Hamilton to take a well-deserved early exit 13 minutes from time but by then Celtic had been well and truly beaten and condemned to a 14th league defeat in 20 games.
Donegal Celtic: Brown, Gargan, McAllister, O’Hara, McMenimen, Cleary, McNamee, McVeigh, Bradley, Muir, Henderson. Subs: Harbinson, Glenholmes (Henderson 77), McCaffrey, Madden, Curran (Cleary, half-time).
Glenavon: Plummer, Shannon, Magee, Walsh, Molloy, King, Miskimmin , Harper, Haughey, Turkington, Hamilton. Subs: McDonagh, Harpur, Grant (for Hamilton 77), Costello (Miskimmin 80), Stewart.
Referee: David Malcolm (Belfast).