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Lindsay eyes top three finish after Lurgan Blues defeat Bannsiders

Coleraine 0 - Glenavon2

By Keith Thomas

Published 14/12/2015

Only way is up: Kris Lindsay
Only way is up: Kris Lindsay

The only way is up as far as Glenavon skipper Kris Lindsay is concerned. After a long-awaited win at Coleraine on Saturday he declared: "We don't fear anyone in the league."

The central defender still believes Crusaders will retain their title, but as the Lurgan Blues moved to within two points of the third placed Bannsiders in the table and ahead of Linfield into fourth spot on goal difference, Lindsay insisted his side has a huge part to play in who finishes behind the Crues.

"Crusaders are in a class of their own but we can still be in there challenging behind them," he said. "A top three finish is achievable. We have the quality to live with the top sides."

Lindsay admitted his side struggled early on at the Showgrounds: "We didn't get to grips with the game until we asserted ourselves in midfield and then we grew in confidence."

Andy Kilmartin, who agreed a new contract in midweek, demonstrated his unquestionable class, pulling out all the stops to give a commanding performance in the midfield engine room as Glenavon recorded a first win at Ballycastle Road since December 2012.

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney felt his side did enough to deserve something from the game and was disappointed with referee Raymond Crangle's decision to let Glenavon's opening goal from Rhys Marshall stand.

He maintained the ball did not cross the line when defender Marshall headed Kyle Neill's corner towards goal after 51 minutes.

Kearney said: "I don't see how the goal was given. The linesman has made a big call on that and it cost us.

"We have played a lot worse this season and won. We created chances but for a second consecutive game failed to take them.

"A big feature of our recent success has been our ability to capitalise in front of goal but we are not creating enough opportunities as in previous games.

"The simple fact is that if you fail to find the net, sooner or later you leave yourself open to a sucker punch."

Coleraine skipper Howard Beverland's late red card puts him out of tomorrow night's League Cup semi-final against Ards. The defender picked up two second half yellow cards - both for robust challenges on livewire winger Joel Cooper - and was dismissed for the second time this season.

His second offence opened the door for Glenavon to seal the win with the resulting free kick from Andy Hall headed into his own net by former Northern Ireland international striker Sammy Morrow in an unsuccessful; attempt to clear the danger.

The Bannsiders also had assistant boss William Murphy banished from the technical area by referee Raymond Crangle for a verbal outburst.

The defeat ended Coleraine's unbeaten run of nine games at Ballycastle Road where previously they hadn't lost since August 22 when Linfield triumphed 3-1.

COLERAINE: Findlay, Kane, Beverland, Douglas, Falconer, Lyons, McCafferty, Harkin, Brown (McCauley, 69 mins), Morrow (Parkhill, 79 mins), McGonigle (McLaughlin, 64 mins). Unused subs: Watt, Higgins.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Kelly, Lindsay (Dillon, 61 mins), Neill, Hall, Sykes, Kilmartin, Cooper (Patton, 82 mins), Bradley (Hamilton, 84 mins), Kearns. Unused subs: McGrory, Braniff.

Match rating: 7/10

Man of the match: Andy Kilmartin

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

Belfast Telegraph

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