Glenavon 1 Coleraine 2
Marty Quinn has served notice of major redundancies at Mourneview Park now that Glenavon have been condemned to the lower reaches of the Carling Premiership.
Quinn’s men desperately needed a win to keep hopes of a top six finish alive but instead surrendered to goals from Leon Knight and David Scullion.
Gary Hamilton rifled home in time added on but it was too little too late and a fuming Quinn rapped: “I’m in the job 25 months and I’ll be honest, put up my hand and say there has been no dramatic improvement.
“We’ve had our wee fits and starts to raise hopes but, at the end of the day, we’re not good enough and we’ll have to address the situation in the summer.
“I’ll have to rebuild the team. We need a major overhaul but I’m determined to do that.”
And Quinn stopped short of explaining why he fielded a strange looking team with so many key men like Trevor Molloy, Tony Grant, Willo McDonagh and Mark Miskimmin only making the bench.
All Quinn volunteered was: “I stand by my principles for my team selection. I have my reasons for selecting the team I did and I stand by them. I have to have principles.
“I put a team out I thought and hoped could do better and they didn’t. When we made the changes things improved but we’re only papering over the cracks which have been here for far too long.”
It was a case of what might have been after the Bannsiders raced into the lead two minutes before the break when Michael Hegarty fed Stephen Carson for the gifted winger to squeeze past marker Brendan Shannon to present Knight with a simple tap in.
The turning point for Glenavon came just short of the hour when Hamilton fired home what appeared to be the equaliser but referee Raymond Hetherington pulled back play and instead awarded the home side a free-kick for a foul on Mark Turkington.
That annoyed Quinn who insisted: “I thought the ref was a bit previous with the whistle. He could have let the game progress a little to see what was going to happen but he stopped a good goal being allowed.”
Coleraine made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute when Knight crossed from deep on the left, Glenavon failed to deal with it and Scullion ghosted in at the back post to tuck it away.
In injury time Hamilton did pull one back but it was too late to affect the outcome.
New Coleraine manager Oran Kearney, still unbeaten in the league since he took over, said: “Our key aim was to make sure we still have something to play for and we’ve done that.
“My first big target was to get away from the danger zone and then get a sniff of a place in the top six and this goes a little way towards that.
“I don’t know how it works now with the whole Crusaders scenario. I don’t think we play the Crues next week so we won’t know whether we’ll be in the top six or not.
“In this game both sides were coming out of having been beaten in the quarter final of the Irish Cup on Monday night and it was about a reaction and I’m glad I got that from my players.”
And about Knight who broke the deadlock and set up the winner Kearney said: “He’ll take the plaudits for that but he’s a humble man and will be the first guy to tell you that it’s all about the team and how hard the back four and midfield worked to provide those opportunities for him.”