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Glentoran's Curtis Allen makes his a double for Glenavon win

Glenavon 1-3 Glentoran

By Bill Steele

Published 16/02/2016

Heat of battle: Glentoran's Curtis Allen and Joel Cooper of Glenavon battle for the ball at Mourneview Park
Heat of battle: Glentoran's Curtis Allen and Joel Cooper of Glenavon battle for the ball at Mourneview Park

A Curtis Allen brace helped Glentoran erase the painful memory of their Irish Cup defeat to Glenavon with a fine 3-1 triumph at Mourneview Park.

The hosts had gone to The Oval last week and ran out 4-1 winners to eliminate the Irish Cup holders, but there was to be no repeat this time around.

The first chance of the game went to the hosts after Joel Cooper had been fouled to the left of the Glentoran box.

Andy Hall swung it in and Kris Lindsay raced to get in front of Elliott Morris - making his 600th appearance for the Glens - but headed over.

Glenavon piled on the pressure but Glentoran almost caught the hosts cold when a Conor Dillon header back to Jonny Tuffey was too short.

Former Lurgan Blues ace Chris Lavery nipped in and rounded the keeper but the defender recovered well to clear off the line.

Callum Birney then headed wide from a Ciaran Caldwell free-kick, but on 19 minutes the visitors gained the lead when Jonny Addis took a quick free kick and Allen finished with aplomb from inside the box.

Glenavon almost levelled with half an hour gone when a Dillon cross was headed goalwards by Daniel Kearns, only for Birney to head it up and away.

Whatever Gary Hamilton said to his players at half-time had a positive effect as they came out all guns blazing for the second period.

They had an early penalty call waved away by Irvinestown referee Tim Marshall after Cooper was brought down inside the box after a shot by Kearns had been blocked.

Lindsay got onto the end of a Hall cross next, but his header was fairly tame and easily reached Morris.

They didn't have long to wait after that to equalise, though, and did so through their talisman, Kevin Braniff. A Cooper corner was headed down by big Simon Kelly, and the striker made no mistake from inside the six yard box.

However, Glenavon seemed to take their foot off the pedal after that and Glentoran did their best to try and take advantage. Both Jonathan Smith and Jay Magee had chances, but they were both denied.

The Glens did get in front on 68 minutes thanks to a sublime goal by Allen (right). He received the ball down the right flank from substitute Chris Morrow and set off on a run, cutting inside and easing past Lindsay, and working his way into the box before placing the ball into the far bottom corner of Tuffey's goal.

It was a wake-up call for Glenavon, who almost levelled on 76 minutes when Cooper beat the offside trap and played a ball across goal for Hamilton, who had brought himself on.

He looked poised to score only for Birney to get a vital touch.

Lavery almost found the net after a bouncing ball beat Rhys Marshall, but Kelly was in the right place to block the shot.

Glentoran's three points were confirmed when a flicked on ball found Smith, who drilled hard and low past Tuffey in stoppage time.

And with time running out, the Glens almost added a fourth when Smith was brought down in the box by substitute Andy Kilmartin.

Allen, searching for a hat-trick, took the spot-kick, but hit the bar and the ball sailed over.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Kelly, Dillon, Lindsay (O'Brien 84), Marshall, Cooper, Hall, Sykes (Kilmartin 72), Braniff, Kearns (Hamilton 72), Martyn.

Goal: Braniff

Subs not used: M Patton, McGrory.

GLENTORAN: Morris, Holland, Birney, Magee, Allen, Lavery, Addis, Gordon 9Morrow 46), Caldwell, Smith, McCullough.

Goals: Allen 19, 68, Smith 90

Subs not used: Gibson, Scullion, D Patton, Hogg.

Man of the match: Curtis Allen, Glentoran

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)

Belfast Telegraph

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