Belfast Telegraph

Moorhouse makes his a treble in superb Glenavon revival

Ballymena United 3 Glenavon 4

By Stephen Alexander

Glenavon produced a stunning comeback to claim a remarkable Danske Bank Premiership victory at the Showgrounds. Greg Moorhouse scored a hat-trick to settle another extraordinary chapter in a fixture which has produced a bagful of goals in recent seasons.

Ballymena boss David Jeffrey made a handful of changes from Saturday's defeat at Ards and his men found themselves a goal down inside the opening minute.

Mark Patton found space on the left flank and laid up the ball for full-back James Singleton, whose cross was headed home by Moorhouse despite United keeper Ross Glendinning getting a hand to it.

However, the home side were level after nine minutes when Neil Lowry's driven cross from a short corner was touched home by Fra McCaffrey.

Glenavon should have regained the lead a minute later when Ciaran Martyn burst into the penalty area and laid the ball off for Patton but he took a heavy touch which allowed Glendinning to block.

The Sky Blues grabbed the lead on 20 minutes when former Dundalk and Glentoran midfielder McCaffrey arrived to steer Cathair Friel's cross past Jonny Tuffey.

From a sweeping Ballymena counter-attack, Leroy Millar's cross sent Friel clear but his fierce shot was beaten out by Tuffey, while Glenavon survived another scare when defender Kris Lindsay headed against the outside of his own post.

But the Sky Blues extended their advantage in first-half stoppage time when defender Denver Gage arrived to power home a header from a Millar free-kick.

There was no let-up in the goal action at the start of the second half as Glenavon cut the deficit within two minutes of the restart when Martyn glanced home a header from a Patton cross.

And the Lurgan side drew level on 62 minutes when Moorhouse cleverly slotted home.

Ballymena came close to going back in front on 76 minutes when Friel's shot was blocked by Tuffey but almost immediately, the visitors broke upfield with Moorhouse on hand to complete his treble.

The Braidmen's frustration was compounded on 80 minutes when McCaffrey was sent off for a lunging challenge on Singleton, which sparked an ugly melee between both sets of players.

Tony Kane came close to levelling on 89 minutes but his stinging drive was saved.

Ballymena United: Glendinning, Ervin, Loughran, Gage, Wallace, Kane, Taggart (Jenkins 63), Millar (Faulkner 79), McCaffrey, Lowry (McMurray 25), Friel. Subs not used: Blayney, Owens.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Lindsay (Neill 46), Marron, Elebert, Singleton, McGrory, Patton (Cooper 79), Martyn, Moorhouse, Bates (Gray 79). Subs not used: Kelly, O'Brien.

Referee: Arnold Hunter (Maguiresbridge).

Man of the match: Moorhouse.

Match rating: 9/10.

Belfast Telegraph


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