Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon 0-0 Glentoran: Lurgan Blues unlucky as Hamilton's troops draw blank

By David Mason

Gary Hamilton's Glenavon were last night struck once more by the curse of Mourneview Park!

The Lurgan Blues are still looking for their first home win of the season and, after dominating this Danske Premiership clash against battling Glentoran, they will be kicking themselves for tossing away much needed points.

They totally bossed this game, but failed to land a killer punch, despite having Glentoran on the ropes for much of the night.

Hamilton made one change to the team that narrowly lost out to Crusaders at the weekend, drafting in centre-back Conor Dillon for the injured Dave Elebert.

Glentoran midfielder Stephen Gordon was handed a starting slot by boss Eddie Patterson. He replaced Fra McCaffrey who had to settle for a place on the subs' bench.

If points were handed out for possession, Glenavon would surely be top of the league.

They dominated the opening 45 minutes, but due to a mixture of horrible luck - they struck the woodwork on two occasions - and some wayward finishing, the teams were still level at the break.

The Lurgan Blues were right out of luck on five minutes when Rhys Marshall's header, from an Andy Kilmartin cross, was somehow scrambled away by goalkeeper Aaron Hogg on the line.

And the home fans were on their feet ready to acclaim a goal on 11 minutes when Andy Hall supplied a delicious cross which again found the head of Marshall, but giant shot-stopper Hogg got a telling touch to flip the ball on to the crossbar.

Eoin Bradley was next to hold his head in frustration. Kilmartin, who was pulling the strings in the middle of the park, sent in a wonderful cross that was met by the big striker, but his looping header also crashed off a post.

Glentoran at last abandoned their defensive responsibilities and opened the home defence for the first time with Stevie Gordon threading the ball into the path of Curtis Allen, who blasted his shot across the face of the goal.

Former Linfield striker Conor McMenamin forced Johnny Tuffey into action five minutes before the break when his low drive was pushed away at the base of the post.

And, it was the Glens who roared from the blocks after the half time cuppa with McMenamin capitalising on a slip by Kyle Neill and, following a 20 yards solo dash, he curled a beauty agonisingly inches wide.

Seconds later David Scullion cleverly picked out Allen and his rasping 20 yards drive was again just off target.

Glenavon really should have edged in front on 53 minutes. Again Hall was the provider and when the ball landed on the toe of new boy Joel Cooper he shamefully hoofed it into the night sky from four yards - an early contender for miss of the season.

Then at the other end, Tuffey came to his team's rescue on 68 minutes, brilliantly pawing away a thundering Marcus Kane header from a Scullion corner kick.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Neill (Kelly 79), Dillon, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper (Patton 75), Bradley, Hall, Braniff (Hamilton 75), Singleton.

Subs not used: McGrory, O'Brien.

Glentoran: Hogg, Kane, Birney, Scullion (McCaffrey 72), Allen, Holland, McAlorum, Addis, Nelson (Gibson 85), Gordon, McMenamin.

Subs not used: Garrett, Magee, McCullough.

Man of the match: Andy Hall (Glenavon).

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: A Hunter (Maguiresbridge).

Belfast Telegraph


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