Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena stunned as Martyn seals Lurgan Blues' stirring revival

Ballymena United 3-3 Glenavon

By Stephen Alexander

Glenavon staged a remarkable comeback from three goals down to prevent Ballymena United from kick-starting their season at the Showgrounds.

Manager David Jeffrey's response to Saturday's 6-0 drubbing by Crusaders was to make four changes, including debuts for goalkeeper Ross Glendinning and left-back Danny Wallace.

Glenavon keeper Johnny Tuffey excelled on nine minutes when he brilliantly palmed Johnny McMurray's header to safety.

Ballymena's pressure paid dividends on 13 minutes when Kyle Owens arrived to power home from Tony Kane's corner.

The home side had strong claims for a penalty waved away on 39 minutes as Cathair Friel tumbled under a challenge from Tuffey. Glenavon's reprieve was short-lived, as from the resultant corner, another pinpoint delivery from Kane was met with another firm back-post header by Owens.

United added a third goal on 53 minutes. McMurray released strike partner Cathair Friel down the right-hand side and he cut inside before beating Tuffey to mark his home debut with a goal.

The Lurgan Blues were awarded a penalty three minutes later after Johnny Flynn's foul on Greg Moorhouse and Guy Bates blasted the spot-kick home. The visitors netted again on 69 minutes when Rhys Marshall's cross was headed home by Moorhouse.

Glenavon drew level on 74 minutes when player/manager Gary Hamilton's shot deflected to Ciaran Martyn, who swivelled and powered home.

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Ervin, Owens, Flynn, Wallace, T Kane, Thompson, Jenkins, Millar, Friel, McMurray (sub Henderson 53). Subs (not used): Blayney, McCloskey, E Kane, Johnston.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Lindsay (sub Doyle 42), Elebert, Patton, Hall, Kilmartin, Sykes (sub Martyn 59) , Cooper, Moorhouse (sub Hamilton 72), Bates. Subs (not used): McGrory, Burns.

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).

Man of the match: Kyle Owens (Ballymena)

Match rating: 9/10

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