Glenavon 2-0 Newry City
Glenavon midfielder Ben Doherty says the high standards the team have set for themselves pushed them to their 2-0 win over Newry City at Mourneview Park.
Having failed to break a confident and resolute Newry rearguard down for 79 minutes, the Lurgan Blues suddenly broke through when Andy Hall finished at the second attempt.
Three minutes later, an in-swinging corner from Doherty then beat everyone, including Newry 'keeper Andy Coleman, and nestled in the back of the net to secure the three points.
The win keeps Gary Hamilton's side top of the table ahead of Linfield who, due to Glenavon's late kick-off time, had leapfrogged them earlier in the day after they defeated Ballymena.
On-loan Derry man Doherty admits there were some harsh words said at the interval, but he claims that the players needed no extra motivation to come out swinging in the second half.
"It was hard fought," said the 21-year old. "We came in after the first half and Gary wasn't happy at all. I don't think any of the players were happy either, we just didn't really get going in the first half.
"There's a changing room in there that's set a high standard and knew that wasn't good enough, and we came out in the second half and we kicked on and showed what we're about.
"The past few weeks we've got good wins and we've shown good character, one that stood out to me was the win over Crusaders.
"But today, before the match started, we knew we weren't leaving here without three points. The team here, we don't give up and we've shown great character over the last few weeks."
Doherty also won a light-hearted personal battle with fellow goalscorer Hall, beating the winger in the race to be the first to score directly from a corner this season.
Hall had joked he was getting closer every week, but ultimately he was beaten to the punch by Doherty's inch-perfect delivery for the second goal.
"I think I'm winning 1-0 now in those stakes!" laughed the Derry City loanee. "He'll be trying now for the next weeks, so you may keep an eye out for it, he'll be trying to score a few!
"The way Gary wants it is he wants it on top of the 'keeper, and I probably hit it a bit higher than I'd normally hit it and it's flown into the top corner. I can't complain when it goes in, that's the kind of luck you need sometimes!"
The game could have been so much different for Newry had Declan Carville finished into an empty net in the first half after Johnny Tuffey palmed the ball back into his path from a free-kick.
And the horror miss was further compounded when Carville was sent off late in the game for a second yellow, leaving Newry manager Darren Mullen to reflect on a frustrating game for his charges.
After their loss to Institute, where they conceded two goals in four minutes, the same thing happened in Lurgan to inflict another defeat on Newry, leaving them 11th in the table.
"We've played really well for 70 minutes, we had some really good chances and we responded in the right manner to the Institute game," said Mullen
It's just disappointing for the players to come away with nothing."
GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marron, Daniels, Donnelly (Jenkins, 60 mins), Muir (Harmon, 46 mins), Sykes, Hall, King, Murray (McCloskey, 80 mins), Doherty, Singleton. Unused subs: Doyle, Grace, Larmour, Hunter.
NEWRY: Coleman, King, Boyle, McCann, Walker, Carville, McCabe, Hughes, Lavery (Delaney, 70 mins), Teggart (Johnston, 83 mins), Montgomery. Unused subs: Maguire, McArdle, Mullan, Healey.