Super Guy Bates at the double as Glenavon too hot for brave H&W Welders
Glenavon 4 H&W Welders 2
Glenavon survived a couple of frights before easing into the quarter-finals of the League Cup and it needed a double strike from Guy Bates to see off the spirited resistance of a depleted H&W Welders side.
It took the Premiership club only 76 seconds to take the lead, Ciaran Martyn getting behind the Welders defence to hook the ball into the net.
The home fans probably thought that was the signal for the floodgates to open against the Championship side, missing five first choice players through injury or suspension, but instead the visitors more than held their own in an entertaining first half.
Indeed, Welders should have been level after 15 minutes when, from a free kick on the left, Ethan Boylan was unmarked eight yards out but he headed wide.
No matter, five minutes later the equaliser duly arrived, although there was probably no-one more surprised than Boylan's fellow striker Danny McKee.
His sole objective seemed to be just to keep the ball in play on the right hand touchline, but once he had done that, his speculative cross flew into the far corner of the net, just underneath the crossbar, out of the reach of James Taylor.
It proved the start of a horrid five minutes for the Glenavon keeper, given his opportunity in place of Jonny Tuffey. Twice he was slow off his line and presented Welders with golden chances to take the lead.
First Boylan beat him to the ball and, although he went round the stranded keeper, Rhys Marshall was on the line to clear, and when Taylor did it again shortly afterwards, albeit without fatal consequences, player/manager Gary Hamilton went down the touchline to berate his No.1.
Eoin Bradley wasted Glenavon's best chance of the half, heading over from point blank range at the back post from a Bates cross.
Taylor obviously hadn't learnt his lesson from his first-half walkabouts because, within three minutes of the restart, he was at it again, and again it was Marshall who came to his rescue, throwing himself along the line to keep out Ryan Deans' shot.
Goalline clearances were becoming the norm and it was Welders defender Dan McMurray who was next into action, in the way of a Bradley header from Mark Patton's corner.
Two minutes later the striker was foiled again, this time by keeper Samuel Johnston, and Martyn's follow-up flew over the bar.
However, two goals in a minute settled the contest. After Martyn had stumbled in the box, Bates stepped in to fire past Johnston and the keeper was helpless again immediately afterwards when superb first time passing by Paddy McCourt and Martyn set up Andy Hall to bang in the third.
The scoring wasn't finished and two minutes from time James Singleton conceded a penalty which was coolly converted by McKee but straight from the kick-off Patton's left wing cross was hit home by Bates to confim Glenavon's victory.
Glenavon: Taylor, McGrory, Marshall, Doyle, Patton; Hall, Kilmartin (Singleton 73), Martyn, McCourt (Neill 76); Bates, Bradley (Hamilton 76).
Unused subs: Marron, Braniff
H&W Welders: Johnston; Devine , McMurray, Dickson (Whittle 89), Armstrong; Deans, Harris, Bowers (C Dornan 89 ), Middleton ; McKee , Boylan (S Dornan 80).
Unused subs: Shields, McConnell
Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)